Not in HD MLB All-Star Teams
No MLB All-Star team is perfect, between fans screwing up the starting lineups to managers being hamstrung by the, “every team must be represented” rule, there will always be snubs. We just have to deal with it. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be allowed to debate the merits of those selected vs. those left off the team.
I polled our five staff writers – myself included – for their versions of the NL and AL starters as well as one backup at each position. I used a basic point allocation, starters received two points with backups receiving one. I tallied up the results, formed the two teams into starting lineups and this is what I came up with.
1.) Carl Crawford – LF – Tampa Bay
Crawford leads the league in stolen bases and has hit for a high average. I don’t see how it could be anyone else. He was unanimously voted in by all five writers.
2.) Jason Bartlett – SS – Tampa Bay
Our second of two starters representing the Rays, Bartlett beats out Derek Jeter based on his .358 average and an OPS of nearly 1.000. Bartlett also has 17 stolen bases. The two hole is a good spot for him.
3.) Joe Mauer – C – Minnesota
You could make a case for the three and four hitters on this squad to be swapped. But going left-right-left-right-left-right with our one-six hitters will create some major match-up problems for the National League.
Oh yeah, and Mauer is hitting .389. Not too shabby.
4.) Evan Longoria – 3B – Tampa Bay
Tell me again how Tampa Bay is in third place in the East with three of the top-four hitters in this lineup?
Oh yeah, pitching.
It’s really a shame considering one could also make a case for Ben Zobrist on this team – at what position though? – and the fact that B.J. Upton is finally starting to swing it.
David Price and Scott Kazmir really need to step it up a notch. If this team misses the postseason it will be sad and pathetic.
5.) Justin Morneau – 1B – Minnesota
Five players into our AL All-Star lineup and we are only represented by two teams. Morneau deserves this spot, though. Check the numbers Teixeira and Youk fans…
Morneau has been the best AL first baseman. All five of us voted him in. Sorry to be the one to break it to you.
6.) Torii Hunter – CF – Los Angeles (of Anaheim)
This surprises me as much as it does you. Not that Hunter hasn’t been a great player, it’s just after a decent but unspectacular 2008 season I wasn’t expecting that he would be the only starting outfielder for the AL squad all five of us would agree on.
He has been the only consistently fantastic player the Angels have had this year.
7.) Aaron Hill – 2B – Toronto
If not for a mammoth collapse by Ian Kinsler, this spot would be his. Kinsler hit .322 in April only to be followed by a .243 May and a .245 June.
Hill on the other hand has been a beacon of hope and consistency. Well except for June when he too hit .245.
Oh well, Hill gets the nod as he was voted in by a hair over Kinsler.
8.) Jason Bay – RF – Boston
Bay barely made the cut over Ichiro. They were tied in every conceivable way. Total points; check. First place votes; check. Number of times left completely off a ballot; check.
One of us had to actually change his ballot and give Bay a second place vote, just to break the tie so I wouldn’t have to flip a coin.
9.) Zach Greinke – SP – Kansas City
There was no debate as to who the AL starter should be. Greinke was first on every ballot, with Roy Halladay coming in second on each one.
A phenomenal first half for the guy who was out of baseball three years ago.
1.) Hanley Ramirez – SS – Florida
A no-doubter. Reyes wasn’t healthy or effective enough to even make this a competition.
2.) David Wright – 3B – New York
No power? No problem.
Wright has still managed to hit .326 and steal 20 bases. Thus the two-hole fits him quite nicely.
3.) Chase Utley – 2B – Philadelphia
It’s a toss-up between who should hit third on this team. Pujols-Utley, Utley-Pujols – either works. I chose to go Utley- Pujols to break up the string of right-handers.
Utley has been the only dominate NL second baseman this season.
Don’t even try arguing with that.
4.) Albert Pujols – 1B – St. Louis
Best… player… in… baseball.
5.) Raul Ibanez – LF – Philadelphia
I have to come clean and admit I was wrong about Ibanez. When my bro-in-law, Jeremiah, bid on and won him in our auction dynasty league, I told him he was throwing his money away. I thought he just wasn’t a very talented player.
I biffed that one.
Ibanez starts on our team.
6.) Ryan Braun – CF – Milwaukee
I hate having to play Braun in center, but unfortunately I didn’t have any better options based on the outfielders voted in on this team.
Braun has been a top-ten fantasy player this season. Still, on this star-studded field, he only reaches the six-hole.
Tough love baby.
7.) Brad Hawpe – RF – Colorado
Justin Upton came yay close to beating Hawpe out, but the Colorado right fielder was able to stay strong in the polls withstanding Upton’s onslaught.
Hawpe hasn’t shown a ton of power – even with 13 homers – but his OPS has been stellar as has his batting average.
8.) Brian McCann – C – Atlanta
Both significant Molina brothers (Yadier and Bengie) garnered votes, but McCann eeked out the position. Bengie came the closest, falling just two points shy of tying McCann for the lead.
Some voters shyed away from the Braves catcher due to his rough start to the season and his time spent on the DL. Lucky for him though, the competition wasn’t strong as 2008 standouts, Geovany Soto and Russell Martin have completely fallen off the radar thus far this season.
9.) Tim Lincecum – SP – San Francisco
For as much attention the Lincecum or Dan Haren debate has been given, it really wasn’t much of a choice at all for the Not in HD guys. Lincecum would have won hands-down if not for a “mostly joking” Matt Cain pick by Nick Nevares.
Though to be fair, he knew his vote wouldn’t sway the spot at all so he chose to be a funny man.
Alright folks. There you have it. The starting nine for each league, Not in HD style.
Agree? Disagree? Debate the merits of this team in the comment section.