Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Okay, about time to do my AL All-star team, slightly late edition. Since it would be far more of a pain in the ass to look just at stats before the all-star game, I'll use stats as of now, so if that changes things up, more fun for it, it's the 2/3s of a season all-star team now.

We start, as always with first base.


2006 MVP Justin Morneau leads the pack, leading AL first basemen with a .391 OBP and a 147 OBP+, as an important half of the Twins JM stars.

Backing him up is famed Greek God of Walks Kevin Youkilis who leads 1Bs with a .560 SLG, and actually has a higher OPS than Morneau, but plays in the far more hitter friendly Fenway Park.


Ian Kinsler far and away leads the pack here as the only 2B with a SLG over .500, and a 2B-leading .379 OBP. He has also swiped 25 bags while only being caught once for a remarkable 96.2 SB%. Kinsler also leads the AL in runs created with 96.

In an incredibly close showdown for backup, we'll add Brian Roberts over Howie Kendrick, whose numbers are extremely similar, and Dustin Pedroia who has been heating up. Roberts' .841 narrowly trumps Kendrick's .836, and well, the Orioles need a representative somewhere, and this is as good a place as any.


And here's where it gets tough. Honestly, there is no shortstop that belongs on the American League all-star team. Really. They are nothing short of terrible (by all-star standards, anyway). But we have to pick someone, and really, since there aren't people that are unbelievable slights at other positions, we ought to pick two. Unfortunate, really.

First, starting, is Cleveland's Jhonny Peralta, best known for his strange spelling of his first name, and the fact that he is the rare non-Grady Sizemore Indian to be outperforming 2007. He also has an AL SS-leading .493 SLG.

Backing him up, sadly, as well is Michael Young, who looks to be in serious danger of failing to reach 200 hits for the first time, but who is the only other AL starting shortstop with an OPS+ of over 100. Let's move on as quickly as we can.


Okay, here's the good stuff.

Starting is who will either be the first or second best third baseman of all time most likely by the time he finishes his career, Alex Rodriguez, having another stellar season with a 163 OPS+, 24 HRs, a over .400 OBP, an almost .600 SLG, and a 16-1 stolen base to caught stealing ratio to boot. Except for the fact that he missed some games on the DL, he'd be the leading MVP candidate, and he still has to be up there, even with the missed time.

Backing him up is uber-rookie Evan Longoria, who barring a collapse unanimous rookie of the year in the AL. Longoria has 22 HRs and 27 2Bs which help out his .535 SLG and has taken 43 BBs which help his .349 OBP. It looks so far like the Rays were pretty wise handing out the long term contract to Longoria before he got major league playing time.


There's actually a fair amount of depth in the AL OF as well.

We might as well have a real center fielder be one of the starters if it's feasible so Grady Sizemore, who has been the one ray of hope on an otherwise beyond abysmal Indians lineup, gets the start. Grady has hit 27 dingers while walking 73 times to combine with his .273 average for a fine .384 OBP.

The much talented but much injured JD Drew ought be rewarded with not only his first all-star appareance, but his first starting appearance after, well, staying healthy (about as healthy as anyone can reasonably expect Drew to stay anyway), but while doing that posted an AL outfield leading OPS of .945 and an AL OF leading .405 OBP.

Coming in the second corner slot is one of the biggest surprises and swipes of the year, the Chicago White Sox's Carlos Quentin, who has managed to keep up his pace with a month-high 9 HRs in July, and is third amongst AL OFs with a .357 SLG, and 6th amongst AL OFs in OBP with .379.

The first back up is fellow ChiSox OF Jermaine Dye, who is having the second best year of his career at age 34 with a 141 OPS+, 26 HRs, and an outstanding and AL outfield leading .569 SLG.

Story-of-the-year Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton is the center field back up with his AL outfield second .558 SLG and 27 HRs to go along with 25 2Bs.

In the no-longer-in-the-AL-but-still-did-enough-to-make-the-team department is of course perennial All-Star Manny Ramirez who posted a .398 OBP in his time with the Red Sox.

Finally, in a position which actually has fine candidates to spare, the last spot is taken up by our mandated one Tiger, Magglio Ordonez gets the spot with the highest OPS+ of any Tigers regular a solid 130 along with strong .380 OBP and nearly .500 SLG.


Well, the starter is easy here, the reserve not so much.

One of the biggest differences from starter to reserve in any position if not the biggest, Joe Mauer of the Twins, who, with his outstanding .409 OBP, is second in the league in that category in any position, and leads the nearest catcher with over 100 at-bats by over 40 points.

