The All-Star Game approaches, and it’s time to reveal my choices. Crazy, I know, but I believe the All-Star starters should be the best nine players from the league based on their present-year performance.
So here are my picks for the senior circuit:
Catcher – Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves, a chest protector’s width ahead of Yadier Molina of the St.Louis Cardinals.
First base – Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds, edging Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers. I’m watching the words form here and still can’t believe I’m ranking Albert Pujols third.
Second Base – Rickie Weeks of Milwaukee, powering his way past Brandon Phillips of Cincinnati.
Third base – Placido Polanco of the Philadelphia Phillies, well out in front of the others.
Shortstop – Jose Reyes of the New York Mets. His year has been so awesome, I didn’t even bother to check the stats of anybody else.
Outfield – Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ryan Braun of the Brewers and Hunter Pence of the Houston Astros. I dare anyone to challenge the first two, and I give Pence the No. 3 slot based on his all-around play.
Starting pitchers: Roy Halladay of the Fightin’ Phils gets the start, with teammate Cole Hamels, Jair Jurgens and Tommy Hanson of Atlanta and Jhoulys Chacin of the Colorado Rockies filling out a dream five-man rotation.
At closer, J.J. Putz of the Arizona Diamondbacks has the top stats, and Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants has been huge in so many close-game victories.
This is the ballot I’m submitting to the Baseball Bloggers Alliance for its annual All-Star team. My American League choices follow in another post soon.