Looking at the All-Star Teams

Posted by Dave Nichols | Monday, June 27, 2011 | , | 0 comments »

All-Star voting ends Friday this week and the rosters announced Sunday, so an annual tradition of publishing my all-star ballot will continue.  Also, one of the requirements to be eligible for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance is to participate in several different votes during the season, and the all-stars is one of those occasions, as is the post-season awards voting, Hall of Fame votings, etc.

Here are my ballots for each team:

National League
1B: Prince Fielder, MIL.  Better numbers than Pujols this year regardless of the injury.
2B: Rickie Weeks, MIL.  As tempting as it would be to select Danny Espinosa...
3B: Chase Headley, SD.  Best of a real weak class on the ballot.  Too bad Zim was hurt for so long.
SS: Jose Reyes, NYM.  He's making himself a lot of money heading into free agency.
C:   Brain McCann, ATL.  This spot isn't even close.
OF: Matt Kemp, LAD.  Dude's the best player in the league this season.
OF: Ryan Braun, MIL.  Another four-tool hitter.
OF: Lance Berkman, STL.  Resurrected his career in St. Louis.

American League
1B:  Adrian Gonzalez, BOS.  What's not to like about .360/.415/.611?
2B:  Robinson Cano, NYY.  Not MVP numbers like some predicted, but still the class of the group.
3B:  Alex Rodriguez, NYY.  Now I just feel dirty.
SS:  Jhonny Peralta, CLE.  Leads in average, homers and RBIs of anyone on the ballot.
C:   Alex Avila, DET.  A young, up-and-coming hitting star.
DH: David Ortiz, BOS.  Another monster year after folks thought he was washed up.
OF: Jose Bautista, TOR:  He just keeps mashing home runs.
OF: Curtis Granderson, NYY: His lefty swing plays perfect in new Yankee Stadium.
OF: Adam Jones, BAL.  Great well-rounded game, the offense complimenting his stellar defense.

So these are the players on the actual ballot that I'd vote for.  That's an entirely separate issue from how I think the two teams will ultimately will look.  For instance, there's no voting for pitchers, which has always struck me as strange. 

Anyway, below is my take on how these team will eventually be filled out, taking into consideration the rules that each team will be comprised of 33 players and one from each team in both leagues (the 34th spot is another fan vote).  For the starters, I will assume that the players that held the voting lead the last time totals were announced will hold onto that spot and be elected to the game.

NL Starters (8): Pujols (1B), Weeks (2B), Polanco (3B), Tulowitzki (SS), Braun (OF), Berkman (OF), Holliday (OF), McCann (C).
NL Reserves (12): Montero-C (ARI), Fielder-1B (MIL), Votto-1B (CIN), Sanchez-1B (FLA), Espinosa-2B (WAS), Headley-3B (SD), Reyes-SS (NYM), Castro-SS (CHC), Kemp-OF (LAD), J.Upton-OF (ARI), McCutchen-OF (PIT), Bourn-OF (HOU)
NL Pitchers (13): Halladay (PHI), Hamels (PHI), Kershaw (LAD), C.Lee (PHI), Kennedy (ARI), Chacin (COL), Jurrjens (ATL), Lincecum (SF). B.Wilson (SF), Hanrahan (PIT), Putz (ARI), Kimbrell (ATL), Venters (ATL)

The tough choices here were Sanchez at first base instead of Michael Morse from the Nats.  Went with Espinosa as the choice in a weaker field of second baseman.  I know there are a lot of Diamondbacks on the roster, but they all qualify and it's in their park.

AL Starters (9): Gonzalez-1B (BOS), Cano-2B (NYY), A. Rodriguez-3B (NYY), Jeter-SS (NYY), Bautista-OF (TOR), Granderson-OF (NYY), Hamilton-OF (TEX).
AL Reserves (11):  Avila-C (DET), Konerko-1B (CWS), M.Cabrera-1B (DET), Pedroia-2B (BOS), Peralta-3B (DET), A.Cabrera-SS (CLE), A.Jones-OF (BAL), M.Cabrera-OF (KC), N.Cruz-OF (TEX), Quentin-OF (CWS), Span-OF (MIN)
AL Pitchers (13):  Verlander (DET), J. Weaver (LAA), Sabathia (NYY), Shields (TB), F.Hernandez (SEA), Humber (CWS), Lester (BOS), Price (TB), Wilson (TEX), League (SEA), Rivera (NYY), C.Perez (CLE), Ziegler (OAK)

This was more difficult.  Oakland and Minnesota didn't have any traditional all-star caliber players this season, so I took Ziegler, a terrific bullpen guy form Oakland, and Span, a speedy outfielder the AL can use for pinch-running possibilities.

Feel free to shred me in the comments.