The Fans Are Right
Normally when I see fan voting for All-Star games, I immediately cringe when I see (insert overrated and/or injured player name here) leading the votes at his position. It doesn’t matter what sport, fans make a poor choices at times. Think of Yao Ming making All-Star team after All-Star team while missing games due to bum knees and feet. The NFL Pro Bowl is filled each year by tons of alternates who don’t make the fans vote. So when I looked at this year’s AL vote leaders (voting ends on the fourth, so the rosters are pretty much set excluding the third OF spot, which is being hotly contested) I immediately thought, who’s the overrated one that is being tabbed this year? I took the post All-Star numbers from the 2012 season and combined them with the pre All-Star numbers of the 2013 season. I have to say, the fans actually got it right.
C – Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
Since All-Star 2012 numbers: 146 games, .315 AVG, 13 HR, 71 RBI
Joe Mauer has dealt with injury issues, but he’s stayed decently healthy since the last All-Star break. It’s not his fault that he rarely gets good pitches to hit in the middle of that miserable Minnesota lineup, but he still manages to post a .300+ AVG while catching. Beats any other catcher available.
1B – Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
Since All-Star 2012 numbers: 150 games, .301 AVG, 50 HR, 125 RBI
I first thought, “Chris Davis is just riding the wave of this season into an All-Star spot.” until I looked at his numbers from the second half of 2012…he led all 1B in HR and RBI for the second half of 2012. His strikeout numbers leave something to be desired, but imagine this: the closest player to him in HR during this stretch is Detroit’s Prince Fielder with 29.
2B – Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
Since All-Star 2012 numbers: 159 games, .303 AVG, 33 HR, 97 RBI
Cano seems to be the only serious 2B who wasn’t plagued by a miserable half at some point. Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler had bad second halves of 2012. Plus, Cano has literally no protection in the New York AAA Yankees lineup that is currently seeing playing time in the Bronx and he’s still producing.
SS – J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles
Since All-Star 2012 numbers: 159 games, .258 AVG, 25 HR, 81 RBI
Hardy has been surprisingly effective hitting in the front of a potent Baltimore lineup. He’s taken advantage of the open hole made by Derek Jeter’s absence.
(EDITORS NOTE: Remember hat year when Jeter wasn’t voted in and was in that “choose the last guy vote” thing. And he lost. To Scott Podsesnik. Pure balls.)
3B – Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Since All-Star 2012 numbers: 157 games, .354 AVG, 52 HR, 153 RBI
At this point there’s nothing else that can be said about Cabrera that hasn’t already been said. He hits for average, he hits for power, he drives in runs, he scores runs. These are his metrics for the same time span: .434 OBP, .673 SLG, 1.107 OPS. He’s a machine. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t go home after games…Jim Leyland just plugs him into the wall and feeds him a bottle of motor oil.
OF – Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Since All-Star 2012 numbers: 148 games, .314 AVG, 31 HR, 95 RBI
OF – Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
Since All-Star 2012 numbers: 161 games, .288 AVG, 27 HR, 96 RBI
Trout and Jones currently hold the top 2 spots in the outfield for the All-Star game. They are most deserved, especially in Trout’s case. In addition to his gaudy stats, he also has 43 SB during that time span while only being caught five times. The third spot would’ve been in the hands of several players if it weren’t for mishaps. Curtis Granderson has missed the first half of this season with injury. Jose Bautista missed the second half of last year with injury. Josh Hamilton apparently forgot how to play baseball in the first half of this season. My pick for that last spot?
OF – Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers
Since All-Star 2012 numbers: 155 games, .263 AVG, 33 HR, 98 RBI
Cruz might not be flashy, but he anchors Texas’ lineup around all the mashers that come and go. He’s nowhere near the voting leaders at OF and he’s the only gripe I have for the starting rosters. Otherwise, for the first time in a really long time, I can actually say, the fans got it right.
Tell us who got it wrong:
Chris is an Indy ased writer who loves cheesecake.