All-Star Game Voting
With the MLB All-Star Game just about a month from now I thought it would be appropriate timing to make my choices for this year’s event. I won’t delve too much into the reasoning behind my choices as most will likely seem obvious considering how that player has been performing thus far this year. Unlike some, I try to base my votes primarily on performance and less on favoritism (the AS Game has become too much of a popularity contest, in my opinion).
1B: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit – After slumping at the end of last season, Cabrera has seemingly gotten past the personal issues that seemed to be plaguing him and has gotten off to a very strong start this year. His superb performance makes the trade to acquire him from Florida well worth it, despite Dontrelle Willis’s inability to produce (before being traded, of course).
2B: Robinson Cano, New York – Cano has always been talked about as someone who could routinely compete for a batting title in the American League and this year he’s doing just that. He’s got one of the sweetest swings from the left side of the plate that often goes unnoticed.
SS: Derek Jeter, New York – This one is simple. I have to vote for my favorite active (position) player.
3B: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay – Sure, Alex Rodriguez has the career numbers to back him up but right now Longoria is the best third baseman in the AL when you consider both defensive and offensive abilities.
C: Joe Mauer, Minnesota – Is this one even a discussion?
DH: Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle – OK, I know that Griffey just retired this past week so I guess this is my one sentimental vote. Realistically if we look at overall performance, the vote has to go to Vladimir Guerrero who has seemingly revitalized himself in Texas.
OF: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle; Brett Gardner, New York; Jose Bautista, Toronto – Ichiro is just fun to watch. Gardner has exceeded all expectations (even those of most Yankee fans) after taking over in left field in NY. Bautista has played beyond his abilities while splitting time between right field and third base. Cases could also be made for Carl Crawford, Vernon Wells, Austin Jackson, Alex Rios, and Josh Hamilton.
SP: Andy Pettitte, New York – Pettitte has very quietly gone about things and put up a 7-1 record so far this season. The longtime Yankee has never started an AS Game in his career and we may see Yankee manager Joe Girardi call on him to start the game this July.
1B: Albert Pujols, St. Louis – Like Mauer, is this really even a discussion?
2B: Chase Utley, Philadelphia – Hands down the best second baseman in the NL.
SS: Troy Tulowitski, Colorado – This was a tough choice between Tulo and Hanley Ramirez. Tulo has never been benched for laziness and grew up idolizing my favorite player (Jeter) so I’ll give him the nod here.
3B: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington – Another tough call, between Zimmerman and Scott Rolen, who has suddenly returned to playing like the player he was earlier in his career. Zim’s never started an AS Game before so he’s getting my vote here.
C: Miguel Olivo, Colorado – Amazingly if you compare the offensive statistics of NL catchers he is at the top of most categories. Personally I don’t even think he’s the best catcher on the Rockies roster (that being Chris Iannetta) but he’s certainly hitting like the best catcher in the NL.
OF: Andre Ethier, Los Angeles; Jason Heyward, Atlanta; Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh – It seems like the young regime is taking over the balance of power in the NL outfield this year. Heyward is a rookie and McCutchen is only in his second full season. Others in consideration include Carlos Gonzalez, Jayson Werth, Ryan Braun, and Colby Rasmus.
SP: Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado – He has dominated batters this year and has clearly been the best pitcher in the NL. How can he not be chosen as the starter?