Fox is announcing the actual All-Star rosters tomorrow night. In advance of that ESPN had several analysts pick their own All-Star teams. I decided to do the same. I kept within the rules of the All-Star game itself. Every MLB team had to be represented, each team had to have two reserve catchers and 12 reserve pitchers. I built from there. I excluded players who are injured and will not be able to participate in the game itself. So that’s why you don’t see Clay Buchholz, Troy Tulowitzki, or Jesse Crain.
Where I break from tradition is with relievers. I would much rather reward a roster spot to a starter than a reliever. Relievers just don’t generate enough actual value. I put only two relievers from the A.L. on my roster (Rivera, Nathan) and one from the N.L. (Kimbrel). The rest of the pitching slots I filled with starters.
Here are my 2013 All-Star selections.
|C||Joe Mauer||Yadier Molina|
|1B||Chris Davis||Paul Goldschmidt|
|2B||Dustin Pedroia||Matt Carpenter|
|3B||Miguel Cabrera||David Wright|
|SS||J.J. Hardy||Jean Segura|
|LF||Mike Trout||Carlos Gonzalez|
|CF||Jacoby Ellsbury||Carlos Gomez|
|RF||Jose Bautista||Andrew McCutchen|
|DH||David Ortiz||Joey Votto|
|SP||Max Scherzer||Matt Harvey|
|SP||Chris Sale||Clayton Kershaw|
|SP||Hisashi Iwakuma||Cliff Lee|
|SP||Derek Holland||Adam Wainwright|
|SP||Justin Verlander||Jordan Zimmermann|
|SP||Felix Hernandez||Stephen Strasburg|
|SP||Yu Darvish||Homer Bailey|
|SP||James Shields||Jhoulys Chacin|
|SP||Bud Norris||Jeff Samardzija|
|SP||Bartolo Colon||Jose Fernandez|
|SP||Justin Masterson||Patrick Corbin|
|RP/SP||Joe Nathan||Shelby Miller|
|RP||Mariano Rivera||Craig Kimbrel|
|C||Jason Castro||Buster Posey|
|C||Carlos Santana||Russell Martin|
|1B||Edwin Encarnacion||Adrian Gonzalez|
|2B||Robinson Cano||Chase Utley|
|2B/SS||Jason Kipnis||Everth Cabrera|
|3B/SS||Manny Machado||Andrelton Simmons|
|3B||Adrian Beltre||Pedro Alvarez|
|3B/OF||Evan Longoria||Bryce Harper|
|3B/OF||Josh Donaldson||Starling Marte|
|OF||Brett Gardner||Jay Bruce|
|OF||Adam Jones||Domonic Brown|
|OF||Alex Gordon||Carlos Beltran|
|LAST MAN ADDED||AL||NL|
|SS/OF||Jose Iglesias||Yasiel Puig|
|LAST MAN CUT||AL||NL|
|2B||Ian Kinsler||Brandon Phillips|
The American League has a great group of third and second basemen. I was able to get all of the third basemen in but there just wasn’t enough room for Ian Kinsler or Howie Kendrick.
There isn’t a ton of quality outfield depth in the American League; because of this I only selected three reserve outfielders to the A.L. roster. I’d rather fill those roster spots with more deserving infielders and have Mike Trout play deeper into the game.
Limiting my roster to just two relievers allowed most of the worthy starters to make the team. Anibal Sanchez is coming off the disabled list tomorrow, he was the toughest pitching omission.
The National League all of a sudden has great depth at middle infield. I couldn’t make room for all of these guys. Ian Desmond and Brandon Phillips were both tough omissions. The N.L. is also stacked in the outfield. Justin Upton, Shin-Soo Choo, Hunter Pence, Michael Cuddyer, and Gerardo Parra all got snubbed; however I put six reserve outfielders on the N.L. roster who I felt were just as good if not better.
A quick thought on Yasiel Puig. The All-Star game is a showcase and an exhibition. I don’t care that Puig has only played in 29 games, he’s been the best player in baseball over the last month. He has done things during his first month in the Majors that we haven’t seen since DiMaggio debuted in 1936. I want to see him. I’d rather see Puig than some middle reliever or closer. It’s tough to keep someone like Brandon Phillips off in favor of Puig however Puig actually tops Phillips in WAR on Baseball-Reference (2.4/1.9) and Baseball Prospectus (2.1/1.6). They are tied on FanGraphs at 1.9.
Despite only selecting one reliever, I feel like I wanted to add several more starters. A.J. Burnett, Madison Bumgarner, Jorge De La Rosa, Jeff Locke, and Mat Latos are all deserving. I just couldn’t make room for those guys.
One thing that shocked me, I selected two players from the Astros. Norris and Castro. I only put one player on from the Angles (Trout). I wouldn’t have predicted that in March.
Those are my rosters. What do you think?
Follow me on twitter @RossCarey
Originally posted 7/5/13