Tuesday June 24, 2003
American League All-Stars
This will be a two part series on the All-Star Game. Today, I will be presenting my American League All-Star selections. I think we all know who the starters will be, so I will include them. I understand that there will be 32 players on the rosters this year and 11 of them must be pitchers! Each team must still be represented.
First, an updated list of leading vote-getters for the American League came out yesterday. It seems that the starters for the American League have pretty much been determined, unless the vote changes pretty dramatically in the next week.
Here are the (probable) American League starters:
Starting Position Players -
C - Jorge Posada - New York Yankees - (.255/.406/.524, 15 HRs, 46 RBI)
1B - Carlos Delgado - Toronto Blue Jays (.305/.430/.628, 22 HR, 80 RBI)
2B - Alfonso Soriano - New York Yankees (.287/.342/.517, 20 HR, 47 RBI, 20 SB)
3B - Troy Glaus - Anaheim Angels (.270/.367/.523, 14 HR, 44 RBI)
SS - Alex Rodriguez - Texas Rangers - (.298/.383/.553, 18 HR, 43 RBI)
OF - Ichiro Suzuki - Seattle Mariners - (.356/.398/.487, 7 HR, 25 HR, 18 SB)
OF - Manny Ramirez - Boston Red Sox - (.309/.407/.549, 16 HR, 56 RBI)
OF - Torii Hunter - Minnesota Twins - (.251/.325/.435, 10 HR, 45 RBI, Gold Glove)
DH - Edgar Martinez - Seattle Mariners - (.300/.403/.543, 14 HR, 49 RBI)
Discussing who the voters selected, the only player that is really completely out of the realm of deserving the spot, is Minnesota’s Torii Hunter. But, he’s got the charisma, the smile, and the defense that people see, and apparently want to see in the All-Star game. So, I have no problem with that! Posada’s clearly the best catcher in the American League. Delgado is probably the best player in the American League this year. Soriano’s the leading vote-getter so far, and he’s a 20/20 player and we’re not even halfway through the season. A-Rod is as good as it gets! Check out Ichiro’s batting average! Manny is an All-Star, and so is Edgar!
So, there are nine of the All-Stars, meaning that I need 12 more All-Star position player reserves.
Reserve Position Players -
Minnesota Twins - AJ Pierzynski - (.292/.331/.479, 8 HR, 45 RBI)
With Posada starting, I’m only choosing one reserve, and I’m giving Pierzynski the slight nod over Toronto’s (and former Twin) Greg Myers, only because AJ is playing more. But that platoon in Toronto is great!
First Base -
Kansas City Royals - Mike Sweeney - (.321/.440/.540, 12 HR, 50 RBI)
Kansas City is having a great year, and they really don’t have any All-Stars. Sweeney is great! Beltran missed a few weeks at the beginning of the season. Basically, I’m choosing Sweeney over Jason Giambi and Frank Thomas because he’s a Royal. He may not play due to injury, so maybe Giambi will end up going instead.
Second Base -
Seattle Mariners - Bret Boone - (.318/.378/.602, 20 HR, 61 RBI)
Bret Boone is proving that 2001 was not a fluke! He’s putting up MVP numbers and leading the Mariners to the best record in the league.
Third Base -
Texas Rangers - Hank Blalock - (335/.391/.558, 12 HR, 44 RBI)
Minnesota Twins - Corey Koskie (.302/.402/.494, 11 HR, 48 RBI)
Hank Blalock was supposed to be doing this last year, but he struggled in his rookie year! He’s come back as one of the biggest surprises this year with a terrific all-around season.
Corey Koskie’s June is leaving an impression with the players, coaches and managers that may put him on the All-Star team. (My thinking is that he’ll probably be left off the list in favor of either Thomas or Giambi)
Boston Red Sox - Nomar Garciaparra - (.333/.367/.574, 10 HR, 49 RBI)
Last year, there were four shortstops on the AL All-Star roster. This year, I don’t think there’ll be more than 2. But, Garciaparra is having a great year.
Toronto Blue Jays - Vernon Wells - (.308/.352/.579, 19 HR, 72 RBI)
Cleveland Indians - Milton Bradley - (.349/.444/.532, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 12 SB)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Aubrey Huff - (.307/.366/.562, 15 HR, 43 RBI)
Detroit Tigers - Dmitri Young - (.283/.358/.535, 15 HR, 43 RBI)
Anaheim Angels - Garrett Anderson - (.316/.346/.609, 18 HRs, 66 RBI)
Here’s where you’ll find plenty of snubs. All teams must be represented, including the Tigers, Indians and Devil Rays. However, looking at the numbers of the three players from those three teams I have selected, it’s hard to really argue too much with any of them. Vernon Wells is fast becoming a star! Look at those RBIs, and he’s hitting in front of Carlos Delgado, making Delgado’s RBI numbers even more impressive! And Garrett Anderson has been good for a long time and is a true All-Star.
Utility Fielder -
Baltimore Orioles - Melvin Mora - (.361/.464/.582, 10 HR, 32 RBI)
I really wasn’t sure where to put Mora. OF? 2B? SS? He’s played them all. He’s always been a solid player, but this year, he is putting it all together! Batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging! Plus, he’s the only Oriole really worthy of an All-Star nod!
