The voting process for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Rosters has never been scientific, as letting every Joe Schmo in the world vote for whomever their heart desires will never yield the most accurate results. The MLB has explained this away as a form of letting the fans see who they want start the game, even though players start getting replaced by the third inning anyways.
So who should be on the rosters for each league? Let’s take a quick look.
Catcher - Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
My Pick: Mauer
The catcher spot in the American League is more underwhelming than usual in 2013, with Matt Weiters struggling mightily and all of the other top catchers in the Senior Circuit. Mauer is a relatively easy choice, and even despite a recent significant skid he’s holding steady at .309/.391/.461 while playing solid defense.
First Base - Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
My Pick: Davis
Another slam dunk. Despite going through a recent slide and already striking out an astonishing 103 times this season, Davis’ line is a remarkable .316/.392/.703, and he’s already matched his 33 home run total from all of 2012. If he can keep his strikeout total under control, he’s a superstar.
Second Base - Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
My Pick: Cano
This one could be argued, but I decided to get behind the fans’ pick. Pedroia’s .320/.400/.437 line is sparkling, but Cano’s .293/.375/.524 and 20 home runs get the call. Pedroia’s defense has been better, but the overall power that Cano has supplied gives him a very slight edge.
Third Base - Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
My Pick: Cabrera
This one hurts. It’s getting boring, isn’t it? I hate to pick Cabrera just because his defense continues to be so incredibly atrocious, and Baltimore’s Manny Machado has been very impressive with the glove to go along with a nice .315/.344/.473 batting line. But Cabrera continues to tear the cover off the ball, hitting an insane .364/.457/.673 with 28 home runs already this year.
Shortstop - J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles
My Pick: Jhonny Peralta, Detroit Tigers
Another tough one for me. I’ve always been a fan of Hardy and felt that he’s generally underrated as one of the top three or four defensive shortstops in the game. But his bat has been all too inconsistent yet again in 2013, and it’s really tough for me to reward a .294 on-base percentage with a starting spot in the mid-summer classic. On the flip side, Peralta has hit .304/.360/.445 to this point and has played better-than-average defense at shortstop. He gets the nod.
My Picks: Trout; Bautista; Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox
Trout’s defense has slipped significantly thus far in 2013, but he continues to get it done with the bat (.315/.393/.554 with 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases). Bautista has been hammering the ball, especially of late, bringing his line to .265/.364/.513 and 20 home runs.
Adam Jones, on the other hand, is hitting .291/.314/.477 with just nine walks all season long. He’s also playing his usual overrated defense in center field, and has actually been a bit of a liability on that side of the ball. My selection would be Jacoby Ellsbury, who was left off the roster entirely. Ellsbury is hitting .301/.364/.413 with 36 stolen bases in 39 attempts. While he’s hit just two home runs so far, he’s played very stellar defense in center field. Certainly a more valuable player than Jones to this point in 2013.
Other Start-Worthy Players:
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Orioles – Playing at a stacked position with with Cabrera and Machado. He’s probably been a top-ten player in the American League thus far.
Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays – See Donaldson, Josh.
The National League is next….