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AL All-Stars: Who Would and Who Should Be In

by Photo of Rob Rubinstein

The Texas Rangers are receiving much love from baseball fans, but is it deserved?

AL All-Stars: Who Would and Who Should Be In

Major League Baseball might as well change the 2012 All-Star game to a game between the NL All-Stars and the Texas Rangers. As of June 12th there are five Texas Rangers in the American League starting lineup, and not to hate on the Rangers or anything, but that is just flat out wrong. The Rangers don't even have the best record in the AL right now for starters, and there are way more deserving candidates that should represent the AL in this year's all star game.

The fact that Commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball decided to make the All-Star game winner take home field advantage in the World Series is a joke in itself. What does the All star game have anything to do with the fall classic? What if the Rangers did not represent the AL in the World Series? Say the Rays, who are currently tied for the best record in the AL, reach the World Series? They don't have one hitter in the All Star game as of June 12th and it will probably stay that way with Evan Longoria still on the DL. How would it be fair that the Rays lose home field advantage in the World Series if none of their hitters were able to hit for that significant cause?

I will go position by position and indicate whether the player currently leading in votes deserves to be starting in the all star game or not. If they do not, I will provide deserving candidates who should be the ones representing the American League at their respective position. The bold indicate numbers that the player either leads or is tied for the lead in that AL statistic at the respective positions.

Rangers C Mike Napoli (.253 AVG, .356 OBP, 11 HR, 29 RBI, 0 SB, 30 R) leads all AL catchers in All-Star votes. I would lean more towards White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski (.288 AVG, .335 OBP, 10 HR, 38 RBI, 0 SB, 29 R). Just going by the numbers, he is the most deserving. One could even make a claim for Twins C Joe Mauer (.302 AVG, .406 OBP, 3 HR, 27 RBI, 3 SB, 32 R).

Tigers 1B Prince Fielder (.310 AVG, .386 OBP, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 1 SB, 34 R) leads all AL first basemen in All-Star votes. He is having a great year and deserves to be in the all star game, but as of right now, shouldn't be starting. White Sox 1B Paul Konerko (.365 AVG, .447 OBP, 11 HR, 35 RBI, 0 SB, 33 R) should be starting for the AL at 1B. If Fielder had an exceptional glove at first base I would ultimately give him the nod over Konerko, but he does not. One could also make a case for Blue Jays 1B Edwin Encarnacion (.290 AVG, .355 OBP, 17 HR, 44 RBI, 6 SB, 34 R)

Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler (.273 AVG, .340 OBP, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 8 SB, 46 R) leads all AL second basemen in All-Star votes. Yankees 2B Robinson Cano (.300 AVG, .355 OBP, 11 HR, 30 RBI, 40 R) and Indians 2B Jason Kipnis (.285 AVG, .345 OBP, 10 HR, 39 RBI, 15 SB, 43 R) are both probably more deserving than Kinsler. If I had to make a choice right now, I would go with Kipnis who seems to be doing it all this year at the plate and on the base paths.

Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre (.296 AVG, .324 OBP, 10 HR, 37 RBI 1 SB, 29 R) leads all AL third basemen in All-Star votes. The fact that Detroit's Miguel Cabrera (.317 AVG, .372 OBP, 13 HR, 51 RBI, 3 SB, 34 R) isn't leading all AL third basemen in the voting is almost a crime in itself. One could make an argument that Mark Trumbo (.325 AVG, .380 OBP, 14 HR, 39 RBI, 4 SB, 28 R) of the Angels is a more deserving candidate over Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera.

Yankees SS Derek Jeter (.315 AVG, .366 OBP, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 5 SB, 32 R) leads all AL short stops in All-Star votes. I don't have a problem with Jeter being the starting SS at the all star game. In fact, he is more deserving this season than in years past because of the impressive batting average he's had for the of the first third of the season. It wouldn't be wrong to add Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera (.296 AVG, .383 OBP, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 2 SB, 28 R), Rangers SS Elvis Andrus (.294 AVG, .372 OBP, 1 HR, 27 RBI, 9 SB, 37 R), Orioles SS J.J. Hardy (.248 AVG, .291 OBP, 11 HR, 27 RBI, 0 SB, 31 R), and Red Sox SS Mike Aviles (.259 AVG, .280 OBP, 8 HR, 36 RBI, 7 SB, 32 R) into the discussion for possible starters  as well.

Rangers OF Josh Hamilton (.338 AVG, .399 OBP, 22 HR, 61 RBI, 6 SB, 42 R) and Nelson Cruz (.261 AVG, .315 OBP, 8 HR, 36 RBI, 4 SB, 34 R) are the leading vote getters among AL outfielders alongside Yankee OF Curtis Granderson (.251 AVG, .346 OBP, 18 HR, 34 RBI, 3 SB, 43 R). Josh Hamilton is this years AL MVP to this point of the season and could make a push at the coveted triple crown, so there's no argument here. Curtis Granderson is also deserving of starting in the outfield as he is 2nd in the AL in home runs and produces plenty of offense. 

Besides being a Texas Ranger, I don't know how Nelson Cruz is ahead of Orioles OF Adam Jones (.300 AVG, .345 OBP, 17 HR, 37 RBI, 9 SB, 42 R).  Angels rookie Mike Trout (.354 AVG, .412 OBP, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 15 SB, 35 R) is severely outperforming Cruz, and he's only played in 40 games. Blue Jays OF slugger Jose Bautista (.228 AVG, .340 OBP, 17 HR, 44 RBI, 3 SB, 38 R) would have a claim for a starting spot in the outfield if it wasn't for his poor batting average. The Rangers are receiving so much love from the fans that they have made OF David Murphy (.252 AVG, .341 OBP, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 4 SB, 21 R) the 6th highest vote getter among AL outfielders. No disrespect to Murphy, but he is mediocre at best, and last time I checked, mediocrity doesn't get you into the All-Star game.

Red Sox DH David Ortiz (.303 AVG, .385 OBP, 14 HR, 38 RBI, 0 SB, 40 R) is deserving of representing the designated hitters in the all star game for the American League. Rangers DH Michael Young (.283 AVG, .311 OBP, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 2 SB, 26 R), who is a good all star candidate most years, has no business being the 2nd highest vote getter among DH's this year, but hey, he plays for the Texas Rangers so he must be great, according to fans. White Sox DH/1B Adam Dunn (.226 AVG, .369 OBP, 20 HR, 46 RBI, 0 SB, 37 R) at least has a case as he is the current leader in home runs and runs batted in among designated hitters.

Who do you think deserves to start in the All-Star Game for the American League?

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