May 26, 2012

Some All-Star Choices to Take Your Mind Off The Braves

American League

1B Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox:  Konerko leads major league first base qualifiers in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.  Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez and Albert Pujols have all been somewhere between ordinary and awful so far.  The old-timer, Konerko, is leading the back of major league first basemen.

2B Robinson Cano, New York Yankees:  No surprise here.  Cano has been one of the top second basemen in the game for a few year now.  Cano leads in all the important measures of offensive performance and is having a great defensive season.

SS Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers:  Andrus is having a very good offensive year, but is probably a bit behind Asdrubal Cabrera and Derek Jeter.  However, both are awful defenders and Andrus is not.

3B Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers:  Beltre and Miguel Cabrera have essentially been equals offensively.  Beltre is obviously the better defensive player.  Mike Moustakas is another candidate.  Some metrics have him as one of the better defensive third basemen in the majors and his offense is not far behind the big boys.

C Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins:  Mauer is having a typical Mauer season.  The catcher everyone loves to hate, A.J. Pierzynski, is having an outstanding season, equal to Mauer by some metrics.

DH David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox:  Ortiz and Adam Dunn have had very similar seasons.  As I write this, Ortiz has a slight edge in OPS.

OF Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers:  Hamilton is having a monster season.  He’s slugging over .750.  He’s a free-swinging Barry Bonds.

OF Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles: Jones has put it all together this season to become an elite player.

OF Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers: Jackson has found his power stroke and is drawing walks.  He’s already halfway to his homerun total from last season.

National League

1B Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds: Yeah, Joey Votto is really good.  No contest here.

2B Omar Infante, Miami Marlins:  Instead of an All-Star utility player, Infante may get his shot at a real position.  It’s pretty amazing that the top NL second basemen are Infante and Jose Altuve.

SS Rafael Furcal, St. Louis Cardinals:  Furcal is the NL version of Paul Konerko, having found the Fountain of Youth.  We’ll see if Furcal can sustain All-Star numbers when his batting average on balls in play starts to normalize to his career levels.  Right now it is rather high.

3B David Wright, New York Mets:  Wright is putting up video-game numbers.  It seems he’s bounced back from his down 2011.

C Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies: Ruiz and the surprising A.J. Ellis of the Dodgers are the front runners among NL catchers.  Ruiz has had a slightly better season offensively.

OF Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers:  Braun is very quietly putting up a great season, presumably PED-free.

OF Michael Bourn, Atlanta Braves:  Bourn has always been an outstanding fielder.  He’s putting up a career year offensively.  Fangraphs also has him as the best baserunner in the league.

OF Martin Prado, Atlanta Braves:  Prado has really bounced back from an off 2011.  He’s having a great year on both sides of the ball.



4 Responses to “Some All-Star Choices to Take Your Mind Off The Braves”

  1. 1
    David Says:

    Interesting picks, Shaun. For NL outfield, what about Matt Kemp? Carlos Gonzalez? Carlos Beltran? Andrew McCutchen? Giancarlo Stanton?

  2. 2
    Vinnie Says:

    Shaun, good call on Altuve. He has been lights out and right now he looks like the premier 2nd baseman of the NL. Good thing he’ll be in the AL next year.

  3. 3
    Shaun Says:

    David @1, Kemp has missed time and he’s behind my choices in plate appearances and therefore overall value.

    Carlos Gonzalez is behind those other guys mostly because of his defense; it’s not very good.

    Beltran also isn’t very good defensively at this point, given his injuries and age.

    McCutchen also isn’t having a very good defensive season.

    Stanton, unlike some of those others, is having a decent defensive season but his defense hasn’t been as good as Prado and Bourn. Plus he falls short of Braun offensively.

    It’s not like there is a lot separating my choices and all the guys you listed. With the exception of Carlos Gonzalez, they are all pretty close to 2-win players.

  4. 4
    Shaun Says:

    David, I’m guessing some things will change by the end of June/early July and some of the guys you mentioned will jump ahead of my choices. If Matt Kemp comes back soon and plays like Matt Kemp, I’m guessing he’ll jump up to the top among outfielders.

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