Rayhawk Review All Star Game Selections

Editors Note – This piece was put together entirely by my great friend and ex season ticket partner (ex to the Rays, still have season tix with him to the Bucs) Daniel Edwards.

As I pondered which Rays would be in St. Louis on July 14, I decided to make my own projections according to the actual selection rules. I must admit, this proved to be more difficult than I originally anticipated. I now have a much greater appreciation for each Manger’s responsibility to fill the roster. Having only 7 selections to fulfill an obligation to ensure each team is represented as well filling up a roster to be effective in a potentially long game is easier said than done. With that being said, the selections have to be made and some deserving players will always be watching from home. My selections below deviate a bit from years past, lacking superstar veterans such as ARod, Chipper, Griffey Jr., Manny etc. But, I wanted this to represent the players that I felt have played the best baseball in the first half of 2009. After I finished I inevitably looked back at some of the players that didn’t make it and questioned how I could leave them off. With my apologies to a handful of guys I had to stick with my original picks.

I’m sure the actual selection will differ greatly from mine and that many people will disagree with them, but I encourage any debate over these selections. And yes, you can call me a homer, but I do have 4 Rays making the squad (including Zobrist). Although, I believe all of them will at least deserve consideration.

First a quick breakdown of the selection rules:

  • 32 players per team
  • Fan Voting – Determines the 8 position starters for each league
  • Player/Manager Voting – Determines the first 8 pitchers (5 starters and 3 relievers) as well as one reserve at each position for each league
  • All Star Managers – Select 7 players to fill the roster to 31 (At this time each team must be represented)
  • 32nd Roster Spot – The Commissioners Office releases a list of 5 players from each league which allows fans to vote on the most deserving. Top vote getters from each league will earn the final roster spot

For the purposes of this exercise I will assume the current voting standings will remain the same as they are at the time of this posting.   The stats are also current as of this posting.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Current Fan Voting Standings

Pos

Player

Team

Comment

C

Joe Mauer

MIN

Best hitting catcher in the game

1B

Mark Texiera

NYY

It’s either him or Youk

2B

Ian Kinsler

TEX

Pedroia is close but Kinsler deserves it

3B

Evan Longoria

TB

It may be a few years before he’s the starter again because of ARod

SS

Derek Jeter

NYY

The face of the Yankees

OF

Jason Bay

BOS

Having the best season of his career

OF

Ichiro Suzuki

SEA

Hitting .374

OF

Josh Hamilton

TEX

I think his performance in the 2008 HR Derby got him an automatic invitation

Pitchers – 5 Starts and 3 Relievers

Pos

Player

Team

Comment

SP

Zack Greinke

KC

Sub 2 ERA… Should be the starter

SP

Roy Halladay

TOR

Toronto’s hanging around because of him

SP

Felix Hernandex

SEA

The King is back

SP

Jered Weaver

LAA

Where would the Angels pitching staff be without him

SP

Kevin Millwood

TEX

Could be EJax but Millwood has been a horse this year

CL

Jonathan Papelbon

BOS

If he saves the game let’s just hope he keeps his clothes on

CL

Joe Nathan

MIN

1.52 ERA

CL

David Aardsma

SEA

1.53 ERA plus 45 K in 35.1 IP… Mariano will probably be here instead

Reserves – 1 at each position

Pos

Player

Team

Comment

C

Victor Martinez

CLE

Splits time b/w C & 1B but flat out rakes. Napoli or Posada could also make it, but I found too many other deserving players.

1B

Kevin Youkilis

BOS

Youk and Texiera could trade places

2B

Aaron Hill

TOR

19 HRs and 56 RBIs at 2B

3B

Brandon Inge

DET

He’s better than most think

SS

Jason Bartlett

TB

Homer pick? Maybe… But compare his stats versus other SS… He has a .965 OPS

OF

Torii Hunter

LAA

Hamilton’s 35 HRs at the old Yankee Stadium cost him the starting spot

OF

Carl Crawford

TB

Willie Mays Hayes

OF

Johnny Damon

NYY

As much as this pains me, he is having a hell of a year

Manager Selections

Pos

Player

Team

Comment

1B

Justin Morneau

MIN

Already has over 60 RBI

2B

Robinson Cano

NYY

Quietly having a great year

OF

Jemaine Dye

CHW

Even at 35 he’s putting up huge numbers

OF

Ben Zobrist

TB

Maddon may try to talk himself out of this one, then he will remember that the Zobrist has a 1.026 OPS

