2009 AL All Star Starters

With just a couple days left for fans to vote for the starters of the 2009 MLB All Star Game, it’s time to look at which players deserve that honor. First up, the American League:

Catcher: Joe Mauer

This one is easy. Mauer leads all American League catchers in Batting Average, Home Runs, RBI, Runs, Hits, On-Base-Percentage, and Slugging Percentage. He’s made just one error on the season and has thrown out 9 of 26 batters who have tried to steal against him. The one negative for Mauer is that he missed the first month of the season with an injury. That just makes Mauer’s stats all that more remarkable as he leads all AL catchers in all those categories despite many fewer at-bats.

First Base: Justin Morneau

One of the tougher choices in the AL, First Base has many deserving players. Kevin Youkilis leads the league in OBP, 38 points higher than Russell Branyan who is in second place, but has just 12 home runs and 42 RBI on the year. Carlos Pena leads with 23 home runs, but sports just a .238 avergae. Mark Teixeira has 20 homers and 60 RBI, but just a .276 average. Only Justin Morneau is complete in all the stats with 18 home runs, 63 RBI (most amongst first basemen), and a .309 Batting Average. His .389 OBP is 5th between AL first baseman and his .960 OPS is 4th. He has made just one error this season and has the second highest Zone Rating amongst AL first basemen. Continue reading “2009 AL All Star Starters”

MLB All Star Starters

The Major League Baseball season is nearing its midpoint and with that comes the 2008 All Star game in Yankee Stadium. With fans voting for the All Star starters, the game many times turns into a popularity contest with deserving players not voted in as starters. Here are those American League players who should be starting at the 2008 All Star game:

Designated Hitter: I find it funny this year that there are no designated hitters have good years. I will give the nod to David Ortiz (though he is injured) with his 13 home runs and 43 RBI, but his .252 batting average makes him a non-ideal candidate. Of the 6 players qualifying for DH, only Hideki Matsui has a batting average above .265, but Matsui has only 7 home runs and 34 RBI, hardly an All Star caliber season. No DH is slugging above .500, so with the lack of talent at DH this year, I select Ortiz as he is the most balanced player amongst designated hitters.

Catcher: There aren’t very many candidates in the AL for starting catcher, but it has to go to someone. With a .332 batting average and .417 on base percentage, Joe Mauer is my choice to start at catcher. He has only 2 home runs and 27 RBI, but no other American League catcher stands out. Mauer has made only 2 errors at catcher all season and has thrown out 34% of runners. Continue reading “MLB All Star Starters”