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American League All Star Predictions

As I’ve explained before, most professional sports all star games are rather boorish and uneventful, but since I was a kid, the MLB All Star Game always gets me excited.  Growing up, it was always fun to see future hall of famers like Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr., and Ken Griffey Jr. all involved in the same game, seeing the home team player ovations, and of course hitting bombs in the home run derby.  This Sunday, the results are announced for this year’s Midsummer Classic, which unfortunately will include waaay too many Yankee players, but who else will be named, the Sports Minion takes a stab at the American League…

2011 All Star Predictions:

American League Starters

C-  Russell Martin, New York Yankees

  • .229, 13 HR, 46 RBI:  Hitting under .230 while guys like A.J. Pierzynski flirt with .300 and will stay home.

1B- Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox

  • .357, 16 HR, 71 RBI:  Leading candidate for AL MVP, league leader in hits (114), batting average, (.357) and RBI (71).

2B – Robinson Cano, Yankees

  • .290, 14 HR, 49 RBI:  Another strong season, SLG over .500, the only elite second baseman in the AL

Derek Jeter + good looks + charisma + 2 homers = All Star

3B – Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

  • .304, 13 HR, 51 RBI:  Can’t disagree with fans here, definitely out classing the rest of the third baseman in the league

SS – Derek Jeter, Yankees

  • .260, 2 HR, 20 RBI:  Lackluster season so far, but It just wouldn’t be an all star game without him

OF – Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays

  • .328, 24 HR, 52 RBI:  League leading SLG (.664), OPS, and walks; tied for league lead in homers

OF- Curtis Granderson, Yankees

  • .277, 21 HR, 56 RBI, 13 SB:  leads league in runs and triples, only 3 bombs behind last year’s total

OF- Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers

  • .297, 8 HR, 36 RBI:  Numbers down due to strange injury, but reigning MVP gets the fan vote

DH – David Ortiz, Red Sox

  • .311, 17 HR, 48 RBI:  Big Papi tearin it up this season, ranks in top 10 in homers, batting average, slugging, and OBP

Reserves:

C- Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers

  • .303, 10 HR, 45 RBI:  having a huge season, should be starting, .541 SLG%

The always reliable, Paul Konerko, if A-Gon decides to boycott the game due to Arizona locale, Paulie should get the starting nod

1B – Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox

  • .318, 21 HR, 60 RBI:  how is this guy ranked behind Mitch Moreland in voting?  A shoe-in.

1B – Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

  • .333, 15 HR, 52 RBI:  on track for yet another .320+, 30 HR+, 100 RBI+ season

1B – Mark Teixeira, Yankees

  • .246, 24 HR, 62 RBI:  abundance of homers and RBI make up for less than stellar batting average

2B – Howie Kendrick, Los Angeles Angels

  • .304, 8 HR, 26 RBI:  playing both the infield and outfield this season

3B – Adrian Beltre, Rangers

  • .262, 14 HR, 56 RBI:  has led Texas without Hamilton, angry Kevin Youkilis fans unite

SS – Adrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians

  • .292, 13 HR, 46 RBI, 12 SB:  he can hit, makes web gems, driving force for Indians’ success, 12 steals in 12 attempts

SS – Jhonny Peralta, Detroit Tigers

  • .310, 12 HR, 46 RBI:  career high in batting average and slugging

OF – Matt Joyce, Tampa Bay Rays

  • .305, 10 HR, 38 RBI:  needs to  return to May form where he hit .414

    I'm an All Star?!? Why? Well, every team needs one, kinda like winning an "I competed" ribbon.

OF – Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles

  • .294, 13 HR, 46 RBI:  former gold-glover is Orioles lone representative, deservingly so

OF – Michael Cuddyer, Minnesota Twins

  • .283, 10 HR, 30 RBI:  only consistent in Twins’ lineup this season

OF – Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals

  • .291, 9 HR, 44 RBI:  lone bright spot in yet another sad season for the Royals

DH – Michael Young, Rangers

  • .322, 7 HR, 53 RBI:  stays in Texas, plays four positions, top 5 in batting average, he’s in

DH – Victor Martinez, Tigers

  • .335/.383/.494:  transitioning to part-time catcher/DH has VM hitting near his career high (.336)

OF – Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox*

  • .299, 9 HR, 39 RBI, 25 SB:  already tied career best in homers, leading league in stolen bases

OF – Brennan Boesch, Tigers*

Who is that? Brennan Boesch. Who? Brennan Boesch. Oh (pause)...wait, who?

  • .300, 10 HR, 38 RBI:  hopefully he stays hot, not fizzle out like last season

Pitching Staff:

Josh Beckett, Red Sox

  • 2.20, 6-3, 80 K:  had a 1.00 ERA in the month of May

C.C. Sabathia, Yankees

  • 3.25, 10-4, 93: hard to pass on 6’7” CC and his 10 wins

James Shields, Rays

  • 2.27, 8-4, 119:  having a solid season, keeping the Rays relevant

Justin Verlander, Tigers

  • 2.38, 10-3, 124: yet another Cy Young season, he’s good, really good

Jered Weaver, Angels

  • 1.97, 9-4, 106: ERA under 2, over 100 strikeouts, um, yea he’s in

Gio Gonzalez, Oakland Athletics

  • 2.38, 7-5, 99:  lone representative from Oakland, deserves an all star nod

    Kid Rock, er, Jered Weaver has great 80s hair, and a two-seam fastball

Alexi Ogando, Rangers

  • 2.87, 7-3, 65: not bad for a guy who didn’t start one game prior to this season

Phillip Humber, White Sox

  • 2.89, 7-4, 59: not bad for a guy who only started just two games prior to this season

Michael Pineda, Seattle Mariners

  • 2.65, 7-5, 99:  2011 AL Rookie of the Year very likely

Mariano Rivera, Yankees

  • 1.78, 1-1, 20 SV:  he’s over 40?  Still the dominant closer he was in his 20s and 30s

Kyle Farnsworth, Rays

  • 2.20, 3-1, 16:  13-yr vet should get his 1st All Star appearance

Jose Valverde, Tigers

  • 2.43, 2-2, 18:  should have 5th straight 25+ save season

Chris Perez, Indians

  • 2.45, 2-3, 19:  becoming one of the best closers in the AL, big part in keeping Cleveland relevant

Felix Hernandez, Mariners*

  • 3.19, 8-6, 118 K:  reigning Cy Young should get in, although he’s the 2nd best in rotation right now

Ricky Romero, Blue Jays*

  • 2.74, 7-7, 96:  solid season, only 4 wild pitches (18 in ’10), needs more wins to be recognized

*possible additions

Not surprisingly the Yankees have the most amount of all stars, with 8 selections.  The Tigers, more impressively, could have 6-7 selections, none of which were voted by the fans.

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