34 players will make the AL All-Star team to be played July 10th in Kansas City. The 9 Starters and the Final Selection will be determined by the fans. The second release of voting results was announced on Tuesday. Texas Rangers fans continue to stuff the ballot box full as currently Josh Hamilton, Adrian “Don't Touch My Head” Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Sox killer Mike Napoli are in line to start.
In this post, we will look at the potential for AL All-Stars based on each team needing a representative and estimating who will end up as the top vote getters. We will also discuss the prospects of the Sox to make the squad.
C Mike Napoli, Texas
Napoli has a lead of nearly 1 million votes over the Twins' Joe Mauer with the Orioles' Matt Wieters in 3rd. At this point Napoli is almost a lock to start the All-Star game.
1B Prince Fielder, Detroit
Prince leads Paul Konerko by 265,000 votes. Interestingly, in the last release Konerko trailed Fielder as well as Teixeira. At that point I believed it would be Teixeira not Konerko who would make a run. It still appears that Fielder will earn the starting nod but the last couple of weeks of voting could be interesting as Yankee fans still have a chance to push Teixeira to the top but, perhaps fans will continue to take notice of Konerko's impressive numbers and get him into the starting 9.
2B Robinson Cano, New York
Ian Kinsler continues to lead Cano but his lead is down to 15,000 votes. I still think that given Cano's fan base and his name recognition from last years Home Run Derby he will vault to the top spot when voting ends. Our own Dustin Pedroia continues to run a distant 3rd.
3B Adrian Beltre, Texas
Adrian has stretched his lead over Detroit's Miguel Cabrera to 382,000 votes with Tampa's Evan Longoria and A-Rod next. I don't see any of the trailing candidates getting enough influx of voters to catch Beltre.
SS Derek Jeter, New York
Jester is a lock to start for the junior circuit yet again with a sizeable 1.35 million vote lead over Elvis Andrus of the Rangers. Still no love for Mike Aviles as he is not in the top 5 as JJ Hardy of the Orioles, Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians, and Alcides Escobar of the Royals round out that group.
LF Josh Hamilton, Texas
CF Curtis Granderson, New York
RF Jose Bautista, Toronto
Hamilton is the leading vote getter in either league. He is currently on pace to break Jose Bautista's record for votes. Granderson has a sizable lead over Joey Bats for the 2nd starting spot. As I predicted in our last installment Bautista has moved into the starting line-up over taking Nelson Cruz of the Rangers who has also been jumped by Adam Jones of the Orioles.
DH David Ortiz, Boston
Big Papi leads Texas' Michael Young by nearly 500,000 votes in this two horse race. It appears as though Papi is a lock to start for the AL in Kansas City.
C Joe Mauer, Minnesota, AJ Pierzynski, Chicago
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Boston
Maude has quietly put up decent numbers and likely will be the Twins lone representative, although Josh Willingham is making a push. Pierzynski, despite his ability to be quite possibly the most annoying player in baseball, has put up solid numbers and just edges Salty Dog as the third catcher. Further reason to root for Josh Willingham, Sox fans!
1B Paul Konerko, Chicago, Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto
Billy Butler, KC, Adam Dunn, Chicago, Chris Davis, Baltimore
Konerko could arguably be the starter on this team based on stats and Encarnacion has great numbers for Toronto although he could wind up being snubbed for a lesser candidate of need. He also could get bumped by Billy Butler of the hosts as he is probably the most deserving Royal. Chris Davis of the Orioles has joined our list of candidates by putting up solid numbers. Adam Dunn has big HR totals but because he doesn't have great secondary numbers and as a DH doesn't really have a position, gets left off the roster.
2B Jason Kipnis, Cleveland
Kelly Johnson, Toronto, Ian Kinsler, Texas, Michael Young, Texas
Kipnis continues to hold onto the backup spot with no real threats to him at this point. The other candidates are fringe at best and Dustin Pedroia with his terrible last month has taken himself out of contention.
