We are merely 2 weeks away from the midsummer classic, this year being held at the Great American Ballpark, home field of the Cincinnati Reds, on July 14th. Much has been written and made about the fans voting efforts in the American League, where currently 7 Kansas City Royals are in line to start. This post 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. 34 players will make the AL All-Star team with the 9 starters and the 34th Man selection determined by the fans. Players in bold are our selections to make the team, those in italics also were given consideration.
As this is the fourth year of the all-star prospectus, let's take a look back to see how Cousin Jason has faired in selecting the All-Star teams.
2012: 9 for 9 on the starters, 19 for 25 on the remaining roster: 28 for 34 .824
2013: 9 for 9 on the starters, 17 for 25 on the remaining roster: 26 for 34 .765
2014: 7 for 9 on the starters, 20 for 25 on the remaining roster: 27 for 34 .794
So overall, we are hitting on a little better than a 79% success rate on choosing the AL All-Star roster over the past 3 years. By any baseball statistical measurement, that is a great rate! On to this years selections:
C Salvador Perez, Kansas City
Perez is a lock to start as he leads Russell Martin of the Blue Jays by nearly 6 million votes. In fact, Perez has the most votes in the AL with a sizeable lead of nearly 800,000 over Miguel Cabrera.
1B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
Cabrera is the first of a few non-Royals to make up ground in the latest voting update, he currently leads Eric Hosmer of the Royals by nearly 1.3 million votes.
2B Jose Altuve, Houston
Altuve is another player gaining ground on the leader which is currently Omar Infante, the most undeserving of candidates. Altuve has trimmed the lead down to a manageable 450,000 or so and based on the outrage of the baseball world outside of KC he should be able to overtake Infante in the last week and save a roster spot for a deserving all-star.
3B Josh Donaldson, Toronto
Donaldson is the biggest mover currently in the voting world, having cut the lead of Mike Moustakas of the Royals from 1.6 million 2 weeks ago to 33,000. Based on this upward trajectory, Donaldson should get the nod and possibly even catch Perez for the most votes. Although being on Canada's team does Donaldson get his votes at par?
SS Alcides Escobar, Kansas City
Escobar is most decidedly going to be the starter as he currently has a lead of 2.6 million votes over Jose Iglesias of the Tigers.
LF Alex Gordon, Kansas City
CF Mike Trout, Anaheim
RF Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City
In the OF, Mike Trout has the 3rd most total votes and the reigning All-Star MVP will most assuredly start his 3rd consecutive midsummer classic. Cain and Gordon are also in great shape to start leading Yoenis Cespedes of the Tigers by 3.1 million and 1.9 million votes respectively.
DH Nelson Cruz, Seattle
Our final pick to over take a currently leading Royal, Cruz has got his deficit to Kendry Morales down to 286,000 votes.
C Stephen Vogt, Oakland, Russell Martin, Toronto
Brian McCann, New York
In an all-around weak position for the AL, Vogt and Martin stand above the other candidates. Vogt is the best offensive catcher in the league and Martin has made great strides since his horrendous start. Although, choosing McCann over Martin would not be a surprise.
1B Albert Pujols, Anaheim, Prince Fielder, Texas
Jose Abreu, Chicago, Mark Teixeira, New York, Eric Hosmer, Kansas City, Kendry Morales, Kansas City
Pujols has been a hitting machine over the past month and leads the AL in home runs. Fielder, while he has spent most of the year as the Rangers DH needs to make the roster because of his outstanding offensive numbers and most likely will be the Rangers lone representative.
2B Jason Kipnis, Cleveland, Dustin Pedroia, Boston
Logan Forsythe, Tampa Bay, Brian Dozier, Minnesota
Kipnis has been the best second baseman in the AL this season. Pedroia was having a solid season prior to this past weeks hamstring injury. His injury will probably keep him out of the All-Star game and perhaps opens the door for Logan Forsythe of the Rays. Forsythe's versatility helps his case.
3B Manny Machado, Baltimore
Mike Moustakas, Kansas City, Alex Rodriguez, New York, Jimmy Paredes, Baltimore, Kyle Seager, Seattle, Brett Lawrie, Oakland, Pablo Sandoval, Boston
Machado has put together a very good season and could be the lone third baseman to make the roster of back-ups. However, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Ned Yost chooses his own guy Mike Moustakas to make the roster as well.
SS Xander Bogaerts, Boston, Jose Iglesias, Detroit
Marcus Semien, Oakland
Shortstop is also another weak overall position in the AL. Deacon Art made a case for Bogaerts as an All-Star a few weeks ago. Since that time, Xander has only enhanced his case. Meanwhile, other shortstops, such as Marcus Semien of the A's have regressed. Iglesias, known for his defensive wizardry, has put up a fine .330 average albeit it as pretty much a singles hitter (61 of 70 hits).
OF Yoenis Cespedes, Detroit, Adam Jones, Baltimore, Brett Gardner, New York, JD Martinez, Detroit
Michael Brantley, Cleveland, Hanley Ramirez, Boston, Mookie Betts, Boston, Kevin Pillar, Toronto, Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay, Josh Reddick, Oakland, George Springer, Houston, Jose Bautista, Toronto
Gardner has put together another fine season and could be the lone Yankee on the All-Star roster. Cespedes has taken to Detroit, putting up fine offensive numbers. Jones has also put together a fine season, although he has been slowed in recent weeks by injury. Lastly, Martinez is having a tremendous season and should give the Tigers 2 outfielders on the roster.
Sonny Gray, Oakland, Chris Archer, Tampa Bay, Dallas Keuchel, Houston, Chris Sale, Chicago, Felix Hernandez, Seattle, David Price, Detroit, Glen Perkins, Minnesota, Huston Street, Anaheim, Zach Britton, Baltimore, Brad Boxberger, Tampa Bay, Wade Davis, Kansas City, Corey Kluber, Cleveland
Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay, Hector Santiago, Anaheim, Yovani Gallardo, Texas, Scott Kazmir, Oakland, Jesse Chavez, Oakland, Mike Pelfrey, Minnesota, Edinson Volquez, Kansas City, Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore, Garrett Richards, Anaheim, Clay Buchholz, Boston, Mark Buehrle, Toronto, Luke Gregerson, Houston, Joakim Soria, Detroit, Andrew Miller, New York, Greg Holland, Kansas City, David Robertson, Chicago, Dellin Betances, New York
We probably have selected too few pitchers in this year's all-star prospectus and Kluber is perhaps a wild card to make the roster. However, the reigning Cy Young winner has very solid peripherals despite his 3-9 record. Gray has been perhaps the best pitcher in the AL leading in ERA along with his 9-3 record. Archer and Boxberger have been the keys to the Rays great first half. Keuchel has been tremendous for the upstart Astros. Sale has been dominant despite only 6 wins and could be the lone White Sox representative. King Felix has been his usual, tremendous self. Price has solid for the Tigers. Perkins could be the lone Twin on the AL roster and deservedly so with his league-leading 24 saves. Britton and Street have been very good closing out games for the Orioles and Angels. Davis is another wild card, in that he is not a starter and not the primary closer for the Royals. However, for a year and a half he has been untouchable and should get rewarded by his manager with an All-Star nod.
So there you have it, Cousin Jason's 2015 All-Star Prospectus. It is a very real possibility that the Red Sox only have a single All-Star although injury plays a role in that.