Just like the NL crop this afternoon, let’s take a look at where the AL voting would leave us as of today, and then I’ll give my picks below.
Catcher: Russell Martin
First Base: Adrian Gonzalez
Second Base: Robinson Cano
Shortstop: Derek Jeter
Third Base: Alex Rodriguez
Left Field: Josh Hamilton
Center Field: Curtis Granderson
Right Field: Jose Bautista
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz
The moral of this story? There are too many Yankees fans currently occupying the planet. Also, they have a lot of money and some pretty good players. That said, if I were picking the team, the line-up would be significantly less Yankee-centric, and I think most of us could agree that that would be a great thing.
My team? Glad you asked. Same as before – starters listed first, every team gets a rep.
Avila has been the league’s best catcher this year, Wieters is quietly having a good season, and Suzuki gets the A’s nod here because I couldn’t figure out how to get Trevor Cahill on the pitching staff – the rest of that roster is blech.
No real news here – these guys are pretty awesome.
Kendrick gets the start so that Zobrist can fill the utility role, and Cano gets the nod over Pedroia because he’s healthy.
Ramirez’s massive imporvement deserves to be recognized, and his superior defense gives him the nod over Cabrera. Peralta is probably one of the surprising first half stories, but he’s legitimately been excellent for the Tigers.
Longoria lost his spot when it was pointed out that I forgot to include David Ortiz at DH, and someone had to go. Lots of good candidates here, though.
We make room for the extra infielders by only carrying five outfielders – Zobrist can move to the OF at the end of the game. The first two are easy calls, and Joyce has been good enough to earn this. Span is having a terrific year and Minnesota needs a rep, while Gordon is having a slightly less great year but is the best of the KC bunch.
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz
.437 wOBA. That is all.
I don’t know that there’s a credible case to exclude any of the first seven, who are all among the game’s premier starting pitchers, but there are a lot of guys who could make a strong case for that final spot. I went with Ogando over other deserving picks including James Shields, Michael Pineda, and Justin Masterson. Sorry guys – only so many spots, and way too many good arms in the AL this year.
Rivera has earned a lifetime achievement spot, but he’s still dominating, so he gets his usual closer role. Walden brings his ridiculous fastball to the bullpen, and Rafael Perez gives us a high quality lefty. Pauley is the controversial pick of the day, but it’s hard to argue against the guy who is #1 among AL relievers in both innings pitched and ERA. He’s obviously not as good as his numbers suggest, but for two months, he’s been lights out. There are a bunch of guys who could reasonably fill that last bullpen spot, of course, and I won’t argue if you want Kyle Farnsworth (this deserves a post in itself), David Robertson, or Daniel Bard instead.
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