Friday, June 09, 2006

My June 9 All Star ballot

American League

1B Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox)
(Previous vote: Konerko)

Nothing here has changed. The only other choice on the ballot at this position with comparable all-around numbers is Travis Hafner, but as I pointed out before, he is not a first baseman. Hafner is a strict designated hitter.

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

Lopez leads all AL second basemen in homers and RBI. In fact, his 47 RBI are nearly double the total of the any other second baseman in the AL!

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

The numbers speak.

3B Eric Chavez (Oakland Athletics)
(Previous vote: Hank Blalock)

Chavez is an extraordinary third baseman and one of the most underrated players in the league. Despite posting perennial All Star numbers and racking up the Gold Gloves, the notoriously slow starter has never appeared in an All Star game. That changes this year.

C Joe Mauer (Minnesota Twins)
(Previous vote: A.J. Pierzynski)

The easiest way to vault yourself onto in All Star ballot is to produce, and over the past 17 games (approximately the time since my last All Star ballot) Mauer has hit .509 to raise his average to a Gwynn-like .379 - easily the Major League leader.

OF Vladimir Guerrero (Los Angeles Angels), Vernon Wells (Toronto Blue Jays), Alex Rios (Toronto Blue Jays - WRITE IN)
(Previous vote: Wells, Rios, Casey Blake)

Casey Blake has had a fine season, but he's finally coming back to earth. He's a great first half story, but he's not an All Star starter. Vlad Guerrero is an All Star starter. Meanwhile, Toronto's outstanding outfielders haven't slowed a bit!

National League

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

Injury and all, he's still the clear choice.

2B Chase Utley (Philadelphia Phillies)
(Previous vote: Utley)

A very interstesting category and a tough choice. I'm starting to think that Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips (not on the ballot) and Florida's Dan Uggla are for real, and their underdog stories (especially Uggla's) make them nice sentimental choices, but Utley is still the best second baseman in the NL, having the best season.

SS Hanley Ramirez (Florida Marlins)
(Previous vote: Ramirez)

The rookie of the year favorite has cooled down over the last few weeks, and I'm tempted to vote for Jose Reyes, but not until he gets his average over .250.

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

Is there a quieter .340 hitter in baseball this year than Scott Rolen? Seriously, when did that happen? Still, Wright is the choice.

C Brad Ausmus (Houston Astros)
(Previous vote: Brian McCann)

NL catcher boasts the least impressive list of candidates of any position in either league. McCann's injury is costing him my vote here. In a most unspectacular field, I'll go with Ausmus. He is widely regarded as one of the top field generals in the game and he's hitting close to .300.

OF Jason Bay (Pittsburgh Pirates), Matt Holliday (Colorado Rockies), Alfonso Soriano (Washington Nationals)
(Previous vote: Holliday, Andruw Jones, Soriano)

Bay has been on a tear lately. Here's his reward: a Dan Cote All Star vote!


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