All-Star Selections: Part II

I ran my formula for All-Stars in the American League.  A few things to note – even in years where the ASG is played in an NL park, I always choose a DH.  I figure if you’re the best at your position, whether or not that position is one that appears in the All-Star Game, then you deserve to go. 

The second thing to note is that this is completely objective at this point.  I couldn’t even be biased if I tried.  These are purely statistical picks — later, when I have to fill in the benches, I’ll need to make some choices that reflect my own personal ideologies on a team.  But right now, these are the guys that make it in the AL (italicized names would be starters):

C: Joe Mauer (MIN), Kurt Suzuki (OAK)
1B: Justin Morneau (MIN), Mark Teixeira (NYY)
2B: Aaron Hill (TOR), Ian Kinsler (TEX)
3B: Michael Young (TEX), Chone Figgins (LAA)
SS: Derek Jeter (NYY), Marco Scutaro (TOR)
OF: Carl Crawford (TBR), Shin-Soo Choo (CLE), Ichiro Suzuki (SEA), Johnny Damon (NYY), Torii Hunter (LAA)
DH: Adam Lind (TOR)

The Twins are the only team with two starters (Mauer and Morneau), but the most surprising part is that – at least for position players – there are five teams unrepresented.  Two of them (Boston and Detroit) are first-place teams.

But, then, we haven’t chosen pitchers yet. 

The three other unrepresented teams: Kansas City, Chicago, and Baltimore.

So, then, on to the pitchers.  I use my own variation of VORP (Value Over Replacement Pitcher) to make my pitcher selections.   I then take the top four starters, top three closers, and two relievers.  This gives us:

Zack Grienke (KCR)
Roy Halladay (TOR)
Kevin Millwood (TEX)
Felix Hernandez (SEA)
David Aardsma (SEA)
Andrew Bailey (OAK)
Joe Nathan (MIN)
Alfredo Aceves (NYY)
Ramon Ramirez (BOS)

There are now four pitcher spots available and four position player spots available.  Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore remain without representatives, so we will first turn our attention to them. 

Basically, if I’ve got a player from that team who is in the top five at his position, I will take him.  It just so happens that Detroit’s Edwin Jackson is barely behind Felix Hernandez as starting pitchers go.  So that’s one of our four open slots taken.

For Baltimore, 2B Brian Roberts is third at his position, and has better overall numbers than teammates Luke Scott and Adam Jones.  So I will put him on the bench, as well.

The White Sox are a little tougher.  Jim Thome and A.J. Pierzynski are each fifth on my list at their respective positions, but I scarcely like to carry a third catcher or a second DH.  If they were third, I might take them.  As it stands, the one guy who stands out is reliever Matt Thornton, so I’ll put him in my bullpen.

The composition of the bench is something of a matter of personal taste, but I like to have about four spare outfielders and about seven infielders.  This doesn’t count our DH – in this case Adam Lind – who also plays the outfield. 

What Ben Zobrist has been able to do as a utility man for the Rays this season is nothing short of incredible, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t give him a spot on the team.

The remaining outfielder is a fairly simple choice – the highest-ranked outfielder remaining.  In this case, Jason Bay.  For the remaining infielder, I use the same basic idea.  Cleveland’s Victor Martinez is having a better year than many of the starters I have on my list, and I can’t keep him from a spot.

This leaves us with two pitcher spots – a starter and a reliever.  Jered Weaver is the next-best starter, and J.P. Howell the next-best reliever.  So they’re in. 

JP Howell.jpg

It’s never easy being the last
one picked.

When all is said and done, this is what I believe is the true American League All-Star team:

Starters
C Joe Mauer (MIN)
1B Justin Morneau (MIN)
2B Aaron Hill (TOR)
3B Michael Young (TEX)
SS Derek Jeter (NYY)
OF Carl Crawford (TBR)
OF Ichiro Suzuki (SEA)
OF Shin-Soo Choo (CLE)

Bench
C Kurt Suzuki (OAK)
1B Mark Teixeira (NYY)
2B Ian Kinsler (TEX)
3B Chone Figgins (LAA)
SS Marco Scutaro (TOR)
2B Brian Roberts (BAL)
C/1B Victor Martinez (CLE)
UT Ben Zobrist (TBR)
DH Adam Lind (TOR)
OF Johnny Damon (NYY)
OF Torii Hunter (LAA)
OF Jason Bay (BOS)

Starters
Zach Grienke (KCR) – starter
Roy Halladay (TOR)
Kevin Millwood (TEX)
Felix Hernandez (SEA)
Edwin Jackson (DET)
Jered Weaver (LAA)

Relievers
David Aardsma (SEA)
Andrew Bailey (OAK)
Joe Nathan (MIN)
Alfredo Aceves (NYY)
Ramon Ramirez (BOS)
Matt Thornton (CHW)
J.P. Howell (TBR)

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