Monday, July 6, 2009

American League All-Star Ballot

Next week is the 2009 edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Selections for both teams often are controversial because they are picked by the fans, leaving it more of a popularity contest rather than one based on the merits of the players.

With that, this is the ballot I submitted last week on the fan balloting on before voting closed at the end of the day Thursday, July 2. Today we will cover the American League, and tomorrow the National League.

First, the junior circuit:

First Base: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
This was somewhat of a tough call between Cabrera and the Red Sox's Kevin Youkilis. Both have comparable stats (Cabrera: .331 batting avrage with 16 home runs, Youkilis: .314 BA with 14 HR). It could be made even more complicated with Minnesota's Justin Morneau (.309 average with 19 HR) thrown in the mix.

In the end, I used the Most Valuable Player criteria. Could the Red Sox do as well without Youkilis? More than likely. The Tigers don't do as well without Cabrera.

Second base: Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays
This is based on overall skill and best stats. Hill has a .301 average with 19 home runs. The Yankees' Robinson Cano comes close (.300 average and 12 home runs).

Shortstop: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
We'll call him the sexy choice, because he has been consistently good (.309 BA, 9 HR this year) for several years. It was hard to ignore Tampa Bay's Jason Bartlett's .362 average, but the three-week stint on the disabled list kills his selection.

Third base: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Purely statistically driven in a weak field. Longoria's .297 average and 16 home runs puts him over despite the Blue Jays' Scott Rolen's .333 average.

Catcher: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
No contest here. When you got a player hitting to close .400 (.392 as of July 2) like Mauer, he must be picked, no questions asked.

Outfielders: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners; Torii Hunter, Los Angeles Angels; Johnny Dye, Chicago White Sox
Ichiro and Torii Hunter were gimmes, but Dye was a tougher pick over the Yankees' Johnny Damon and the Orioles' Andruw Jones.

Tomorrow we will look

Copyright 2009 - Wait Til Next Century.

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