Friday, June 24, 2011

Off Base 2011 AL All Stars

For some reason, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance granted me membership and occasionally asks me to vote on things. This time it's for the All Star Game.

Disclaimer: I may tend to overemphasize WAR (Wins Above Replacement) but at least I'm not some homer voting for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Catcher: Alex Avila, Detroit
9 HR, .300 AVG, .373 OBP, .532 SLG, .390 wOBA, 2.5 WAR
Avila is having a pretty good season which is more than you can say about the majority of catchers in the AL. Plus, his presence keeps the Tigers from having to stick Victor Martinez behind the dish.
Next In Line: Pass
If forced to choose, I suppose it's Carlos Santana.
10 HR, .232 AVG, .360 OBP, .414 SLG, .341 wOBA, 1.8 WAR
Santana has been a disappointment this year and I was tempted to put Matt Wieters here until I looked up his on base percentage. Woof.
Fans Pick (6/21): Russell Martin, New York
Yeah, yeah. He's not having a bad season but Avila is better. I'm actually a little surprised that Avila is second in voting.

First Base: Adrian Gonzalez, Boston
15 HR, .359 AVG, .410 OBP, .609 SLG, .437 wOBA, 7.4 UZR, 4.4 WAR
Gonzalez is having the monster season everybody expected out of him and might be the first half AL MVP. It's really hard to find a flaw in his game. I hate Boston and their tremendously run front office.
Next In Line: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
15 HR, .327 AVG, .449 OBP, .580 SLG, .434 wOBA, -2.3 UZR, 3.2 WAR
Miggy is the model of consistency. He might have some off the field issues but once the season starts all he does is rake. Paul Konerko has been fantastic this season but Cabrera has 50 points of on base on him.
Fans Pick (6/21): Adrian Gonzalez, Boston
And, of course, Mark Teixeira is second in voting.

Second Base: Dustin Pedroia, Boston
6 HR, .274 AVG, .390 OBP, .397 SLG, .360 wOBA, 8.6 UZR, 3.5 WAR
I really struggled between three players here but ultimately chose Pedroia because of his on base percentage and fielding. But it could have gone in another direction...
Next In Line: Howie Kendrick, Orange County
7 HR, .305 AVG, .364 OBP, .481 SLG, .374 wOBA, 7.8 UZR, 3.2 WAR
I might be cheating a little bit here because only 4.2 of Kendrick's UZR has come at second base since he's also played some first and outfield. Ben Zobrist was the other guy I liked but he's outclassed in OBP by both Pedroia and Kendrick even though Howie hates walking.
Fans Pick (6/21): Robinson Cano, New York
Not surprising at all. He certainly hits for power and the Yankees clearly don't care about middle infield defense.

Third Base: Alex Rodriguez, New York
13 HR, .296 AVG, .375 OBP, .510 SLG, 6.9 UZR, 3.6 WAR
What can I say? A-Rod is having a really nice season.
Next In Line: Kevin Youklis, Boston
11 HR, .279 AVG, .395 OBP, .506 SLG, .395 wOBA, -3.1 UZR, 2.8 WAR
He has a great OBP as usual and is the best of the rest. Evan Longoria has struggled since returning from his injury, Adrian Beltre has a .306 OBP and Alberto Callaspo is Alberto Callaspo.
Fans Pick (6/21): Alex Rodriguez, New York

Short Stop: Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland
12 HR, .296 AVG, .345 OBP, .498 SLG, .378 wOBA, -5.0 UZR, 2.8 WAR
Cabrera is having somewhat of a breakout season. He's already doubled his previous season high in home runs. I am surprised UZR doesn't much care for his defense.
Next In Line: Alexei Ramirez, Chicago
6 HR, .289 AVG, .348 OBP, .423 SLG, .341 wOBA, 5.9 UZR, 3.0 WAR
Ramirez has similar stats to Cabrera but might be the best fielding short stop in the AL. A flip flop of the two for the top spot wouldn't bother me. What bothers me is...
Fans Pick (6/21): Derek Jeter, New York
If Jeter is the starting short stop, I might skip the ASG. Jeter's 0.5 WAR is tied with Elliot Johnson. This is why you can't have fan voting and make the ASG count for something. Side note: somebody sent me a Jeter biography to review and I lost it.

