My Projected American League All-Star Roster

23 06 2012

Posted by Will

MLB All Star GameWhen I vote for the All-Star team every season, I vote for the players that truly deserve to make it to the Midsummer Classic. But most people have a different mindset. The All-Star game has become a popularity contest, not a game that features the game’s best players. Hence the reason that Derek Jeter has essentially won the shortstop vote once again by a landslide despite the fact that he isn’t even top-5 in the AL in shortstop WAR produced thus far in 2012.

Every year, the manager of both leagues will tend to take a few of his players. That’s the way it’s always been. And chances are that the Royals will have a few representatives of their own considering that the game is being played in their home park. There is also the rule that every team must have at least one representative.

So, here’s my list. I mostly used WAR to determine the team. You may agree or disagree with what I have here but remember that this actually has a little logic behind it. I tried to put together a team that has put up the best numbers yet may also appeal to a normal fan that is only familiar with the big names.

Starting Lineup:
C – Joe Mauer (Twins)
1B – Paul Konerko (White Sox)
2B – Robinson Cano (Yankees)
3B – Brett Lawrie (Blue Jays)
SS – Elvis Andrus (Rangers)
OF – Josh Hamilton (Rangers)
OF – Adam Jones (Orioles)
OF – Mike Trout (Angels)
DH – David Ortiz (Red Sox)

Projected Lineup:
1. CF – Mike Trout
2. RF – Adam Jones
3. 2B – Robinson Cano
4. LF – Josh Hamilton
5. DH – David Ortiz
6. 1B – Paul Konerko
7. C – Joe Mauer
8. 3B – Brett Lawrie
9. SS – Elvis Andrus

Reserve Position Players:
C – A.J. Pierzynski (White Sox)
C – Matt Wieters (Orioles)
1B – Mark Teixeira (Yankees)
1B – Prince Fielder (Tigers)
2B – Ian Kinsler (Rangers)
2B – Jason Kipnis (Indians)
3B – Adrian Beltre (Rangers)
3B – Mike Moustakas (Royals)
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians)
SS – Derek Jeter (Yankees)
OF – Mark Trumbo (Angels)
OF – Jose Bautista (Blue Jays)
OF – Josh Reddick (Athletics)

Starting Pitchers:
RHP – Justin Verlander (Tigers)*
RHP – Jake Peavy (White Sox)
RHP – Jered Weaver (Angels)
RHP – Jason Hammel (Orioles)
LHP – David Price (Rays)
LHP – Chris Sale (White Sox)
LHP – C.J. Wilson (Angels)

Relievers:
RHP – Joe Nathan (Rangers)
RHP – Chris Perez (Indians)
RHP – Fernando Rodney (Rays)
LHP – Charlie Furbush (Mariners)
LHP – Tim Collins (Royals)

All-Stars By Team:
Angels (4) – Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson
Athletics (1) – Josh Reddick
Blue Jays (2) – Brett Lawrie, Jose Bautista
Indians (3) – Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera, Chris Perez
Mariners (1) – Charlie Furbush
Orioles (3) – Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Jason Hammel
Rangers (5) – Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre, Joe Nathan
Rays (2) – David Price, Fernando Rodney
Red Sox (1) – David Ortiz
Royals (2) – Mike Moustakas, Tim Collins
Tigers (2) – Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander
Twins (1) – Joe Mauer
White Sox (4) – Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski, Jake Peavy, Chris Sale
Yankees (3) – Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter

Total All-Stars: 34
* = Projected Starting Pitcher

All-Star Almosts:
2B – Ben Zobrist (Rays)
3B – Kyle Seager (Mariners)
3B – Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)
SS – Mike Aviles (Red Sox)
SS – J.J. Hardy (Orioles)
OF – Alex Gordon (Royals)
OF – Josh Willingham (Twins)
OF – Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners)
OF – Curtis Granderson (Yankees)
OF – Alejando De Aza (White Sox)
OF – Colby Rasmus (Blue Jays)
DH – Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays)
SP – C.C. Sabathia (Yankees)
SP – Felix Hernandez (Mariners)
SP – Yu Darvish (Rangers)
SP – Matt Harrison (Rangers)
SP – Brandon Morrow (Blue Jays)
RP – Joaquin Benoit (Tigers)
RP – Scott Downs (Angels)
RP – Alexi Ogando (Rangers)

