Yesterday, I put together my National League All-Star team and today it is the American League’s turn. The picks for the American League are not as cut and dry as the National League seems to be but here is my picks for the All-Stars in the American League.
Catcher: Alex Avilia, Detroit Tigers- Avilia leads all qualifying catchers in batting average by 25 points and has the most RBI at 38. His nine home runs only trails Seattle’s Miguel Olivo by one. This second year player is having a good year and should be the AL catcher.
First Base: Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox- Gonzalez is having a great first season with Boston, hitting .343 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI. Mark Teixeira is off to an abnormally fast start for him and Miguel Cabrera is putting up solid numbers, Gonzo is the choice here.
Second Base: Robinson Cano, New York Yankees- Leads AL second basemen in RBI with 43, add in a .283 batting average and 13 home runs and Cano is the easy choice here. A case could be made for Ben Zobrist but he is 20 points behind Cano in the batting average category.
Third Base: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees- A-Rod is having another solid season for his standards hitting .288 with 13 HRs, 42 RBI and 41 runs scored. It is amazing how arguably the biggest star in MLB at the time can go to the biggest sports stage, New York City, and actually become somewhat of a forgotten star. Either way, A-Rod should be an All-Star this year.
Shortstop: Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians- The Cleveland Indians have been the surprise team of the year and this shortstop has been a big reason why. He is hitting .296 with 12 home runs and 43 RBI, which leads all AL shortstops. This is a pretty clear cut choice.
Left Field: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays- I am not sure I really need to make a case for Bautista seeing as he has hit 21 home runs with a .333 batting average and 42 RBI.
Center Field: Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees- Same as Bautista I don’t think I need to sell Granderson who is hitting .278 but is tied with Bautista at 21 home runs and has hit 52 RBI. The guy is playing lights out so far.
Right Field: Carlos Quentin, Chicago White Sox- This one was a little trickier but I think Quentin deserves this spot, hitting 17 home runs, 47 RBI with a .265 batting average. This final spot was a toss up between Quentin and Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury and his 24 stolen bases. You can’t go wrong with either one.
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox- Big Papi is back and playing great baseball. He is hitting .317 with 17 home runs and 43 RBI. There are some big names who could stake claim to this spot like Detroit’s Victor Martinez and Texas’ Michael Young but Ortiz is the choice here.
Starting Pitcher: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers- Cases could be made for Boston’s Jon Lester, New York’s CC Sabathia, and the Angels’ Jered Weaver but Verlander has to be the pick here. He has already thrown one no-hitter and carried a second one into the eighth inning before giving up a single. He has an 8-3 record with a 2.66 ERA and leads the American League with 105 strikeouts.
Closer: Chris Perez, Cleveland Indians- He has converted 16 of 17 save opportunities with a 2.49 ERA. There are bigger names out there like Mariano Rivera but Perez has been the best closer in the American League in my opinion.