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My 2012 All-Stars

I like how the fans get the say in who is an All-Star in Major League Baseball, but lets be honest, they don’t do a great job when it comes to being unbiased.  Mike Napoli is the starting AL catcher for goodness sake.  I love Nap Nap as much as any Rangers fan, but he is hitting (as of right now) .235, 12 homeruns and 30 RBI.  Sure, ok power numbers, but he often has failed in clutch moments the first half of the 2012 season.  Dan Uggla is a prime example in the National League, hitting just .234 with 11 homers and 43 RBI, and don’t forget the fifth most errors in the majors with 8 already.  Here is my list of the guys who SHOULD be the starters for this year’s Midsummer Classic:

American League:

1B- Paul Konerko (.335 avg, 14 HR, 40 RBI):  The 36 year old is having a career year, just when fans thought he just might be done.  Granted, the last two seasons he has looked pretty good, but what more could you expect from an aging slugger?  He is second in the league in average, and has helped the White Sox to a 2.0 lead in the AL Central.

2B- Robinson Cano (.313 avg, 20 HR, 47 RBI):  Cano is putting up MVP type numbers, at a position that offense is sometimes hard to find.  Cano is top-15 in most every offensive category, and has played well on defense, committing just four errors.  Oh yeah, and the Yankees are six games in front in the AL East.

3B- Adrian Beltre (.323 avg, 14 HR, 52 RBI):  The Rangers offense is almost ALWAYS fun to watch, and this year is no different.  While Adrian Beltre is a HUGE reason to watch the offense, his defense is the reason you would pay money to go to games.  I admit, when the Rangers signed Beltre I was skeptical, silly me.

SS- Elvis Andrus (.307 avg, 1 HR, 32 RBI):  The power numbers aren’t there, but Andrus just might be the best SS in the American League.  Five triples (leads AL SS), 94 hits and 16 stolen bases make Elvis one of the most dangerous offensive threats on the Rangers, which is saying something.

C- Joe Mauer (.327 avg, 4 HR, 37 RBI):  I know he doesn’t play EVERY game at catcher, but he is the league’s best.  Joe was ROBBED by the fans, but that’s ok, I know he is the best.

LF- Josh Hamilton (.314 avg, 25 HR, 73 RBI):  There was a time I thought Hamilton was going to hit 40 homers before the all-star break.  Granted he has slowed down a LOT, but he is still the MVP front-runner.  He is one of my favorite players, it is a shame he won’t be participating in the homerun derby as well.

CF- Mike Trout (.339 avg, 9 HR, 33 RBI):  The Ranger killer….or whatever.  This guy has had a GREAT “rookie” (he played some last year, weird how baseball does it) season, and will continue to get better.  That is scary as a Texas fan.  Not only do those numbers look great, he has 22 stolen bases.  Yikes.

RF- Adam Jones (.298 avg, 19 HR, 42 RBI):  The Orioles have cooled-off since their hot start, but still only trail the Yankees by six games.  Jones is the MAIN offensive reason why, and one of the best young outfielders in the game.  If he can keep his offensive heroics up, the Birds will continue to push the evil empire.

P- Chris Sale (9-2 record, 2.27 era, 68 hits, 94 K’s, .198 opp. batting average):  Surprised?  Yeah, there are TONS of good starting pitchers in the AL (Harrison, Darvish, Weaver, Nova, Hughes, Verlander, Price) to name a few, but Sale has come from nowhere to help get the Sox into first place.  I am all for “good stories” and Sale is one of the best.  Why not give this guy the nod?

National League:

1B- Joey Votto (.350 avg, 14 HR, 47 RBI):  The Reds are in first place, and Votto is an early MVP candidate.  Votto is in the top-15 in every major offensive category, leading the NL in doubles and fifth in batting average.  This Reds team is fun to watch.

2B- Jose Altuve (.304 avg, 5 HR, 23 RBI):  Youngster from Venezuela gives the Astros a young, studly middle infield teaming up with Jed Lowrie.  The fans voted in Dan Uggla, which goes to show you that “chicks dig the long ball”.    Jose does have eight errors so far this season, but makes up for it with 12 stolen bases.  Sorry Aaron Hill fans, I was pressured by a FEW Astros fans on Twitter.

3B- David Wright (.354 avg, 9 HR 50 RBI):  What are the fans looking at?  Aren’t there like a BILLION people in New York?  Wright is having a fantastic season, and should be the starter.  Maybe Sandoval threatened to eat everyone who didn’t vote for him.

SS- Starlin Castro (.292 avg, 6 HR, 40 RBI):  Yeah, I have a thing for younger players, but Castro is legit.  He leads all NL shortstops in triples, and is second in RBI’s and batting average.  Sure, Castro has 13 errors, but darnit, he looks good doing it…and the Cubs need SOMETHING to got their way right?

C- Carlos Ruiz (.356 avg, 11 HR, 43 RBI):  This was about as easy as picking which Jackson brother was the most popular out of the Jackson 5.  Ruiz leads all NL catchers in hits, doubles, runs and slugging percentage.  He also catches a pretty good game to with a great pitching staff.

LF- Carlos Gonzalez (.339 avg, 17 HR, 58 RBI):  There are A LOT of great outfielders in the NL, but Cargo is one of the best.  You may not remember him because he plays in Colorado, but you should, he can really do it all.

CF- Andrew McCutcheon (.354 avg, 15 HR, 52 RBI):  I have a soft-spot for outfielders, young players, and the Pittsburgh Pirates.  It is hard to name more than a handful of Pirates these days, yet they only trail the Reds by just two games, mainly because of McCutcheon.  He gets the nod over tons of other great players.

RF- Melky Cabrera (.352 avg, 7 HR, 39 RBI):  Say WHAT?  Yeah yeah, another surprise.  Guys like Braun, Kemp, Prado, Beltran and Holliday are still out there, having great seasons, but you have to give the nod to the first-time All-Star.  One, his name is Melky, two, he leads the world in hits, with 111.  I love it.

P- R.A. Dickey (12-1 record, 2.15 ERA, 116 K’s, .190 opp. batting average):  This was simple.  A guy that USED to be a Ranger, not a great one at that, is your NL starter.  The best part is, he throws knuckle balls.  He BETTER be the starter.

Ok, let me know, who do you disagree with?

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