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Asher's 2007 All Star Ballot
by Asher B. Chancey, BaseballEvolution.com
June 28, 2007
My All-Star Ballot
With the 2007 Major League All-Star Game, and with it the unveiling of the 2007 BaseballEvolution.com Player Rankings, looming right around the corner, here are my picks for who should represent the two leagues at the mid-summer classic.
As a sidenote, I want to point out that every position is filled with someone who plays that position; thus, the outfielder will have a left, center, and right fielder, rather than clumping all outfielders together.
Catcher – Jorge Posada, New York Yankees
I wanted to go with John Buck, so that we could have a member of the Kansas City Royals here, but Posada is having too good of a season. He is currently 3-4-5ing it for the Yankees, and his batting average is fourth in the American League.
First Base – Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
There is a bit of controversy here, because the All-Star Game is being played in a National League park this season, which means no DH. Thus, uber-DH David Ortiz is being voted in by many as the American League’s first baseman.
a) The All-Star Game is an exhibition game, people. You know what that means? It means that no one will mind if we don’t let the pitchers hit. In my mind, you let the AL send a DH, and you let the NL send an extra offensive player and let him DH, every year, regardless of where the game is being played.
b) Everyone is justifying Ortiz’s selection by pointing out that he is having a better season than any of the first basemen, and that he played a capable first base during interleague play. That is all fine. The fact remains, Ortiz does not play first base. He plays DH. When picking the All-Star first baseman, I would like to confine the eligible players to players who actually play the position.
Second Base – Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles
If you asked me a month ago, I would have said Aaron Hill, but not now. Roberts is having a fantastic year so far, now that he has finally stopped trying to his homeruns. His OBP is over .400, he has 25 steals in 75 games, and he is on pace to score over 100 runs for a team that does not have a lot of guys driving him in.
This spot could easily belong to B.J. Upton if not for his low games played total.
Third Base – Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
Shortstop – Carlos Guillen, Detroit Tigers
Derek Jeter is having a fine offensive season, as is Orlando Cabrera. Guillen is having a better season than both these guys. Jeter currently ranks last in the majors in zone rating (seriously, who do we have to pay to Robin Yount this guy to the outfield?), while Guillen and Cabrera are both in the middle of the pack. But Guillen currently has a .577 slugging percentage, and his OPS of .969 is sixth in the American League.
Left Field – Gary Sheffield, Detroit Tigers
Unfortunately, the two best outfielders in the American League both play right field, so Vlad gets the snub. After a slow start, Sheffield has rebounded nicely, and his OPS is now up to .922. He has more walks than strikeouts (48/33), 17 homeruns, and is scoring nearly a run per game.
Good thing the Yankees got rid of him, eh?
Center Field – Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners
Lots of guys having good seasons here – Tori Hunter, Curtis Granderson, Grady Sizemore – but Ichiro is having a great season. His OBP is well over .400, he has 22/24 stolen bases, and he is a big reason for the Mariners resurgence.
Right Field – Magglio Ordonez, Detroit Tigers
Only A-Rod is having a better year than Magglio this season.
Catcher – Russ Martin, Los Angeles Dodgers
Eight homeruns, 13 steals in 15 chances, .362 OBP, leads his team in doubles and RBI. He is the only offensively productive catcher in the National League this season.
First Base – Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers
This slot is going to go to Pujols, and I am probably fine with that. But Pujols is enduring his worst season as a major leaguer, while Fielder has been doing his best Cecil impersonation for the Brewers. With 27 homeruns, he easily leads the National League, and is on pace for over 50. He also ranks third in the league in OPS behind Barry Bonds and Chipper Jones. Pujols is the better player, but Fielder is definitely having the better season.
Second Base – Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
There are several second basemen having fine seasons in the NL – Dan Uggla, Brandon Phillips, Orlando Hudson, Kelly Johnson – but they are all competing for second place. Utley is one of a kind.
Third Base – Miguel Cabrera, Florida Marlins
While David Wright suffers through an identity crisis (16 stolen bases, 13 homeruns) and Chipper Jones plays well when he is not begging out of games, Cabrera is enjoying the better season of the NL third basemen by a slim margin. I can’t wait for him to get away from Dolphin Stadium – his OPS is 50 points higher on the road.
Shortstop – Jose Reyes, New York Mets
Hanley Ramirez and Edgar Renteria are currently both having better offensive seasons, but rank last and second to last in zone rating. For that matter, they aren’t having that much better of offensive seasons, but are getting soaked by Reyes on defense. Reyes currently ranks second in the majors behind uber-shortstop Omar Vizquel.
I am having less and less respect for big offense at shortstop from guys who can’t field the position.
Left Field – Barry Bond, San Francisco Giants
I simply can’t believe some people don’t get that Bonds belongs here.
Center Field – Aaron Rowand, Philadelphia Phillies
Can’t believe I am saying this, actually, but Rowand is having a big year, and his offense was huge when Howard was struggling. Always great on defense, and having a fine offensive season for the first time. In the NL this season, there is only Rowand, Hunter Pence, and then everyone else.
Right Field – Ken Griffey, Jr., Cincinnati Reds
Having his best season in nearly a decade. Find me another right fielder in the National League.
So there you have it. As with Major League Baseball, I will leave the pitchers to the managers to decide.
Questions? Concerns? Comments? Asher lives in Philadelphia, PA, and can be reached at email@example.com.
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