Backing him up is newbie Tampa Bay Ray Dioner Navarro, who is one of few full-time catchers with an over 100 OPS+ with a 110 (Pudge has 100 exactly and Kurt Suzuki has 101). Kelly Shoppach and Gerald Laird are doing surprisingly well but with less playing time, so this is kind of a default pick, but Navarro could have a good career.


The last AL position is of course the DH, and as this position could be played by anyone, we'll only choose one, and that, of course, will be Texas Ranger Milton Bradley who annihilates the competition with his .446 OBP, all while being only second by 2 points to A-Rod with a .592 SLG. From another oft-hurt player who has been regarded as a bit of a basket case, it has really been a breakout year - Bradley has only once had a year with over 400 ABs, with LA in 2004, one of the 6 teams he's played on in 9 seasons.

Time for the pitching!


Starting the game is Oakland Athletics 2nd time all-star (the first as a reliever) Justin Duchsherer who is first amongst AL starters in ERA+ with a 169, in WHIP with a .956 and who, while not having a ton of Ks with 78, similarly has low BB numbers with 31.

Next up are a couple of lone representatives for their teams, all at least decent, but some deserved and one probably not.

Roy Halladay represents the Blue Jays and should be a Cy Young contender with a brilliant 5.14 K/BB ratio, good for second in the league to go along with a 151 ERA+ good for third in the league. In addition, Halladay has rediscovered power pitching out of nowhere and is second in the AL with 149 strikeouts, his most for a season already since his Cy Young year with over 200 in 2003.

King Felix Hernandez represents the Seattle Mariners and is 6th in the league in K/9IP with 8.40 and 7th in ERA+ with 134, all while being the fifth youngest player in the league (in his fourth year, no less).

The Royals representative is Zack Greinke who is 6th in the AL with 131 strikeouts, and boasts a mere 110 ERA+, but hey, he's having a solid season, and an excellent one of the Royals, anyway, so I don't feel so bad rewarding him, especially after what he's been through (Mental disease is serious stuff!)

Back to teams with multiple all-stars.

Story-of-the-year-if-not-for-Josh Hamilton, Cliff Lee, who, although cooling off from his sub-2.00 ERA start, still has the 2nd best ERA+ in the AL with an extremely strong 168, leads the AL in K/BB ratio with 5.77/1. He's also 7th in Ks, and 3rd in WHIP with a 1.080.

John Lester of the Red Sox is another promising young all-star, who although he possesses a too-high high 1.312 WHIP, has an excellent 4th in the league ERA+ of 142 and a fine 101/46 K/BB ratio, along with 2 shutouts.

Scott Kazmir is one of two Rays on the pitching staff. Kazmir has an outstanding 147 ERA+, which would be good for 4th in the league if he had enough innings to qualify and a 1.197 WHIP which would be good for 10th in the league, and his K/9IP ratio of 9.30 would be best in the league.

James Sheilds joins him on the staff with a strong 117 ERA+, but makes the team largely because of his fourth in the league 1.110 WHIP and his third in the league 4.80 K/BB ratio.

The Orioles get a surprise second representative with a strong sophomore campaign with a 129 ERA+, 9th in the league, and 1.186 WHIP, also 9th in the league, while also being second in innings with 156.

Sure, John Lackey was injured at the beginning of the year, but since then he has been outstanding enough to merit a spot on the team, interestingly the league-leading Angels only spot, with a 136 ERA+ and a 1.099 WHIP along with an 85/25 K/BB ratio.

Lastly among the starters is White Sox youngster John Danks, 6th in the league with an ERA+ of 134 and with an excellent 106/35 K/BB ratio. He edges out fellow White Sox all-star contenter Gavin Floyd, whose peripherals are far more suspect.


Only room for three more spots, so someone big is getting bumped.

First, the legend himself, the Yankees' Mariano Rivera with an incredible .724 WHIP and a difficult to believer 58/5 K/BB ratio, along with not blowing a save all year.

Following him up is who I think has been the best closer of the past five years (an inch ahead of Rivera), the Twins' Joe Nathan who has an impressive .906 WHIP, and a fine 50/11 K/BB ratio.

Last, the Red Sox Jonathan Papelbon has a great .869 WHIP and a 57/7 K/BB ratio.

Left off, notably is saves-leader and also fine closer Fransisco Rodriguez. We don't give saves much regard around here, and K-Rod's ERA and WHIP are higher than these three guys, he has blown at least as many saves, and he walks far more batters. I'd rather add on the extra starter anyway.

By the way, why does everyone say Carlos Gomez is doing great in Minnesota? Carlos Gomez is doing terribly in Minnesota. Now, don't get me wrong, he's very young and could turn in to a quality player, but he's not now. OBPing under .300 will do that.

1 comment:

waldinho said...

No Jetes!!!!????

also, how many of your all-stars hit for the cycle this year? because carlos gomez did.