Let’s face it, players who deserve to make an All Star team get left off, and people who don’t, get put on. Whether it’s due to popularity, statistics,or a players reputation, the All Star voting just never seems to get it right. That’s why we give you the first annual Fantasy Baseball Sportal All Star selections.
C: Joe Mauer, MIN: .294/4/35
Simply put, Mauer is arguably one of the best hitters in the game. Despite his “down” year, Mauer remains the elite option at the catcher position. In a game that determines home field advantage in the World Series, I wouldn’t want anyone else behind the dish.
Runner-Up: John Buck, TOR: .273/13/41
1B: Miguel Cabrera, DET: .346/21/74
With all due respect to Justin Morneau, how is Cabrera not starting this game? He’s a legitimate Triple Crown contender and has done nothing but mash the ball since day one this season. He’s on pace for a ridiculous 40+ homers and to drive in over 140 runs. Pair that with his average that has hovered right around .350 all year, and I can’t find a single flaw in this guy’s offensive game.
Runner-Up: Justin Morneau, MIN: .345/18/56
2B: Robinson Cano, NYY: .337/16/57
Cano gets the nod for a stellar first-half. Everyone knew that he was good, but nobody expected him to be this good. Specifically, his .337 average is what has impressed people the most. With a .558 SLG % and a .948 OPS, Cano has established himself as the elite option at the position in the AL.
Runner-Up: Ben Zobrist, TB: .285/5/41
3B: Adrian Beltre, BOS: .338/13/55
Many questioned GM Theo Epstein after the Adrian Beltre signing this offseason, specifically the amount of money given to him after such a dismal year. Once again, Epstein’s brilliance has silenced the critics. Beltre has been godsend for a decimated Red Sox team this season and is one of the main reasons that the team has remained in contention despite all of the injuries amassed. Known as a quality defender, Beltre has proven that there’s still a lot left in his bat and deserves the starting nod.
Runner-Up: Evan Longoria: .295/13/61
SS: Elvis Andrus, TEX: .284/0/25
The King lives! While Andrus’ stat line may not look too impressive at first sight, let’s take a closer look at the numbers. His 23 SB bests any other SS in the league by nine, and his .364 OBP indicates that he’s drawing walks at a solid clip. GM Jon Daniels has been one of the shrewdest in the business over the last couple of years, and he absolutely stole this guy from the Braves in the Texeira deal. Pair all of this with his gold glove defense, and he deserves to be the one starting this year.
Runner-Up: Derek Jeter, NYY: .273/8/41
OF: Josh Hamilton, TEX: .349/22/64 ; Carl Crawford, TB: .320/10/48 ; Alex Rios, CHW: .306/14/47
It’s tough to argue with the fan selections on this one, except for Ichiro. Usually, I have no problem letting Ichiro be the perennial starter in the OF, but this season has been kind of a weird one for the Japanese star. He’s scored just 34 runs this year, which is uncharacteristically low and therefore really depreciates his value.
Hamilton has been setting the world ablaze for over a month now, and Crawford is on pace to shatter his career highs in every offensive category. Rios gets the third starter’s spot for me as he’s completely turned his career around in less than a year. The best part about Rios is his ability to steal bases (23) and he could be a 25 homer, 40 SB guy by season’s end.
Runner-Up: Torii Hunter, LAA: .301/15/62 ; Brennan Boesch, DET: .345/12/48 ; Ichiro Suzuki, SEA: .328/3/24
DH: Vlad Guerrero, TEX: .324/20/75
Vlad has been everything that Texas could’ve hoped after signing him this offseason. He’s finally healthy and is crushing the ball the way that so many of us are used to seeing. With a pace for 35 homers and over 135 RBI, he could very well find himself in the middle of MVP discussions at season’s end.
Runner-Up: David Ortiz, BOS: .258/17/55
Cliff Lee, TEX: 8-3, 2.34 ERA 0.95 WHIP*
David Price, TB: 12-4, 2.42 ERA 1.20 WHIP
Andy Pettitte, NYY: 11-2.70 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
Jon Lester, BOS: 11-3, 2.78 ERA, 1.09 WHIP
Jered Weaver, LAA: 8-4, 2.97 ERA, 1.07 WHIP
Felix Hernandez, SEA: 6-5, 3.01 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
Justin Verlander, DET: 11-5, 3.82 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
Jeff Niemann, TB: 7-2, 2.65 ERA, 1.08 WHIP
While there may be some other pitchers that deserve consideration, these eight guys have all really enjoyed a stellar first half. There’s not much that I can say about each one’s performance that the numbers don’t dictate, except for the fact that these teams play with a greater confidence every fifth day when the above hurlers take the mound. The asterisk denotes Lee’s place as the team’s starter.
Jose Valverde, DET: 1-1, 0.95 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 18 SV
Joakim Soria, KC: 0-1, 2.34 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 25 SV
Rafael Soriano, TB: 2-0, 1.65 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 23 SV
Mariano Rivera, NYY: 2-1, 1.05 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 20 SV
Andrew Bailey, OAK: 0-3, 1.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 17 SV
It’s been an unbelievably good year for closers in the AL, and I can’t justify leaving a single player listed above off of this team.
C: Miguel Olivo, COL: .317/11/41
Olivo may be the best player this season that nobody seems to be discussing. He’s always been somewhat of a homerun threat from the catcher position, but typically his average is much, much lower. This year, he’s really embraced his role on a young Rockies team. He leads all NL catchers in average and is tied for the league in homers, and despite him giving way to Chris Ianetta on occasion, Olivo deserves to start the game. And as if that wasn’t enough evidence for you, take a look at his .540 SLG %.
