My American League All-Star Team

Note: All statistics were as of 4pm eastern on June 17, 2010.

First Baseman – The battle of All-Star first baseman is split between two players, Justin Morneau and Miguel Cabrera. Morneau, of the Twins, is hitting .344 with 13 home runs and 43 runs batted in. Cabrera, of the Tigers, is hitting .331, with 19 home runs and 56 runs batted in. They have similar number of hits (78 for Morneau vs. 76 for Cabrera) and doubles (20 vs. 18). Morneau has walked 14 times more than Cabrera and struck out 8 more times. Morneau’s on base percentage is higher, as is Cabrera’s slugging percentage.
To help me choose between these two players, I looked at their defensive statistics and their teams. To date, Mourneau has committed one error while Cabrera has committed seven. In addition, as of today the Twins are ahead of the Tigers in the standings. Therefore, I am nominating Justin Morneau for the American League All-Star First Baseman.

Second Baseman – If there is anyone who is not selecting Robinson Cano for the All-Star team, please get your head examined. He has scored 10 more runs than any other second baseman, at least 20 more hits, 10 more runs batted in, 60 points in the batting average, and much greater averages for on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Anyone who votes otherwise does not look at numbers is a Yankee hater. Robinson Cano is my choice for American League All-Star Second Baseman.

Shortstop – Speaking of Yankee haters, you should get ready to yell at me. Elvis Andrus, Derek Jeter and Marco Scutaro are the top three shortstops. All have similar batting averages and number of runs. All are within 10 hits of one another. Scutaro has three more doubles than Jeter, but Jeter has more home runs. In the end, all of the statistics offensively are relative close to one another.

Defensively, Jeter has the best fielding percentage. He has committed fewer errors than the other two and the Yankees have the best record in the major leagues. Derek Jeter is my choice as American League Shortstop.

Third Baseman – After looking through three names, I have chosen Evan Longoria over Adrian Beltre and Michael Young as the American League All-Star Third Baseman. There are a couple of reasons. He does have the lowest batting average of three, but he has tied with Young for scoring the most runs, has the most doubles, most home runs, most runs batted in, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. His overall fielding percentage is slightly better than the other two also. He is also on the team that is tied for the best record in the American League. Evan Longoria is my choice for American League Third Baseman.

Outfield – Since the voters do not select by position, neither will I. I will give you my three American League All-Stars. To make my selection easy, I will only consider outfielders with a batting average of .300 or over. There are eleven potential All-Stars. The leader in batting average is Ichiro. Josh Hamilton has the most home runs and slugging percentage. Vladimir Guerrero has the most runs batted in. Lost in all of these statistics is Davis DeJesus of the Royals, who is having an amazing season. He is hitting .329 with 35 runs scored, 81 hits and an on-base percentage of .403. However, his numbers get lost among the other four outfielders and although he is an exceptional outfielder, he will not make my team. The question is who else I remove from the list from Ichiro Suzuki, Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordonez and Josh Hamilton.

Josh Hamilton leads this list in runs scored, second in hits, leads in doubles and home runs, second in runs batted in and has the highest on-base plus slugging percentage. He makes my All-Star team. Ichiro leads in hits, batting average and stolen bases, second in doubles and is still considered one of the best outfielders in the game. He leads all right fielders with 142 putouts and he makes my All-Star team. That leaves Guerrero and Ordonez. When I look at the Rangers team information, I realize that Vlad has only played a minimal number of games in the outfield, and is primarily a Designated Hitter. I had issues years ago with Edgar Martinez being voted to an All-Star game while primarily being a DH. Therefore Vlad cannot be on my team and the last starting outfielder is Magglio Ordonez.

Catcher – Can anyone tell me why Joe Mauer should not be the starter? He may be having a “down season” for his own standards, but he is still the best catcher in the American League.

Starting Pitchers – Without getting into the pitchers too much because there are too many to get into a detailed analysis, here are the starting pitchers I have chosen for my All-Star team (no pitcher with an ERA over 3.50 was considered and a minimum of seven wins were also considered…these qualificatiuons left me six pitchers): David Price and Matt Garza of Tampa Bay, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester of Boston, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes of New York. All six pitchers are from the American League East.

Relief Pitchers – For relief pitchers, I am considering only closers with 10 saves. Rafael Soriano of Tampa Bay has 16 saves, no blown saves and an ERA of 1.52, he is on my team. Jose Valverde of Detroit has 14 saves, 1 blown save and an ERA of 0.64. He makes my team also. Jon Rauch of Minnesota with 17 saves and 1 blown save, an ERA of 2.42 will also make my team. That means as of now, I have nine pitchers and I need one more reliever. I have to add one more closer to my All-Star team. That man will always be Mariano Rivera as long as he is wearing a uniform and is able to pitch. Oh, and he has 15 saves, 1 blown save and an ERA of 1.21. He has allowed 9 hits and 3 earned runs all season. No one else that is not already on my team can top that.

There you have it, my American league All-Star team. Enjoy the debates.

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