Today is the announcement of the 2006 AL and NL All-Star teams, so now seems like a good time to make my picks. I’m ignoring fan voting, but adhering to the stupid “every team must have one player” rule.
C – Joe Mauer. He’s hitting the quietest .392 in MLB history and is at least partially responsible for all of those Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano gems.
Reserve – Ramon Hernandez. There is a big group of solid AL catchers that includes Victor Martinez, Ivan Rodriguez, and Kenji Johjima, but Hernandez has the best power numbers (15 HR and 59 RBI) of any of them.
1B – Paul Konerko. Look below and you will see some monster seasons, but I am going with Konerko, who his hitting a very nice .316 to go with his usual power and great defense for the defending champs.
Reserves – Jason Giambi (24 HR, 1.060 OPS), Jim Thome (25 and 1.034), David Ortiz (23 HR and 70 RBI), and Travis Hafner (leads the AL in OPS at 1.073, is hitting .310, and has 21 home runs to go with 62 RBI – plus, he looks almost exactly like Lincoln from Prison Break, so he gets some serious bonus points there). I know you can’t really have five first basemen, but with no DH this year in Pittsburgh, you tell me where to put these guys
2B – Jose Lopez. Lopez is having a fantastic season, particularly as a run producer. He easily leads all Major League second basemen in RBI with 57 and is putting together a breakout season akin to Jorge Cantu’s last year.
Reserve – Mark Grudzielanek. Chicago’s Tadahito Iguchi deserves this spot, but since there has to be a Kansas City player, we will go with Grudzielanek and his mighty .284 batting average. What a sham this whole thing is. If the Royals want to field a minor league team, why should they get an automatic rep? I know this argument has been made thousands of times, but it is just infuriating. 99% of fans don’t care if there is a KC player and those rare Royals fans are just going to be embarrassed. If this game is for the fans, then what fans are benefiting from this?
3B – Alex Rodriguez. In April it looked like Eric Chavez and his junk food diet were going to give A-Rod a run, but while the A’s are streaking, Chavez is slumping. In fact, the depth at 3B in the AL is pretty poor this year. Rodriguez isn’t having his best season, but .279 with 17 home runs, 57 RBI, and 8 steals is more than enough.