First look @ my 2009 MLB All-Stars

June 3, 2009

So I went to my first Mariner game of 2009 and I picked up an All-Star ballot and filled it out with these results:

American League

First Base – Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins – This was the toughest choice I made on the entire ballot. Mark Teixeira has been beasting over the past month, posting a .345 average to go along with 13 homers and a ridiculous 34 RBI. No one in baseball has been hotter. However, 85% of Teixeira’s production has come in that span and Morneau has been consistent all season long, managing to better Big Tex in both runs and RBI, while posting a much better season average (.345 vs. .279). Miguel Cabrera and Kevin Youkilis have also had great seasons so far, but Morneau is still the pick… for now.

Second Base – Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers – Again, another tough choice. Kinsler has tanked in the past month, posting a .219 average, which puts his season average (.277) significantly lower than Aaron Hill’s (.328), who has posted similar counting numbers. However, I’m still giving Kinsler the slight edge because he’s a threat on the base paths and a more exciting player. Robinson Cano and Brian Roberts are heating up too.

Shortstop – Jason Bartlett, Tampa Bay Rays – Not even a recent DL stint has hurt Barlett’s stance as the best offensive shortstop in the league during the first third of the season. His numbers are ridiculous: .373-7-30 with a 1.014 OPS. Are you fucking kidding me? What’s more absurd is that the 7 HR he has in 161 ABs this season is only one less than he hit in 1297 ABs over the past three years combined. That’s mind-blowing. He’s also 13 RBI short of his career high and we’re only a third of the way through the season. It just goes to show you how dope that Tampa Bay line-up has become.

Third Base – Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays – A no-brainer. With A-Rod injured for all of April, Longoria has jumped way ahead of the pack. He’s hitting .322 with 13 homers and an MLB-leading 55 RBI. No one else at this position is even close to that kind of production.

Catcher – Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins – Easiest pick on the ballot. Mauer has barely cracked 100 at bats, but he’s almost matched his career high in homers. On top of that, the dude is hitting .433. His 1.389 OPS is by far the best in baseball and even though his position mates have 50-70 more at bats, he’s already bested everyone in homers and is only 3 RBI off position-leader Victor Martinez who has logged over twice as many ABs. Sick.

Outfield – Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles, Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays, Jason Bay, Boston Red Sox – I wonder if the Mariners are regretting trading Adam Jones yet? Dude is hitting .344 and is on a pace for 38 homers, 124 RBI, 141 Runs and 14 stolen bases. Those are MVP-worthy numbers and while I expect his power numbers to dip a bit, I do think he is capable of stealing about 30 bases. Carl Crawford is batting .319 with 40 runs… those are good numbers, but he’s on pace for 94 stolen bases. That’s all that really needs to be said. I originally went with a home town bias and picked Ichiro over Bay, but then I got home and looked at the numbers again and realized how stupid that was. Ichiro has a nice average and a long hitting streak, but that’s about it. Bay is on pace for 40+ homers and about 160 RBI. Retarded.

National League

First Base – Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals – No surprise here. Adrian Gonzalez is having a real nice season with a 69 homer pace, but that’s sure to drop off, and Pujols simply has better all-around numbers posting a .339 average to go with 16 homers and 45 RBI, despite being constantly pitched around. Toss in 7 stolen bases from the big guy and only 18 Ks (absurd for a power hitter) and this is still an easy choice.

Second Base – Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies – Utley has been mediocre over the past month (.264, 4 HR), but he’s still far and away the most production two-bagger in the NL posting a .299 average to go with 12 HRs and 36 RBI.

Shortstop – Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins, Miguel Tejada, Houston Astros – Okay, maybe this was the toughest choice on the ballot. It’s so close that I can’t even call it. Both of these guys have posted great averages (.346 for Hanley, .362 for Tejada), while Hanley has the lead in runs and Tejada has the edge in RBI. If Tejada wasn’t hitting .360, I’d give the vote to Hanley because of his 25 stolen base pace and slight lead in homers, but right now, it’s still too tough to call. Give it another month though and I think Hanley will be the clear favorite.

Third Base – Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals – Again, I went with David Wright on my ballot, but I didn’t realize his average had dropped .40 points in the past 10 games or so. Not only is Zimmerman now hitting for a better average (.322 vs. .321), but he’s crushing Wright in the counting numbers with 11 homers, 40 runs, and 37 RBI.

Outfield – Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia Phillies, Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks, Carlos Beltran, New York Mets – Ibanez is as much of a cinch as Joe Mauer was and I thought that before he went 3 for 5, with a double, two homers and five RBI tonight. Check out this guy’s pace: .340, 139 runs, 62 homers, 165 RBI, and 13 SBs… that would go down as the best offensive season of all-time if it happened. Obviously, he is going to regress, but still, this is your NL MVP for the first third of the season… easily. Upton has posted some really good numbers with a .322 average, 10 homers, and 33 RBI… that’s impressive… but the most ridiculous thing about it is that the kid is only 21 years old. WTF. I gave Carlos Beltran the nod over Matt Kemp because he’s crushing Kemp in average (.352 vs. .310) while posting similar counting numbers in 25 less at bats.

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