3B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit, Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles
Kyle Seager, Seattle, Mike Moustakas, Kansas City, Will Middlebrooks, Boston
Third base in the AL this season is full of outstanding All-Star candidates and getting stronger. Cabrera will be the best player not starting and Trumbo has been having a huge year on the west coast for the Angels. One change from our first post is Mike Moustakas being dropped from the roster in favor of an additional OFer. Also Seager, who could take Seattle's roster spot with another couple of strong weeks, joins our list of candidates along with Willie Middle. Unfortunately for Will though the logjam at 3B hurts his chances.
SS Elvis Andrus, Texas
Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland, Alcides Escobar, Kansas City, Mike Aviles, Boston
Andrus is having a fine season and gets the nod from his skipper to backup Jeter. Right now we will only take one additional SS which is a change from our first post. Thus Aviles is no longer on the roster and is in danger even if two backups are chosen as Asdrubal Cabrera has closed the gap on the Boston SS.
OF Josh Reddick, Oakland, Adam Jones, Baltimore, Mike Trout, Los Angeles
Josh Willingham, Minnesota, Alejandro De Aza, Chicago, Austin Jackson, Detroit, Nelson Cruz, Texas, Alex Rios, Chicago, Cody Rasmus, Toronto, Matt Joyce, Tampa Bay
We have added a third OFer in this installment with Mike Trout joining the roster, as he has put up huge numbers since his call up. There are some other OFer's not listed in our candidates making a push for a roster spot but at this point it appears there are too many worthy IFers to warrant taking more than 3 backup OFers.
SP Chris Sale, Chicago
SP Jered Weaver, Los Angeles
SP Jason Hammel, Baltimore
SP David Price, Tampa Bay
SP CJ Wilson, Los Angeles
SP CC Sabathia, New York
SP Brandon Morrow, Toronto (Injured)
SP Justin Verlander, Detroit
SP Felix Hernandez, Seattle
SP Jake Peavy, Chicago
Felix Doubront, Boston, Brandon McCarthy, Oakland, Matt Harrison, Texas, Wei-Yin Chen, Baltimore, James Shields, Tampa Bay, Ivan Nova, New York, Yu Darvish, Texas
Not a great deal of change on the pitching front, however there has been some shuffling since our last post. CC Sabathia has gone from the outside looking in, to being a selection by virtue of his 9 wins with a decent ERA and WHIP, along with the 3rd most K's in the AL. Brandon Morrow has also made the roster, leading the league with 3 shutouts. However due to an ankle injury Jake Peavy will hold onto his roster spot replacing Morrow. Yu Darvish of the Rangers has dropped off the roster despite his 9 wins. Justin Verlander's numbers have improved since our first post to further solidify his spot in the Summer Classic. Felix Hernandez remains on the roster but his numbers are not outstanding and if the Mariners have a stronger candidate jump forward King Felix might find himself replaced. Matt Harrison with 9 wins, James Shields, Ivan Nova, and Wei-Yin Chen have all joined the list of potential all-stars.
RP Chris Perez, Cleveland
RP Fernando Rodney, TB
RP Jim Johnson, Baltimore
RP Jonathan Broxton, KC
RP Joe Nathan, Texas
Alfredo Aceves, Boston, Scott Downs, Anaheim, Ryan Cook, Oakland, Scott Atchison, Boston, Ernesto Frieri, Los Angeles, Tim Collins, Kansas City, Rafael Soriano, New York, Vinnie Pestano, Cleveland, Joaquin Benoit, Detroit
There is no change to the AL relievers on the roster however, Everyday Aceves continues to strengthen his case, with Broxton and Nathan as the most likely to go. Frieri, Collins, Pestano, Benoit with 17 holds, and Soriano all join our list of candidates. While it looks more likely Scratch my Atch will not make the list he has continued to pitch well. Ernesto Frieri of the Angels is making a compelling case by not allowing a run in 21 appearances, in fact he has only allowed 3 hits. All which makes this Maineiacs wonder why the Padres traded him to the Angels.