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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Potential Hall of Famers: Miguel Cabrera

9 09 2010

Posted by Brady

This is the second in my Potential Hall of Fame series. Today’s subject is the face of the Detroit Tigers franchise, a true Twins killer, and a truly elite hitter. Miguel Cabrera.

When I think of words to describe Miguel Cabrera, the first word I think of is “monster”. But what other words are there? Champion? He does have a ring, with the 2003 Marlins. Consistent? He’s hit .320 or higher in 5 out his 8 seasons. And 6 of those years, he’s hit 30 or more home runs.  He’s a 5 time All-Star. Essentially, he is a poor man’s Albert Pujols.

At the dish, there is literally nothing this man can’t do. In his 8 years, he’s hit 242 home runs. ZiPS has projected him hitting 5 more this year, bringing his season total to 38.  He is a legitimate threat to hit what old-timers consider the definitive home run milestone. 500. What’s the most amazing thing about this? He’s only 27.  He has more power than a good majority of players in the game. Advanced statistics agree with this. Cabrera has put up an ISO of .237.

Miguel Cabrera seems to hit an automatic .320 with 30 home runs every year.

Not only does this man have power, but he has patience. Throughout his career, he has only swung at 27% of pitches outside of the zone. While higher than Joe Mauer’s, it is lower than Vladimir Guerrero’s. Either way, that has given him a career OBP of .388 lifetime, and .428 this year.

Throughout the American League, when your team is in a tied game, and there are runners on, late innings, this is one of the guys you do not want to pitch to. He will find a a way to hurt you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a Twins game, and Miguel Cabrera does what you thought was impossible. All I have to do is go back to game 163 of last year. He had two hits. A home run and a double. And this was after run in with the law, and hitting below the Mendoza line for his last 7 games.

But, let this be said about Miguel Cabrera. He is purely an offensive force. He is a perennial 6 WAR player, and that is with a -60.6 UZR. Now, in all fairness, that is spread out over first base, third base, left field, and right field.

Miguel Cabrera can hit with the best of them. You always hear about Justin

Miguel Cabrera is essentially, a poor man's Albert Pujols.

Morneau hitting .300 with 30 home runs every year. And while that isn’t entirely accurate, it’s close. And he’s a borderline potential Hall of Famer. Well, Miguel Cabrera seems to hit an automatic .320 with 30 home runs every year. As far as I’m concerned, he just has to keep doing some semblance of what he has been doing over the last few years, and he will have his face in bronze in Cooperstown.