Sunday, July 5, 2009

My All-Star Picks

Brian and I will discuss on the podcast who we think should represent the Nationals in the all-star game, but here are my picks for who should represent the NL and AL overall.

First, my criteria. I don't like the rule that every team should get one player, so I'm ignoring it. I basically think that we should see the best players in baseball, and that means a player who's having a hot first half but playing over his head isn't usually going to make my list. Fielding doesn't usually matter in all-star selections, but I think it should, so I'm counting it the same as I would if I was constructing a real team. I try not to punish guys for missing time due to injury or other factors outside their control. Outfielders shouldn't play out of position. I don't believe in the DH. Finally, since starting pitchers are much more valuable than relievers, I tend to only choose the most elite three or so closers rather than the half-dozen that usually are represented.

With that, here's my NL squad, beginning with the starters:
C: Brian McCann
1B: Albert Pujols
2B: Chase Utley
3B: Pablo Sandoval
SS: Hanley Ramirez
LF: Manny Ramirez
CF: Carlos Beltrano
RF: Justin Upton
SP: Dan Haren
Tim Lincecum
Javier Vazquez
Chris Carpenter
Josh Johnson
Yovani Gallardo
Chad Billingsley
Adam Wainwright
Johan Santana
Ted Lilly
Jonathan Broxton
Heath Bell
Francisco Rodriguez
Yadier Molina
Geovany Soto
Adrian Gonzalez
Prince Fielder
Freddy Sanchez
Brandon Phillips
Miguel Tejada
David Wright
Ryan Zimmerman
Raul Ibanez
Matt Kemp
Ryan Braun
Jayson Wertha
And the AL starting nine:
C: Joe Mauer
1B: Kevin Youkilis
2B: Aaron Hill
3B: Evan Longoria
SS: Jason Bartlett
LF: Carl Crawford
CF: Torii Hunter
RF: Ichiro Suzuki
SP: Zach Greinke
Roy Halladay
Justin Verlander
Felix Hernandez
Jon Lester
Cliff Lee
Edwin Jackson
Josh Beckett
CC Sabathia
John Danks
Jonathan Papelbon
Mariano Rivera
Joe Nathan
Victor Martinez
Mike Napoli
Justin Morneau
Miguel Cabrera
Asdrubal Cabrera
Alex Rodriguez
Brandon Inge
Nelson Cruz
Ben Zobrist
Johnny Damon
Franklin Gutierrez
Ian Kinsler
o=injured, will not participate
a=injury replacement


JayB said...

One thing we do agree on is what defense can do for a pitching staff and a winning percentage. Go RIZZO! Trade Guzman or put him at first base after trading Nick. Both Dunn and Willingham have looked much better in the field with Morgan's influence. It is almost like Dunn's thinking like, oh OK I'll try to focus as long he is next to me.

Steven, I saw 2 of the three games and yet it was a completely different feeling in the park with Morgan. Good bye Milledge, I will not miss you at all. I think Dukes is gone too at least for the year. He is the real deal and if Milledge who is not, can bring you Morgan, trade Dukes for whatever he can bring. Clubhouse character does count and we are seeing a team reap the benefits of improved defense and attitude. It will be fun to see who replaces Acta this winter. We could really be making progress here soon.

JayB said...

Oh and I don't suppose you are going to be able to say anything positive about Olsen are you? His fastball was hit 92 yesterday. I would agree with trading him soon but as far as the worst pitcher in baseball......not so much!

Ben said...

I agree that Morgan has really highlighted the need to move Guzman. A young pitching staff can't be placed under that kind of pressure. I understand that Gonzalez is playing above himself but, it may be worth slotting him in to help these guys. You know, after the deadline so we can trade Guzman.

Dunn makes great trade bait and, Willingham's good press can only help his value.

Steven said...

Willingham in particular benefits from Morgan. He's able to shade to the line, and he made at least 2 running catches to his left that he wouldn't have made before.

Morgan is an ace CF. He's not Nook Logan out there--Logan was average at best. Morgan is one of the best CFs in baseball. There's a lot of value there.

Guzman probably isn't tradable with his contract. The time to move him was at the all-star break last year. We're probably stuck with him through 2010.

Olsen looked good, but let's see his ERA get under 6 before we put him in the Hall of Fame, arright? He's got a ways to go before anyone can say I was wrong about him.

Ben said...

Anyone is tradeable is you eat enough of their contract.

JayB said...

I agree, Guz is trade-able.....the first contender with a SS injury, make the deal even if you eat half the contract. Get some bull pen pitching in here and lets get moving.

hleeo3 said...

I went to Morgan's first game as a National and to say the least I was excited at the prospect for the first the Nationals got a real CF. I wasn't disappointed... at all. I remember two plays he made that I know would have been troublesome for normal CF. It was awesome even with the Braves tied up with the Nats and a poor performance by Detwiler. But he is a rookie so no biggie. I felt good but then Colome had to come out and dampen my mood.
But he is gone now! We got a decent bullpen that won't give up more then 4 runs in an inning on a nightly basis. So I am looking to forward to see how the Nats play after the all-star break. Hopefully, Rizzo can make some deals to get some young major league ready players (that are team players). I feel that even if Morgan hits .250 with .320+ OBP he will be fine. We needed his glove, but based off a small sample size as a National, I have seen solid at-bats and aggressive base running (which is his job as lead-off guy).

Anonymous said...

Gotta explain ramirez ok the team plus no love for Adam Lind?

Steven said...

I assume you mean Manny, not Hanley. He's clearly the best LF in the league. I think it's silly that the AS-game is just about one half of baseball. He's been dominant since the day he arrived in the NL, and I expect that to continue. To toss him out just because of the suspension I think is overreacting. The suspension is over, therefore he should be eligible.

I almost had Lind. Coin flip with Gutierrez, who's just so valuable in the field. If it's possible to make it as a great bat who plays lousy defense, it should be possible to make it as a dominant fielder who doesn't hit that well. The value is similar. But Lind would have been my next choice if there was an injury or something.

phil dunn said...

Porky Sandoval over David Wright? Your dislike of the Mets is surfacing.

Steven said...

You might not like his body-type, but Sandoval has Wright by 70 points in OPS. Neither is much with the glove.