Monday, June 26, 2006

My June 26 All-Star Ballot

American League

1B Justin Morneau (Minnesota Twins)
(Previous vote: Paul Konerko)

Morneau's incredible June has lifted him to the upper echelon of AL first basemen. Keeping in mind that David Ortiz, Travis Hafner, and Jason Giambi are all designated hitters and not really first basemen, the choice comes down to Morneau or Konerko. Konerko has the edge in batting average, they each have 19 homeruns, and Morneau has a small edge in RBI.

2B Jose Lopez (Seattle Mariners)
(Previous vote: Lopez)

Strong consideration given to Robinson Cano and Tadahito Iguchi, but Lopez keeps driving in runs.

SS Miguel Tejada (Baltimore Orioles)
(Previous vote: Tejada)

Nothing has changed here.

3B Joe Crede (Chicago White Sox)
(Previous vote: Eric Chavez)

I would like to be able to still justify my Chavez vote from last time, but he has slumped to a .255 batting average, while Crede is up to .307. They are tied in homeruns, Crede has a dozen more RBI, and I can't even play the defense card with Chavez because Crede may put a stop to Chavez's Gold Glove streak this year.

C Joe Mauer (Minnesota Twins)
(Previous vote: Mauer)

Vote Joe!

OF Carl Crawford (Tampa Bay Devil Rays), Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle Mariners), Vernon Wells (Toronto Blue Jays)
(Previous vote: Vladimir Guerrero, Alex Rios, Wells)

Stuck in Tampa, Crawford has quietly started to put up a superstar season (.310 average, 10 homeruns, 26 stolen bases). Ichiro is now within 10 points of Joe Mauer in the batting race. Wells is still the best outfielder in the AL, having the best season of all the outfielders in the AL.

National League

1B Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals)
(Previous vote: Pujols)

His batting average, homerun and RBI numbers are now virtually interchangeable with Ryan Howard and Lance Berkman. The difference is that Howard and Berkman didn't miss three weeks with an injury.

2B Dan Uggla (Florida Marlins)
(Previous vote: Chase Utley)

Uggla has to be the feel good story of the year in the big leagues! The Marlins rookie is now in a dead heat with Utley in homers and ribbies, and has a 25 point edge in batting average.

SS Jose Reyes (New York Mets)
(Previous vote: Hanley Ramirez)

Two weeks ago, on my last ballot, I wrote "I'm tempted to vote for Jose Reyes, but not until he gets his average over .250." Since then, he has been the hottest hitter in baseball, recording at least four four-hit games, raising his average to .302, and has continued to lead the majors in stolen bases. Reyes may very well be the most exciting player in all of baseball.

3B David Wright (New York Mets)
(Previous vote: Wright)

Best third baseman in baseball.

C Johnny Estrada (Arizona Diamondbacks)
(Previous vote: Brad Ausmus)

Still the weakest field on the ballot, but Estrada has started to distance himself with his average and RBI numbers and, the D-backs recent slide notwithstanding, has been excellent behind the plate.

OF Jason Bay (Pittsburgh Pirates), Carlos Beltran (New York Mets), Matt Holliday (Colorado Rockies)
(Previous vote: Bay, Holliday, Alfonso Soriano)

Beltran takes over for Soriano. His numbers are catching up and he's simply a better player.


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