It’s almost that time again, the All-Star break. Where people vote for the guys that they see on commercials and video game covers (no disrespect Mauer, I’ll get to you in a moment), while the managers select some of the most deserving guys from the actual field.
Well, I hate that and I’m addressing it early.
Displayed here are the true All-Stars, not the All-Name Brand team. There are familiar names that belong there from video game covers and commercials (hey they’re good, that’s how they get those, what up again Joe), these are the guys that are really tearing it up so far.
All the rules of the actual ASG are respected, the 35 man rosters and representatives from each team, but I’m starting the best performers at each position thus far in the season (regardless of current injuries, much respect to Andre Either and Jorge Posada). I’m promoting quality of play over quality of advertisement/location of employment (no shade to large markets….just a little). We’ll get back to this in a few months ago when the Midsummer’s Classic is here to see who hung on.
C-Yadier Molina-St. Louis Cardinals: The best overall catcher in the NL. He could make it on defense alone, but his clutch bat seals it.
1B-Albert Pujols-St. Louis Cardinals: Simply the best in the game. Period. By a long margin. His spot is engraved here.
2B-Chase Utley-Philadelphia Phillies: Best player on the best team in the NL. And that’s saying a lot with Philly’s cast. Utley will keep this spot as long as he wants it.
3B-David Wright-New York Mets: Finding his power stroke again this year, but Ryan Zimmerman is lurking for this spot Wright has held for a while now.
SS-Hanley Ramirez-Florida Marlins: Best shortstop in the game. Is hitting his way through his recent managerial controversy and is as much the owner of this spot as Pujols is his.
OF-Ryan Braun-Milwaukee Brewers: One of the most feared hitters in baseball and is just getting started. There is nowhere he can’t hurt you, whether at the plate or on the base paths.
OF-Andre Either-Los Angeles Dodgers: A legit Triple Crown contender when a broken finger derailed his all out blitzkrieg on NL pitching. We’ll see if he gets back to claim an actual spot.
OF-Jason Werth-Philadelphia Phillies: The lesser known bookend of the heart of the Phillies lineup, Werth is having his best season yet…..coming off his previous best season yet. Stud headed into free agency.
SP-Ubaldo Jimenez-Colorado Rockies: Dominant may be an understatement. With a no-hitter and a 25 inning+ scoreless streak already in place, Ubaldo is the class of the league in a year of great starting pitching.
– Bench –
1B-Joey Votto-CIN, Ryan Howard-PHI
2B-Dan Uggla-FLA, Kelly Johnson-ARI
3B-Ryan Zimmerman-WSH, Casey McGehee-MIL
OF-Andrew McClutcheon-PIT, Matt Kemp-LA, Marlon Byrd-CHI, Shane Victorino-PHI, Jason Heyward-ATL
SP-Roy Halladay-PHI, Tim Lincecum-SF, Adam Wainwright-StL, Chris Carpenter-StL, Roy Oswalt-HOU, Josh Johnson-FLA, Jaime Garcia-StL, Livan Hernandez-WSH, Barry Zito-SF
RP-Matt Capps-WSH, Heath Bell-SD, Brian Wilson-SF, Tyler Clippard-WSH
C-Joe Mauer-Minnesota Twins: The best overall hitter in the league. Despite an early foot injury is still hitting at his usual stunning clip and playing solid defense. Leaps and bounds above any other at this position. He’s earning his video game cover.
1B-Justin Morneau-Minnesota Twins: The powerhouse of the Twins attack, Morneau has knocked in everything in front of him this year it seems like. Looking every bit Better from a season ending injury in 09.
2B-Robinson Cano-New York Yankees: The most consistent bat in the best lineup in baseball so far this year. Has been the class of all two baggers this year.
3B-Evan Longoria-Tampa Bay Rays: The best player on the best team in baseball so far. Longoria has officially made the jump from star to Uber star this year and is roaring towards a potential first MVP nod.
SS-Elvis Andrus-Texas Rangers: Elvis has entered the building. Andrus is delivering on his substantial potential in his second year and while the popular choice may go to Derek Jeter, this spot is clearly his by performance.
OF-Ichiro-Seattle Mariners: The most consistent hitter of his era, and maybe of all time, is at it again with his usual ridiculous performance across the board. In direct contrast with the M’s poor start.
OF-Vernon Wells-Toronto Blue Jays: The roller coaster that is Vernon is back at a peak so far and has propelled the surprisingly powerful Jays lineup.
OF-Carl Crawford-Tampa Bay Rays: The tablesetter to the Rays entire attack and 2009 ASG MVP, he’s making another tremendous run (his blazing specialty) with his best Tampa Bay squad yet.
DH-Vladimir Guerrero-Texas Rangers: The demise of Vlad was greatly exaggerated as he is tearing up Arlington during his second wind with the Rangers
SP-David Price-Tampa Bay Rays: The former top pick and October phenom is shutting down all comers in the AL this year, perhaps exceeding even his high ceiling.
– Bench –
1B-Miguel Cabrera-DET, Kevin Youkilis-BOS, Billy Butler-KC
OF-Alex Rios-CHI, Brett Gardner-NY, Austin Jackson-DET, Torii Hunter-LA, Nick Markakis-BAL
SP-Matt Garza-TB, Phil Hughes-NY, Francisco Liriano-MIN, Zach Grienke-KC, Dallas Braden-OAK, Ricky Romero-TOR, CC Sabathia-NY, Andy Pettitte-NY, Fausto Carmona-CLE
RP-Mariano Rivera-NY, Jose Valverde-DET, Jon Rauch-MIN, Rafeal Soriano-TB
~ M. Whitener