Who Really Deserves to be in the American League All-Star Game
A Guest Blog By Fanspeak Contributing Writer Howard Ticker
Every baseball season, fans love to fill out their All-Star ballots at baseball games or fill them out online many times. They love to vote in their favorite players who they grew up watching or be biased and vote in the player from their favorite team. As a Yankee fan, I’m use to all the players being voted in but I was never a fan of having them start because most of the time, they may not have the numbers that deserve to start. Whenever I vote, I think to myself, who is going to help win the game, and help win home field advantage in the World Series. The New York Yankees have a shot at being the in World Series so I always voted for the best players that season, not necessarily the players on my favorite team. Sure some of those older veterans rise up to the occasion and have a big All-Star game, but in all likelihood, the players who have the hottest bat that season, will perform in the All-Star game. I will go into who I believe should start in the All-Star game for the American League based off statistics as opposed to the current players who are leading in votes as of this week. The number of votes for each player I got off ESPN.com as of Tuesday.
I will start at catcher. Currently, as of Tuesday Russell Martin has 1,317,557 votes and a 450,000 vote lead over Joe Mauer. Although Russell Martin is having a great bounce back year with 9 Home Runs, 27 RBI’s, and a .238 Batting Average, J.P Arencibia of the Toronto Blue Jays has 10 Home Runs, 32 RBI’s, and a .249 Batting Average. Another name that deserves some recognition is Mike Napoli of the Texas Rangers who has 10 Home Runs, 25 RBI’s, but a poor .213 Batting Average. I personally voted in J.P Arencibia but I believe Russell Martin deserves to atleast come off the bench as number 2 catching option.
Next I will go into first base. Mark Teixeira of the Yankees and the Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez are fighting it out for first.
At the moment, Teixeira holds a slight lead over Gonzalez. Teixeira has 1,333,445 to Gonzalez’ 1,268,706. Both are worthy of starting in the All-Star game in my opinion but I give the edge to Gonzalez with Teixeira coming off the bench. Gonzalez 12 Home Runs, 32 RBI’s and a .335 Batting Average but has been swinging a hot bat as of late. Mark Teixeria has 18 Home Runs, 43 RBI’s, and a .258 Batting Average. I will give a slight edge to Gonzalez but I feel like both could be deserving of getting the starting nod. It’ll be interesting to see which of these 2 guys gets the Gold Glove.
At second base, Robinson Cano (1.9 million votes) is up a million votes on Dustin Pedroria. Cano is also the second leading vote getter in the American League behind Jose Bautista. Cano, who is having a somewhat of an off year still has 12 Home Runs, 39 RBI’s, and a .273 Batting Average. I do believe Cano deserves to start in this game with Pedroria and utility player who plays second base Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays getting some attention.
Now to short stop which I think I have to be somewhat biased on. Even with an off year, Derek Jeter has 1,454,795 votes to the Indians’ Adrubal Caberara’s 1,162,728. Jeter currently is 11 hits shy of 3,000 career hits and barring any injury should have 3,000 hits by the All-Star break. This is a milestone that only 27 players have, and I believe Jeter should be recognized at the All-Star game in front of everyone for this great achievement. I’m not saying he necessarily deserves to start, but he should be in this game. Besides Caberara, Jhonny Peralta is quietly putting up a solid season with 8 Home Runs, 32 RBI’s, and a .313 Batting Average to Jeter’s 2 Home Runs, 17 RBI’s, and a .261 Batting Average.
At third base, Alex Rodriguez (1.5 Million votes) is up by less than 300,000 votes to the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre. Like my first base comparison, both of these guys could get the starting nod and are both deserving of being in the All-Star game. I will however still give the edge to another non-Yankee in Beltre. Beltre has 12 Home Runs, 45 RBI’s, a .257 Batting Average, and playing solid defense at the hot corner. A-Rod has 11 Home Runs, 35 RBI’s, and a .278 Batting Average.
Now to the outfield, where Curtis Granderson (1.7 Million votes) is second to overall vote leader Jose Bautista (2,142,867). Josh Hamilton (1.2 Million votes) is third among outfielders. Josh Hamilton has been hurt most of the season so I believe he shouldn’t be in the game, although if he was healthy, there is no doubt in my mind he would have the numbers and be deserving of starting. Also, I’m surprised to see Ichiro not leading in votes as he normally gets a lot and starts in this game on a regular season basis. Jose Bautista definitely deserves to start and has earned every vote as he is having a monster season with 20 Home Runs, 41 RBI’s, and a crazy .351 Batting Average. It would be interesting if he can keep this up and maybe get the Triple Crown. I also believe Granderson deserves to start in center with a great power surge this season. He has 17 Home Runs, 41 RBI’s, and a .263 Batting Average while playing great defense. The guy who I give the third outfield starting spot to is the Chicago White Sox Carlos Quentin who has 17 Home Runs, 45 RBI’s, and a .271 Batting Average. Nelson Cruz is also having a solid season and deserves mention with 14 Home Runs, 32 RBI’s, and a .237 Batting Average.
For Designated Hitter, I have to give it to the one and only Big Papi David Ortiz who is having a great season getting out of his usually bad April and May which he didn’t have this season. He has 15 Home Runs, 34 RBI’s, and a .323 Batting Average.
Finally, for fun, my starting pitcher out of the American League would be Jared Weaver who has a 7-4 record with 90 strike outs and a 2.24 ERA. He also leads the majors with 100 innings pitched.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.