With the All-Star game a little over two weeks away its time to take a look at some team projections. Now I’m not sure how most people out there do their projections because every time I add them up I come up short. Here at BSR we’re gonna do things correctly. There are 72 All-Stars each year. 9 starters are voted in in the AL and 8 in the NL. The AL bench consists of 15 hitters and the NL consists of 16. There are also 12 pitchers chosen on each side with 5-6 relief pitchers. Of course every team must be represented by at least one player. After studying the statistics and using a little bit of next 2 week projections here is my projected list for the American League in the 2011 All-Star game.
AL Starters: As voted for by the fans, these are the guys currently leading the voting.
C – Russell Martin (NYY) – Statistically he doesn’t deserve to be in and is keeping Wieters out of the game.
1B – Adrian Gonzalez (BOS) – On pace to win AL MVP. Fans got this one right. Too bad he may boycott the All-Star game based on Arizona’s Mexican laws.
2B – Robinson Cano (NYY) – His numbers are hard to argue. Good choice.
3B – Alex Rodriguez (NYY) – I’m okay with this pick.
SS – Derek Jeter (NYY) – In no way does he deserve to be in this game, let alone starting. I hope your not an Alexei Ramirez fan because he gets snubbed from the team because of Jeter.
OF – Jose Bautista (TOR) – The leading vote getter. Great first half.
OF – Curtis Granderson (NYY) – Replenished his career. Big offensive threat.
OF – Josh Hamilton (TEX) – Doesn’t deserve to be on this team. He was injured and the numbers just aren’t there. Matt Joyce is bumped from this game because of Hamilton.
DH – David Ortiz (BOS) – Voted in by the fans, but its an NL stadium. He actually deserves it this year.
C – Alex Avila (DET) – Best offensive numbers of any catcher this year.
C – Victor Martinez (DET) – 2 catchers from the same team. Both deserving.
1B – Paul Konerko (CWS) – Was snubbed last year. This year his numbers are better than any AL 1B not named Adrian. He must get in this year.
1B – Miguel Cabrera (DET) – Most consistent hitter in the game and another big year.
1B – Mark Teixeira (NYY) – Usually there are only 2 reserve 1B and Teixeira was the last guy I chose on the AL roster. He’s probably going to be on the last chance vote thing and win that. Sorry Yankees fans but his numbers aren’t as good as the other 1B’s.
2B – Howie Kendrick (LAA) – Only one reserve 2B this year. The position just isn’t strong enough in the AL. Kendrick has produced all year.
3B – Adrian Beltre (TEX) – It could be argued that he deserves to start this game. He pretty much carried the Rangers when both Hamilton and Cruz were out.
3B – Michael Young (TEX) – They are pulling a Detroit and getting guys from the same team at the same position. Young has numbers just as good as Beltre’s.
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE) – Deserves to be the starter after a great 1st half. He’s done everything for this team. Nice average, decent power, good speed, great defense.
SS – Jhonny Peralta (DET) – A surprise performer so far this year. He turned his fluke hot streak into an All-Star caliber season. Well deserved.
OF – Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS) – He has given Boston the kind of production that Carl Crawford should have. That makes him very worthy of this spot. Boston would not have the top offense in baseball without him.
OF – Adam Lind (TOR) – Solid offensive numbers despite his small injury. His numbers are superior to almost every other outfielder in the AL this year.
OF – Adam Jones (BAL) – The Orioles only representative this year. Sorry JJ Hardy fans, but it can not be him because Asdrubal and Peralta are too deserving. Furthermore Alexei Ramirez is the runner up even in front of JJ. Jones has better numbers anyways and is just as deserving.
OF – Alex Gordon (KC) – The only representative for the Royals. If they didn’t have to have on then he wouldn’t be on the team. He has been the best player for his team this year and has finally broken out.