Starting Pitchers -
Chicago White Sox - Esteban Loaiza - (10-2, 2.15)
Toronto Blue Jays - Roy Halladay - (11-2, 3.57)
Oakland A’s - Barry Zito (7-5, 2.92)
Oakland A’s - Mark Mulder (10-4, 3.26)
New York Yankees - Mike Mussina - (9-4, 3.26)
New York Yankees - David Wells (9-2, 3.26)
Seattle Mariners - Jamie Moyer (10-4, 2.93)
Seattle Mariners - Gil Meche (9-3, 2.89)
Relief Pitchers -
Anaheim Angels - Brendan Donnelly (0-0, 0.47, 2 ER in 38 IP)
Seattle Mariners - Shigetoshi Hasegawa (1-0, 1.00, 4 ER in 36 IP)
Oakland A’s - Keith Foulke (4-0, 2.43, 20 Saves)
For starters, I was really looking at 2 things, wins and ERA. Roy Halladay has now won 11 straight starts (which hasn’t been done since Brad Radke did it in 1997). Based on ERA, all three A’s pitchers could have made it, but Hudson is just 5-3. Cory Lidle has a strong record, but his ERA keeps him off this team.
For the relievers, there are a couple of guys that have just incredible numbers. Donnelly and Hasegawa have been incredible. Imagine Hasegawa’s numbers if not for the Twins Lew Ford?!
And, there really aren’t many closers in the American League who are doing anything impressive this year. Foulke has been the best so far. He leads the AL with 20 saves, and his 2.00 ERA is almost a half run better than Eddie Guardado’s.
C - Toronto Blue Jays - Greg Myers (.365/.448/.591, 8 HR, 30 RBI)
1B/DH - Chicago White Sox - Frank Thomas (.275/.418/.551, 16 HR, 36 RBI)
1B - New York Yankees - Jason Giambi (.248/.394/.512, 19 HRs, 52 RBI)
1B - Minnesota Twins - Doug Mientkiewicz - (.306/.366/.493, 7 HR, 30 RBI, Gold Glove defense - not that that ever means anything in an All-Star game)
2B - Texas Rangers - Michael Young - (.319/.355/.450, 5 HR, 31 RBI)
OF - Oakland A’s - Eric Byrnes - .330/.406/.564, 9 HR, 37 RBI)
OF - Minnesota Twins - Jacque Jones - (.303/.319/.478, 9 HR, 32 RBI)
OF - Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Rocco Baldelli - (.320/.351/.454, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 11 SB)
OF – Texas Rangers – Carl Everett (.283/.362/.563, 17 HR, 48 RBI)
OF – Texas Rangers – Juan Gonzalez (.286/.319/.549, 18 HR, 50 RBI)
SP - Toronto Blue Jays - Cory Lidle (10-4, 4.82)
SP - New York Yankees - Roger Clemens (7-5, 3.54)
SP - Cleveland Indians - CC Sabathia (7-3, 3.51)
SP - Minnesota Twins - Kyle Lohse (6-5, 3.70)
RP/SP - Minnesota Twins - Johan Santana (4-1, 2.15)
RP - Minnesota Twins - LaTroy Hawkins (4-2, 2.02)
RP - Seattle Mariners - Arthur Rhodes (1-0, 1.87)
Closer - Minnesota Twins - Eddie Guardado (0-2, 2.93, 19 Saves)
And I’m sure there are other players that I snubbed by leaving off the Snubs list.
So, here’s the final tally, by teams: (# of All Stars)
5 - Seattle Mariners,
4 - New York Yankees,
3 - Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland A’s, Anaheim Angels
2 - Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers
1 - Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers
So, in another week or so when the All-Star teams and reserves are announced, it’ll be interesting to see how many of these are correct!
Again, check back tomorrow for my thoughts on the National League All-Stars.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Any Comments? Let me know your thoughts.
Twins Thoughts -
The Twins had an off-day today to get ready for the Chicago White Sox. Doug Mientkiewicz held a charity fishing tournament on Lake Minnetonka.
Tonight, the Twins will face a Seth’s All-Star, Esteban Loaiza. The Twins will counter with Rick Reed. Hopefully Justin Morneau won’t be out of the lineup any time soon!
Congratulations to Corey Koskie on being chosen as the American League player of the week! Koskie hit .429, with four home runs, 10 runs and 11 RBI.
Minor Leaguers JD Durbin and Joe Mauer have been selected to play in this year’s Futures Game. Both just recently were called up to AA New Britain. The Futures Game takes place in Chicago a couple days before the All-Star Game, and features the best minor league prospects in a ‘World vs. USA’ format. Both Durbin and Mauer will be playing for Team USA, which will be coached by Hall of Famer, Carlton Fisk. The World team will be coached by former Twin, and hopefully future Hall of Famer, Tony Oliva.
Previous Twins prospects that played in the Futures Game:
1999 - JC Romero, Michael Cuddyer
2000 - Brad Thomas, Ruben Salazar (currently the 2B for the FM Redhawks)
2001 - Grant Balfour
2002 - Michael Restovich, Justin Morneau
Don’t forget about the All-Time Greats assignment I’ve brought up the last couple of days. E-mail me your thoughts!
And finally, I’m moving up! Aaron’s Baseball Blog has moved me from “Down on the Farm” section of his links up to the “Pinch Hitter” level! Next up - I wanna be one of his “Every Day Players”! By the way, be sure to check out his article today. It’s kinda the opposite of my article today. Very interesting!
Have a great Tuesday!
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