Right Field: Jose Bautista, Toronto
22 HR, .325 AVG, .470 OBP, .654 SLG, .474 wOBA, -4.7 UZR, 4.5 WAR
Joey Bats has cooled off some since I was school girl giddy over his .500+ OBP but he's still a beast. The Blue Jays are talking about moving him back to third.
Next In Line: Carlos Quentin, Chicago
17 HR, .256 AVG, .358 OBP, .535 SLG, .389 wOBA, 0.4 UZR, 2.2 WAR
Matt Joyce with his higher average and on base is also an acceptable answer.
Fans Pick (6/21): Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Josh Hamilton
They got Joey Bats right.

Center Field: Curtis Granderson, New York
21 HR, .278 AVG, .356 OBP, .584 SLG, .401 wOBA, 1.3 UZR, 3.9 WAR
Granderson, all of a sudden, learned how to hit lefties and hit them hard. That was always the major flaw in his game and now he looks like a star. I mean, he does still strikeout at a 27% clip. But he hits lefties now!
Next In Line: Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston
8 HR, 24 SB, .310 AVG, .372 OBP, .374 wOBA, 1.5 UZR, 3.1 WAR
As much as I wanted to put Denard Span and his silly 10.2 UZR in this spot, I couldn't put him past an Ellsbury who gets on base 37% of the time. That's a dangerous guy.
Fans Pick (6/21): Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Josh Hamilton
The fans have two right.

Left Field: Brett Gardner, New York
4 HR, .286 AVG, .363 OBP, .432 SLG, .347 wOBA, 13.2 UZR, 2.8 WAR
Gardner won't make the All Star team and Yankees fans are always looking for ways to upgrade left field but Gardner might be a star in another market. He's a natural center fielder and is spectacular in left. He is in the top ten in voting but I doubt he finishes there. Those might be some of the kindest words I've ever written about a Yankee.
Next In Line: Brennan Boesch, Detroit
10 HR, .300 AVG, .359 OBP, .485 SLG, .364 wOBA, 0.3 UZR, 1.8 WAR
Boesch won't make the team either but he's having a nice season. I'm not sure if anyone outside of Detroit or fantasy circles realizes it though.
Fans Pick (6/21): Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Josh Hamilton
Sure, this would probably be Hamilton's spot if he hadn't missed a month with an injury. He's still going to make the team and is having a really good season. He just missed a lot of time.

DH: David Ortiz, Boston
17 HR, .313 AVG, .391 OBP, .586 SLG, .421 wOBA, 2.6 WAR
Big Papi has looked like he was finished on a few occasions over the past couple of seasons. But in 2011, Ortiz is raking again. He's hitting so well that he's driving Terry Francona to the brink of insanity in considering playing Adrian Gonzalez in the outfield during interleague so Ortiz can play first base.
Next In Line: Victor Martinez, Detroit
6 HR, .332 AVG, .383 OBP, .498 SLG, .381 wOBA, 1.6 WAR
After Ortiz, it's not a great year for the designated hitter. There aren't even that many full time DH's. Martinez has played 20 games behind the plate but I'm counting him so I dont have to plug in Billy Butler or Bobby Abreu.
Fans Pick (6/21): David Ortiz, Boston
No way to argue with that.

Starting Pitcher: Jered Weaver, Orange County
2.01 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 3.41 xFIP, 3.7 WAR
I can make a case for four or five other guys but, let's face it, I love Weaver. And with the lowest FIP and second lowest ERA, he deserves it too.
Next In Line: Justin Verlander, Detroit
2.54 ERA, 3.04 FIP, 3.09 xFIP, 3.0 WAR
Verlander has one no-hitter this year and fell just short of picking up a second. Verlander and Weaver were both first round picks in 2004 along with number one overall pick Matt Bush.

Relief Pitcher: Jordan Walden, Orange County
2.45 ERA, 2.01 FIP, 3.08 xFIP, 1.3 WAR
Sure, he walks too many hitters but he throws 100 MPH on the reg and is fun to watch.
Next In Line: Al Alburquerque, Detroit
2.05 ERA, 1.78 FIP, 2.38 xFIP, 0.9 WAR
His name is Al Alburquerque. I rest my case.

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