After taking over an hour to thoroughly research everything FanGraphs has to offer, this is what I have decided on. There were some big time snubs left off the list, namely Cabrera, Hernandez, Sabathia, and Darvish, who would have made the team had the rule of every team must have a representative not been in order. Some surprises from this list include the Red Sox having just one representative in Ortiz and the AL West having as many representatives as the AL East. Overall, I like this list and I think it would make for an interesting ballgame. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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The New Orioles

12 02 2011

Posted by Brady

In 2010, the Baltimore Orioles had an infield that consisted of Ty Wiggington, Brian Roberts, Ceaser Izturis, Matt Weiters, and Miguel Tejada. And an outfield that consisted of Felix Pie, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis. Luke Scott was the DH. Save for Roberts and Weiters, that whole infield is gone. Derrek Lee will be at first, J.J. Hardy at short, and Mark Reynolds at third. Nick Markakis is still in right, and Adam Jones is still in center. Pie will go to the bench, to the minors, or be moved, because Luke Scott needs to play somewhere, since Vladimir Guerrero is now the new Orioles DH. Buck Showalter has an offense. A ridiculously good offense.

Last season, Baltimore finished in 5th place in the AL East, and they scored 650 runs. They were 27th in runs scored, 20th in total bases, 24th in OBP….they were terrible. Just awful. They didn’t rank in the top half in any offensive category. But what about in 2011? The answer is in the new guys. Hardy, Lee, Guerrero, and Reynolds.

J.J. Hardy is slightly under a league average hitter with an OPS+ of 95. And he seems to have completely lost his home run power stroke going from 24 home runs in 2008, and 17 in 2009 and 2010 combined. His ISO in 2008 was .195 and in 2009 and 2010 it was .128 and .126 respectively. But what value does Hardy bring? It’s mostly in his glove. He put up a UZR of 8.1. Ranking behind Brendan Ryan, Alexi Ramirez, Cliff Pennington, and Stephen Drew in that category. Baltimore’s SS last year? Cesar Izturis put up a UZR of 5.1 . So, how big of an upgrade is it really? Izturis had an OPS+ of 50.

When Reynolds does get a hold of one, it is going over the fence. Hopefully Buck Showalter's staff will help him put more of them in play.

Mark Reynolds is the new Orioles 3rd baseman. We all know the knocks on him. He’s struck out 767 times in 2285 plate appearances, over 563 games. Including 200 times in the last 3 years. To put that in perspective, Reggie Jackson, the all time leader in getting struck out, never struck out 200 times in a season. It wasn’t until Jackson’s 6th season that he had reached Reynold’s pace. But what can he do right? Well, he is the proud owner of a career .241 ISO, and his mark last year of .234 had him in the top 20 in all of Major League Baseball last season. When Reynolds does get a hold of one, it is going over the fence. Hopefully Buck Showalter’s staff will help him put more of them in play. He’ll also need help with the glove, seeing as how he has a career -19 UZR.

Derrek Lee is now manning first base for the O’s. What is there to say about Lee that isn’t awesome? He has a .282/.367/.498 career line with a career  7.3 UZR.

As was the case with Derrek Lee, the same basic thing applies with Vladimir Guerrero. .320/.383/.567  over a 16 year career.

This future Hall of Famer has never seen a pitch he didn't like.

I once saw him hit pitch that bounced in front of him against the wall for a double. He’s big, he’s strong, and he hits it where he wants to hit it. Some people say he was the best free agent signing of the 2010 off season (though I say Jim Thome was),  and he’ll certainly be able to help this new Orioles team maybe break .500.