As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, it is my sworn duty to submit my All-Star selections. I know that some people may complain about writing posts like this, but not me. Far from it. I actually enjoy looking around the league and expanding my horizons to the non-Blue Jay world of MLB.
As an added bonus, I decided to not only name who I think should be in the ASG
for each league (AL and NL), but to also name who I would select for baseball’s annual (and fictional) No-Star game. Since these players have been performing so poorly this year, the No-Star game would have to be non-baseball related to save people from actually having to watch it. Maybe they would face in off in an AL vs. NL pie eating contest, or a horseshoe tournament.
Just as long as they stay far away from a baseball diamond…
So sit back and enjoy 500 Level Fan’s All-Star and No-Stars for 2011:
All-Stars: – Alex Avila (Detroit, AL) and Brian McCann (Atlanta, NL)
– Avila has seemingly come out of nowhere with 9 HR, 41 RBI, and a .300 average, while McCann is producing his usually huge numbers. His 13 HR leads all catchers.
No-Stars – Jeff Mathis (LA Angels, AL) and Geovany Soto (Chicago Cubs, NL)
– I so badly wanted to write Posada down here, but he isn’t really a catcher anymore and one can’t ignore the abyss that is Mathis. The fact that he has 132 AB is astounding considering his 25 hits, .189 AVG, and 11 RBI. I know Soto’s been injured, but a .215 average for a supposedly elite catcher is awful.
All-Stars: – Adrian Gonzalez (Boston, AL) and Prince Fielder (Milwaukee, NL)
– Pretty good first year in the AL for Gonzalez (.359 AVG and 69 RBI lead the league). Fielder is making more money for himself by the day in his contract year with 20 HR, 63 RBI, and a +.300 average.
No-Stars – Dan Johnson (Tampa Bay, AL) and Carlos Pena (Chicago Cubs, NL)
– Penciled in as the Opening Day 1B to replace Carlos Pena, Johnson was so bad (.115 AVG) that he lost his job AND got sent to the minors. Pena moved to Wrigley, and though he has 13 HR, he also has 71 strikeouts and an .075 AVG vs. Lefties – all for $10 million.
All-Stars: – Robinson Cano (New York, AL) and Rickie Weeks (Milwaukee, NL)
– Just another ho-hum year for Cano (.299, 14 HR) and Weeks is continuing his breakout in Milwaukee (14 HR, 53 runs).
No-Stars – Aaron Hill (Toronto, AL) and Dan Uggla (Atlanta, NL)
– Ugh – not the bounceback year we hoped for from Hill. Insert pun here for Uggla’s pile of vomit in 2011 (huge contract, .177 AVG).
All-Stars: – A-Rod (New York, AL) and Placido Polanco (Philadelphia, NL)
– Experience is king this year at 3B, with A-Rod and Polanco (both 35) outproducing their younger counterparts. Polanco is a definite surprise – I didn’t know he was still playing!
No-Stars – Edwin Encarnacion (Toronto, AL) and Pedro Alvarez (Pittsburgh, NL)
– Too easy to name EE – he can’t field, can’t throw, can’t hit, and can’t run. Alvarez was supposed to be one of the young Pirates to lead Pittsburgh to a .500 record but is currently on the DL – with a .208 average.
All-Stars: – Asdrubal Cabrera (Cleveland, AL) and Jose Reyes (New York, NL)
– The most suprising player behind the most surprising team, Asdrubal has a cool name and great numbers (49 R, 12 HR, 43 RBI, .296 AVG, and 12 SB). Reyes looks rejuvenated with 26 steals, and could be a prime trade candidate in the second half.
No-Stars – Reid Brignac (Tampa Bay, AL) and Rafael Furcal (LA, NL)
– Jeter has been awful, but Brignac has been spectacularly awful, hitting just .177 with no power. Furcal has already been on the DL twice. A third trip awaits him upon his return.
All-Stars: – Jose Bautista (Toronto, AL), Curtis Granderson (New York, AL), Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston, AL), and Matt Kemp (LA, NL), Ryan Braun (Milwaukee, NL), Lance Berkman (St. Louis, NL)
– Power and Speed – Bautista and Granderson have been hitting HR like crazy, and Ellsbury hasn’t let an injury packed 2010 slow him down (24 SB). In the NL,
Kemp has taken off (already in the 20/20 club), Braun is a triple crown threat, and Berkman has come back from the dead with a shocking .307 average and 17 HR.
No-Stars – Vernon Wells (LA Angels, AL) and Dexter Fowler (Colorado, NL)
– Injuries have played a part, and he is a nice guy, but still – Vernon Wells is under the Mendoza line in late June. Fowler was supposed to be a top-of-the-order sparkplug for the Rockies, but now finds himself in the minors.
All-Stars: – Justin Verlander (Detroit, AL) and Roy Hamels (Philadelphia, NL)
– A no-hitter, nearly a second no-hitter, 9 wins, a 0.85 WHIP, and 110 K’s – is Justin Verlander the best pitcher in baseball? I cheated here, but figure that’s OK because Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay are really the same guy, at least according to the stats. Both have 9 wins and a 2.51 ERA, and while Roy has more K’s (119 – 103), Cole has a better WHIP (0.93 – 1.04). They both win.
No-Stars – John Lackey (Boston, AL) and Javier Vazquez (Florida, NL)
– That Boston is in first despite Lackey getting a regular turn in the rotation is crazy. He stinks (7.36 ERA, 38 K’s). Some thought that a return to the NL would help Vazquez, but a 6.37 ERA shows that it hasn’t. He’s finished.
All-Stars: – Al Alburquerque (Detroit, AL) and Jonny Venters (Atlanta, NL)
– Not just a funny name:
his 15.04 K/9 is so good it doesn’t even make sense. Venters is simply crazy – 0.57 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 50 K’s.
No-Stars – Bobby Jenks (Boston, AL) and Aroldis Chapman (Cincinnati, NL)
– His move into a set-up role was supposed to make the Red Sox pen rock solid, but Jenks stunk it up before getting hurt to the tune of a 2.35 WHIP. Chapman was supposed to be the next best star, but with 20 BB in 13 IP, he is starring in the minors.
All-Stars: – Mariano Rivera (New York, AL) and Joel Hanrahan (Pittsburgh, NL)
– 41 years old and still dominating, Rivera’s ERA is under 2.00 and his 19 saves are second in the AL. Hanrahan was supposed to lose his closers job early on, but he has been lights out for Pittsburgh (20 saves, 1.31 ERA, 0.96 WHIP).
No-Stars – Joe Nathan (Minnesota, AL) and Brandon Lyon (Houston, NL)
– Both lost their closers job after some brutal performances, both were heavily responsible for their teams dismal on-field performance, and both are now on the DL. Terrible stuff.