SP

Dallas Braden

OAK

It was either Dallas Braden or Dallas Braden from the A’s

SP

Edwin Jackson

DET

He deserves a spot and Maddon won’t let him down

MR

George Sherrill

BAL

It was either him or Jones from the Orioles and this way Maddon can pick Zobrist

Final Roster Spot – Selection in Red

Pos

Player

Team

Comment

1B

Miguel Cabrera

DET

He’s the new Manny

1B

Russell Branyan

SEA

It’s tough to leave him off… but you can’t have a team of 1B

SP

Cliff Lee

CLE

One of the only bright spots in Cleveland

MR

Mariano Rivera

NYY

It would be unfair to the other players have to the greatest closer ever and a Yankee in this category. In my scenario he is my pick to win. Most likely he is in Aardsma’s position

OF

Adam Jones

BAL

Could easily replace Sherrill

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Current Fan Voting Standings

Pos

Player

Team

Comment

C

Yadier Molina

STL

Should be McCann but the game is in St. Louis

1B

Albert Pujols

STL

Best hitter in the game

2B

Chase Utley

PHI

2B shouldn’t put up numbers like this

3B

David Wright

NYM

This will probably be his spot for years to come, but where is his HR power?

SS

Hanley Ramirez

FLA

Thank God the fans finally started paying attention. Rollins was winning up until recently. (Quick message to J-Roll, Thanks for killing my fantasy team)

OF

Raul Ibanez

PHI

Best season of his career

OF

Ryan Braun

MIL

OPS nearing 1

OF

Carlos Beltran

NYM

Beltran’s been good and deserves to be an All Star, but Hawpe should be starting

Pitchers – 5 Starts and 3 Relievers

Pos

Player

Team

Comment

SP

Dan Haren

ARI

If he starts like he should he can’t get the win… But he’s used to that

SP

Matt Cain

SF

Who would want to face this 1-2 combo in the playoffs?

SP

Tim Lincecum

SF

Who would want to face this 1-2 combo in the playoffs?

SP

Josh Johnson

FLA

He’s scary good

SP

Johan Santana

NYM

Stats are almost identical to Yovani Gallardo, but Gallardo’s name isn’t Johan

CL

Fancisco Rodriguez

NYM

Take a look at his stats

CL

Heath Bell

SDG

See above

CL

Ryan Franklin

STL

See above

Reserves – 1 at each position

Pos

Player

Team

Comment

C

Brian McCann

ATL

As mentioned above, he should be starting

1B

Prince Fielder

MIL

He’s better than his dad

2B

Orlando Hudson

LAD

I flipped between him and Freddy Sanchez a hundred times

3B

Pablo Sandoval

SF

Mark Reynolds will probably get this spot since he does have over 20 HR. But Sandoval has a higher OPS, and unlike Reynolds, he hasn’t struck out 100 times

SS

Miguel Tejada

HOU

Could be Tulowitzki, but Miguel is hitting nearly 70 points higher

OF

Brad Hawpe

COL

See Beltran

OF

Justin Upton

ARI

He should get the to All Star game before his brother

OF

Adam Dunn

WAS

Tough pick especially with his low BA, but nearly 20 HR and 60 BB. Zimmerman could make it if he doesn’t.

Manager Selections

Pos

Player

Team

Comment

1B

Adrian Gonzalez

SDG

He’s slowly going to become a household name

1B

Ryan Howard

PHI

Manuel will make sure his slugger tags along.

2B

Brandon Phillips

CIN

Tough call here on selecting a Red. Cueto and Cordero cold be here as well.

OF

Matt Kemp

LAD

Kemp, Billingsley or Broxton? More than one could make it, but in my scenario Duke and Lilly had to be picked

SP

Zach Duke

PIT

If Sanchez were to get picked above I’m not sure Duke would make it. But he deserves it.

SP

Ted Lilly

CHC

It was Lilly or Lee. There were some teams that had tough picks. But surprisingly the Cubs really don’t have anyone that deserved a spot. Lilly’s not a bad pitcher to take to St. Louis though

SP

Yovani Gallardo

MIL

I hope he makes it

Final Roster Spot – Selection in Red

Pos

Player

Team

Comment

1B

Todd Helton

COL

35 and still hitting above .300

3B

Mark Reynolds

ARI

When he doesn’t strike out he hits the ball hard

SP

Jonny Cueto

CIN

I think he wins. Should have Lilly’s spot

SP

Chad Billingsley

LAD

He’s having a great year

CL

Francisco Cordero

CIN

Cordero, Hoffman and Broxton – If they don’t make it at least one should be in the running for the final spot

Tags: 2009 MLB All Star Game

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