UTIL – Michael Cuddyer (MIN) – He makes it because the Twins need a representative. As of last year MLB has pretty much made it a rule to have a utility guy on the team and Cuddyer fits this description. He is last year’s Ty Wigginton for the O’s. He can come into the game late and play anywhere.
SP – Justin Verlander (DET) – He’s been the best pitcher in the AL thus far. 10 Wins a 2.38 ERA and 124 K’s. He should be starting this game. However, the schedule may force him to not be available to pitch.
SP – James Shields (TB) – He may start the game because Verlander won’t be available. He deserves it though. It seems like every time he pitches its a complete game win.
SP – Josh Beckett (BOS) – He’s returned to his old form. And he’s been dominant. And he has an ERA under 2. Enough said.
SP – Jered Weaver (LAA) – 9 wins a 2.01 ERA and 102 K’s already. Thats All-Star material for sure. He gets better and better every year.
SP – Alexi Ogando (TEX) – The surprise ace of the Rangers has trailed off a little over his last few starts, but his numbers on the season are far too good to be left off the team.
SP- Felix Hernandez (SEA) – The Mariners have two pitchers worthy of being on this team. However, there is only room for one of them to make it. Felix barely edges out Michael Pineda because he was last year’s Cy Young winner. Their numbers are similar, but Felix is Felix. Hopefully Pineda is the first one added when someone is injured.
SP- Gio Gonzalez (OAK) – The A’s only selection has to be Gio or Trevor Cahill. Cahill has a slight advantage in wins, but trails Gio in almost every other category. By the time the All-Star game is here Gio will be the clear ace in Oakland.
CL – Mariano Rivera (NYY) – The greatest closer of all time is having another typical season. That means he make the All-Star team for the 115th consecutive year.
CL – Jose Valverde (DET) – He should just make it based on his crazy antics on the field. But his lights out numbers are another reason.
CL – Kyle Farnsworth (TB) – When the season started everyone was worried about the Rays bullpen. And then came along old man Farnsworth who has completely shut down the opposition in the 9th. This cinderella story gets in.
CL – Chris Perez (CLE) – This guy doesn’t like to give up runs. Period.
CL – Jordan Walden (LAA) – Rookie closer who has been lights out all season. He rarely blows a save and could be in the running for rookie of the year.
There are a few Orioles close calls. Both Matt Wieters and JJ Hardy would have the chance to be on this team if the fans didn’t vote in a Yankee starter who really doesn’t deserve to be there. Kevin Youkilis is a close call and may find his way onto the team before the actual game happens. The numbers for him are good, but he has a lot of competition. Matt Joyce really deserves to make the team after a great 1st half. Carlos Quentin and Brennan Boesch are also close calls in the outfield. Nelson Cruz has a low average, but has a lot of HR’s. That should give him consideration. In the infield guys like Ian Kinsler, Erik Aybar, and Elvis Andrus all are on the bubble. There are just so many good shortstops this year. Its a shame that Ichiro Suzuki won’t make the team for the first time in his major league career. There is just no possible way. There are a ton of pitching snubs. Jon Lester is a phenom and should end up on the team. I talked above about Michael Pineda and how that rookie deserves it also. Jeremy Hellickson, who Pineda is competing with for rookie of the year is also in the discussions. CC Sabathia and Dan Haren are both multiple time former All-Stars who always perform. Nothing has changed this year. CJ Wilson and Ricky Romero fall short because of their win totals. A few surprise AL pitching studs have been Erik Bedard, Justin Masteron, and Phil Humber. They are all a ways away from making it, but deserve to be mentioned. Max Scherzer had an amazing start, but fell off here lately. Thats the only reason why he isn’t in. The only other closer that can be considered is Neftali Feliz. If he wasn’t injured he would have the numbers to qualify.
That rounds up the American League. Make sure you check back on Wednesday to see who makes the cut in the National League. Believe it or not the NL has much stronger pitching and a much much weaker offense. I had trouble even finding enough guys to fill that roster. If your a local fan living in the Baltimore/DC area you may be happy my results……Wednesday