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”

Angels Get Mightier

Photo: ESPN

Yesterday the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim acquired star first baseman Mark Teixeira from the Atlanta Braves for first baseman Casey Kotchman and a minor leaguer. Already possessing the best record in the major leagues, the Angels just got a whole lot better. Their starting pitching is dominant. Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, and John Lackey may be the best starting pitcher combination in baseball with Jered Weaver and Jon Garland. None of those five starters have an ERA above 4.30, giving the Angels a chance to win every game.

Their bullpen is lights-out. Closer Francisco Rodriguez is on pace to shatter Bobby Thigpen’s record of 57 saves in one season. Relievers Jose Arredondo and Scott Shields both have ERAs of 3.00 or below. Their team ERA is 3.88 and team WHIP is 1.29. The pitching staff is nothing less than superb and it is built for a long run in the postseason. Since only three starters are needed during the playoffs, at least one of Santana, Saunders, and Lackey would be able to pitch in every game Continue reading “Angels Get Mightier”