The 2013 MLB All-Star voting results will be announced Saturday. While I like the fact fans get to vote for the starters in each league, I don't like many of stipulations that seem to bound the selections even tighter each season.
For instance, each team must have at least one representative; such a selection could obviously — and most of the time does — take the spot in the place of a more deserving player. Aside from the manager of the reigning league champs, the players also get to select the reserves, which sometimes doesn't pan out when they make a rash decision — COUGH, Bryan LaHair.
Forget rules. Forget red tape. Forget hype. Even forget crazy 34-man rosters. Here are the players that truly deserve to be listed on the scorecard at Citi Field in the 2013 All-Star game.
Keeping it pure, I'm only doing traditional 25-man rosters. In actuality, after calling in substitutes for injured players — there are likely to be 40-plus players named.
Again, here the guys that truly deserve to be All-Stars in 2013.
C Joe Mauer – Min: Leads all league catchers in average, OBP and slugging. Still one of the best with the mitt.
1B Chris Davis – Bal: Just the third player in history to have 32 HRs before July 4. The other two: Ken Griffey Jr. and Reggie Jackson.
2B Robison Cano – NY: Has 20 HRs, more than double all other league second basemen aside from Jason Kipnis. Still the best at his position.
3B Miguel Cabrera – Det: Trying to become first player in history to win back-to-back triple crowns. Leads AL in average and RBIs, only trails Chris Davis in HRs.
SS J.J. Hardy – Bal: Gold glove winner. Leads AL in HRs (15) and RBI (46).
OF Nelson Cruz – Tex: Leads AL OFs in RBIs (61) and is second in HRs (20)
OF Jacoby Ellsbury – Bos: Leads AL in SBs (33) and is hitting .303.
OF Mike Trout – LA: Fourth in AL SBs (20) and has a great slash line of .314/13/55
SP Yu Darvish – Tex: Has a 2.78 ERA and a ridiculous 151 Ks so far this year. Hitters are only batting .190 against him.
1B Prince Fielder – Det
2B Jason Kipnis – Cle
3B Evan Longoria – TB
C Carlos Santana – Cle
DH David Ortiz – Bos
OF Adam Jones – Bal
OF Jose Bautista – Tor
SP Hisashi Iwakuma – Sea
SP Felix Hernandez – Sea
SP Chris Sale – Chi
SP Max Scherzer – Det
SU Jesse Crain – Chi
SU Joel Peralta – TB
CL Joe Nathan – Tex
CL Glen Perkins – Min
CL Greg Holland – KC
Notes: Dustin Pedroia might get the nod over Kipnis because of the higher average, but Kipnis has driven in more runs and has eight more HRs… I'm also taking Ortiz over Edwin Encarnacion — although it was close considering Encarnacion has more HRs and RBIs. The deciding factor was that Ortiz has nearly 70 less at-bats this season, and with a superior 1.008 OPS compared to Encarnacion's .889, is on pace to surpass him…Bartolo Colon could get in considering he's third in the AL in ERA, but batters are hitting .261 against him; that ERA is about to rise.
C Yadier Molina -STL: Still the best catcher in possibly all of baseball. Yads still calls the best games and has a crazy .351 batting average that leads the NL.
1B Paul Goldschmidt – Ari: First in NL RBI (69) and fourth in HRs (20)
2B Matt Carpenter – STL: Leads all NL second baseman OPS . Is also the ultimate utility man, playing 1B, OF and 3B as well.
3B David Wright – NY: Leads all NL third baseman in OPS and slugging. He's back to his old form.
SS Jean Segura – Mil: The rookie has taken pitchers and base paths by storm. Is second in the NL in steals (26), second in HRs (11) and first in average (.323). Legit MVP candidate.
OF Carlos Gonzalez – Col: First in NL HRs (23) and fourth in NL RBI (62).
OF Michael Cuddyer – Col: This is the guy that will get overlooked. He had a 27-game hitting streak for God's sakes. He leads the NL in OPS (.991) and is batting a ridiculous .343.
OF Carlos Beltran – STL: Still no signs of slowing down in his older age. Fifth in the NL in HRs (19) and third among OFs in batting average at .305.
SP Clayton Kershaw – LAD: Has a 1.93 ERA. Need I say more?
1B Joey Votto – Cin
C Buster Posey – SF
2B Brandon Phillips – Cin
SS Troy Tulowitzki – Col
SS Ian Desmond – Was
OF Domonic Brown – Phi
OF Andrew McCutchen – Pit
SP Matt Harvey – NY
SP Cliff Lee – Phi
SP Adam Wainwright – STL
SP Stephen Strasburg – Was
SU Mark Melancon – Pit
SU Trevor Rosenthal – STL
CL Jason Grilli – Pit
CL Craig Kimbrel – Atl
CL Aroldis Chapman – Cin
Notes: Phillips might deserve the start at 2B, but I gave it to Carpenter because of his versatility and higher OPS… Some might feel Jeff Locke should be in, but his 1.15 WHIP would be considerably higher than any other pitcher listed and also proves he's been a little lucky… It's also a toss up between Lee and Jordan Zimmerman — with their nearly identical WHIP and BAA, Lee got the nod for having 30 more Ks. Shelby Miller is also right on the cusp here….Third base is also crazy weak in the NL, which explains the three shortstops taken, who all deserve to be in.
Based on only 25-man rosters, what would you change?
Photo Credit: Getty