Runner-Up: Buster Posey, SF: .351/7/23
1B: Albert Pujols, STL: .307/21/64
The man is the best offensive threat in the game. Despite him having “only” 21 homers and batting .307 to this point, Pujols is once again putting up the MVP-caliber numbers he tosses up each season. While some will argue that Votto deserves the starting nod, it’s hard to make the case to start anyone over Pujols when there is such great meaning to this exhibition game.
Runner-Up: Joey Votto, CIN: .314/22/60
2B: Martin Prado, ATL: .329/10/39
Prado has been setting the MLB on fire since being handed the starting gig following Kelly Johnson’s departure. He leads the entire league in hits heading into the ASB and is among the top-producers in runs scored. His presence atop the Braves lineup is one of the main reasons that they’ve been able to be so successful so far this season, and Prado doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon. Having said that, there are a ton of good options at this position in the NL and guys like Uggla & Phillips deserve consideration as well.
Runner-Up: Rickie Weeks, MIL: .266.15.52
3B: David Wright, NYM: .314/14/65
Despite Wright’s struggles at the start of the season, he has successfully quieted his critics with an absolutely monstrous second half. Wright is on pace to have one of his best seasons of his career and has an outside chance at a 30-30 season (he has 14 SB now). Despite his vulnerability to the strikeout, Wright has been a consistent force in the middle of the Mets lineup and has really proven that last year was just a fluke.
Runner-Up: Scott Rolen, CIN: .292/17/57
SS: Hanley Ramirez, FLA: .298/13/53
Hanley hasn’t had the marvelous first half that so many expected, but it’s not exactly anything to turn one’s head upon, either. He’s become somewhat of a silent assassin as many have come to expect Hanley to produce at an incredibly high rate as if it were a thing of normalcy. As is, Ramirez remains one of the elite options at the position and even has 17 SB in the first half despite his claim that he won’t run as much. When all is said and done, Hanley is on pace for another 25 homer, 30 SB, 100 RBI season while batting right around .300. Sounds like an All-Star to me.
Runner-Up (Tie): Rafael Furcal, LAD: .333/6/35 ; Jose Reyes, NYM: .275/6/33
OF: Carlos Gonzalez, COL: .312/17/58 ; Corey Hart, MIL: .289/20/63 ; Chris Young, ARI: .262/15/61
At first glance, some will take a look at my three starters and ask, “are you serious?” My answer: couldn’t be more serious. All three guys listed above boast a unique combination of speed and power that not only can help the NL actually win an AS game for once, but truly deserve to be the three players starting. All three players came in with somewhat low expectations and have blown everyone away (even their own teams) with the performances this year. The three outfielders have 12, 4, and 16 SB respectively which is just another hidden aspect of each one’s game. There are a lot of players who deserve to go to the game, and rank these three at the top of my list.
Runner-Up: Matt Kemp, LAD: ..263/16/50 ; Ryan Braun, MIL: .289/12/53 ; Andrew McCutchen, PIT: .290.8.27
DH: Adam Dunn, WSH: .283/22/58
Dunn makes the FBS All-Star team at his true position—designated hitter. Dunn has been absolutely mashing the ball this season at a ridiculous clip. He’s as good as they come when relying on him to pop 40 homers in a season, but he usually balances that out with a dismal average. This year, he’s batting .283 and although he still strikes out a ton, he’s putting many more balls in play and seems poised to keep his average well above the usually .240 mark he carries.
Runner-Up: Jonny Gomes, CIN: .280/11/60
Josh Johnson, FLA: 9-3, 1.70 ERA, 0.96 WHIP*
Ubaldo Jimenez, COL: 15-1, 2.20 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
Adam Wainwright, STL: 13-5, 2.11 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
Clayton Kershaw, LAD: 9-4, 2.96 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
Mat Latos, SD: 10-4, 2.45 ERA, 0.97 WHIP
Roy Halladay, PHI: 10-7, 2.19 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
Roy Oswalt, HOU: 6-10, 3.08 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
Tim Lincecum, SF: 9-4, 3.16 ERA, 1.28 WHIP
The highest ERA & WHIP on this list belong to back-back CY Young winner Tim Lincecum—wow. That’s truly a testament to just how good some of the pitchers in the National League have been the season. While everyone is focused on the hype surrounding Ubaldo Jimenez, the asterisk next to Josh Johnson’s name denotes him as my choice for starter. He’s actually been better than Jimenez this season, despite him having six less victories. Every guy on this list has the potential to pitch an absolute gem, and this is one category I see the NL as having a clear-cut edge.
Heath Bell, SD: 4-0, 1.72 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 23 SV
Brian Wilson, SF: 2-0, 1.98 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 22 SV
Billy Wagner, ATL: 5-0, 1.21 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 20 SV
Jonathan Broxton, LAD: 3-2, 2.11 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 19 SV
Carlos Marmol, CHC: 2-1, 2.16 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 16 SV
All five of these guys deserve to be All-Stars with the way each has played for his team this season. Despite being left off of the real team, Wagner is arguably the most deserving of any to be a part of the festivities as he’s really found success in his new home. Sometimes each team having a representative actually takes away spots from guys who may be more deserving, but if we’re talking guys that deserve to be there (and we are), there are no relievers more deserving than the five listed above.