A week ago, I gave you what I think should be the starting-lineup for the NL in this year's MLB All-Star Game. A couple days ago, the current votes for each position in the AL ballot were submitted.The most votes are for Twins' Catcher, Joe Mauer. The second most are for the New York Yankees' captain, SS Derek Jeter. This year, Jeter is batting .276, with 4 homers and 27 RBI's. While he may be one of the better AL Shortstops this year, a strong case could be made for the Rangers' Shortstop, Elvis Andrus. He is batting .310, with 0 homers and 12 RBI's. However, he does have 17 stolen bases.
While most of the voting seems about right, there is a high possibility that an undeserving player will start 1st Base; Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees. He is batting .209, with 7 homers and 30 RBI's. So, when you are filling out the All-Star ballot for the AL, try not to vote just all Yankees or Redsox. Most of their players aren't worthy All-Star Game starters this year. As indicated by the current votes, a lot of deserving players are in 1st for their respective positions. For the most part, I can agree with the current results. But, I have some results I don't agree with. Here is who I think should get the top vote for each position on the AL ballot, as well as where I think they should be in the starting-lineup. Followed by that, I'll present what I think would be the worst possible AL starting-lineup. This is for all the people who want to give the NL a real edge to start the game, though none of the guys I list in the worst possible lineup will even make it to the All-Star Game as a bench player. Anyway, here is who I think should start for the AL (This is as of 5/26/10):
RF Ichiro Suzuki, SEA- When you think about a base-hit to lead off a game, one name comes to mind; Ichiro Suzuki. He is always an All-Star Game given, and this year is no different. He leads the AL with 64 hits, and has a .352 batting average. This is definitely the guy you put at the top of the order.
CF Carl Crawford, TB- He is a good pick to bat 2nd. He is batting .320 and has stolen 14 bases so far. The combination of Suzuki and Crawford could cause trouble for the NL for the first 3 or 4 innings.
1B Miguel Cabrera, DET- He is one of the best hitters in the MLB. So far, he is batting .331 with 10 homers and 40 RBI's. If the two above him get on base, you can count on Cabrera to drive them in.
DH Vladimir Guerrero, TEX- He is the most dangerous hitter in the game today in my opinion. He can almost take anything that you throw him over the fences. While he is getting older, he hasn't lost his swing. This year, he is batting .347 with 12 homers and 42 RBI's.
2B Robinson Cano, NYY- I hate to say it, because I hate the Yankees, but Cano deserves to start. He is batting .335, with 9 homers and 28 RBI's.
LF Nelson Cruz, TEX- He is a great hitter and he deserves to start. He is batting .337, with 9 homers and 33 RBI's.
3B Evan Longoria, TB- He is the best 3B in the AL, and my pick for starting 3rd baseman. He is batting .312 with 9 homers and 38 RBI's.
C Joe Mauer, MIN- He has been one of the most productive catchers at the plate in recent memory, and definitely gets the start behind the plate. He is batting .346, with 2 homers and 21 RBI's.
SS Elvis Andrus, TEX- Sorry Jeter, I got you on the bench. Andrus has a higher batting average than Jeter, as well as good speed, stealing 17 bases.
When matched with my pick for the NL starting-lineup, I believe this lineup will lead to a very competitive first 3 or 4 innings of this years All-Star Game. What do you think? Would you change anything? Let us know in the comment section. Also, as promised, here is the worst possible AL All-Star lineup that you could vote for:
C Lou Marson, CLE- .206 AVG, 0 HR, 3 RBI
1B Garrett Atkins, BAL- .222 AVG, 0 HR, 6 RBI
2B Gordon Beckham, CWS- .196 AVG, 1 HR, 9 RBI
SS Cesar Izturis, BAL- .231 AVG, 0 HR, 9 RBI
3B Brandon Wood, LAA- .156 AVG, 2 HR, 7 RBI
OF Matt LaPorta, CLE- .206 AVG., 1 HR, 5 RBI
OF Grady Sizemore, CLE- .211 AVG, 0 HR, 13 RBI
OF Milton Bradley, SEA- .222 AVG, 2 HR, 12 RBI
DH Nick Johnson, NYY- .167 AVG, 2 HR, 8 RBI