As time is running out to vote for the players you want to see taking part in the All-Star Game, I thought it was about time I made my selections.
I hate the fact MLB allows you to vote more than once – up to 25 times online! – so I only vote once.
Here’s how I voted:
C – Joe Mauer, Minnesota. At the time of writing, he’s batting .395 with 14 HR. Not bad considering he missed a few weeks!
1B – Miguel Cabrera, Detroit. Spoilt for choice here, as you make strong cases for Teixeira, Youkilis, Branyan and Morneau, but I’m voting for the Triple Crown threat.
2B – Aaron Hill, Toronto. Could have gone with Kinsler here, but credit to Hill for an impressive comeback year.
SS – Jason Bartlett, Tampa Bay. Great years from Scutaro and Jeter, but Bartlett has more RBIs despite missing time injured.
3B – Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay. No sophomore slump for this guy. Honourable mention to Brandon Inge.
OF – Jason Bay, Boston. Huge RBI numbers for a player who has been such an important part of the lineup.
OF – Torii Hunter, LA Angels. Much like Bay, he has helped carry his team’s offense when others have struggled or been injured. Still an incredibly good centrefielder too.
OF – Nelson Cruz, Texas. Very close call between Cruz, Granderson and Adam Jones, but the natural right fielder just gets the nod.
C – Brian McCann, Atlanta. Bengie Molina has more HR and RBIs, but McCann is close despite a stint on the DL and is hitting for a much higher average.
1B – Albert Pujols, St Louis. Despite very good years from Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard, Pujols is the easiest pick on the ballot.
2B – Orlando Hudson, LA Dodgers. I know Utley will win and get the start, but Hudson deserves some All Star support. Until watching him regularly this year, I hadn’t fully appreciated how good this guy is. An important hitter and an excellent defensive player.
SS – Hanley Ramirez, Florida. Maybe Hanley’s not having the huge year everyone thought he would, but he’s still my pick here. Tejada pushes him in my view, but one thing is for certain: Rollins doesn’t deserve to start.
3B – David Wright, New York Mets. Wright’s power numbers are shockingly lower – he has just four homers at the time of writing, but he is batting .356 with 19 steals. Credit to Mark Reynolds for helping to carry Arizona’s offense and for Ryan Zimmerman, who seems a cert for a Gold Glove this year.
OF – Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia. Impressive numbers before getting hurt from the best free agent signing (so far) of the offseason.
OF – Ryan Braun, Milwaukee. Love the power and average combination.
OF – Justin Upton, Arizona. I really need a true centrefielder, but I’m sure Upton can fill in just fine. Tough call between Upton, Dunn and Hawpe, before you even get to the Kemps and Beltrans of this world, but I’ll pick the phenom.
On paper, you would have to say the AL has the stronger team, and you would like their chances assuming Roy Halladay or Zack Greinke starts for them.
As for the NL, the starting pitcher is less clear cut, as cases can be made for Cain, Licecum, Santana, Billingsley and Josh Johnson.
Will that impressive depth be the difference as the NL looks to snap their losing streak?