The All-Star rosters will be announced at 1 ET on TBS, so I figured now would be a good time to throw in my two cents. So, here are the 32 players I would select to represent the American League in Kansas City. [update: actual All-Stars denoted by *]
C – Joe Mauer, MIN* – Regained his old form and leads the AL with a .412 OBP.
1B – Paul Konerko, CHW* – .969 OPS is over 100 points higher than next best among first basemen (Prince Fielder)
2B – Robinson Cano, NYY* – Leads second basemen with a .952 OPS, next best is Ian Kinsler at .787.
3B – Miguel Cabrera, DET* – Toss up between him and Beltre, but Cabrera holds a slight edge in most major categories.
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE* – Only AL shortstop with an OPS over .800 (.871), 2nd in HR, and 2nd in RBI.
OF – Josh Hamilton, TEX* – Leads with AL with a ridiculous 1.038 OPS.
OF – Mike Trout, LAA* – Leads the AL with a .336 BA and arguably the most exciting player in the league right now.
OF – Austin Jackson, DET – Only AL outfielder with an OBP over .400.
DH – David Ortiz, BOS* – On pace for another 40 home run season.
SP – Jered Weaver, LAA* – Lowest opponents BA and OBP among AL starters and trails only Chris Sale for the ERA title.
C – A.J. Pierzynski, CHW – One of just four AL catchers with a BA over .250.
1B – Prince Fielder, DET* – One of just two AL first basemen with an OBP over .350.
2B – Jason Kipnis, CLE – Nearly identical box score stats to Ian Kinsler, but far superior defense (8 run difference in DRS) gives him a significant edge in total value stats such as WAR.
3B – Adrian Beltre, TEX* – Leads AL third basemen with a .328 average.
3B – Brett Lawrie, TOR – It’s about time defense was represented in the All-Star Game; leads majors with 30 defensive runs saved.
SS – Elvis Andrus, TEX* – Leads AL shortstops with a .381 OBP and one of just three with a .300 BA
SS – Alcides Escobar, KCR – Royals lone representative, leads AL shortstops with .313 BA.
OF – Jose Bautista, TOR* – Despite .239 BA, one of just six AL outfielders with OPS over .900.
OF – Josh Willingham, MIN – Ranks 5th among AL outfielders in OPS and 3rd in RBI.
OF – Matt Joyce, TBR – .387 OBP ranks trails only Trout and Jackson among AL outfielders.
OF – Mark Trumbo, LAA* – Ranks 3rd in AL in OPS.
DH – Edwin Encarnacion, TOR – Ranks among leaders in HR, RBI and OPS.
The Pitching Staff
SP – Chris Sale, CHW* – AL leader in ERA.
SP – Justin Verlander, DET* – Slightly less dominant than last year, but still among leaders in ERA and opponents OBP.
SP – Brandon Morrow, TOR – Ranks 2nd in AL with .194 opponents BA.
SP – C.J. Wilson, LAA* – One of three AL starters with an ERA under 2.50.
SP – Jarrod Parker, OAK – Oakland’s lone representative. Late start, but ranks among leaders in ERA and opponent BA.
SP – Felix Hernandez, SEA*- Having a good, not great season, but the Mariners have no one else worthy of the All-Star Game.
RP – Jim Johnson, BAL* – Tied for AL lead in saves and leads closers with a .154 opponents BA.
RP – Fernando Rodney, TBR* – Leads majors with a 0.89 ERA in save situations.
RP – Chris Perez, CLE* – Converted 24 straight saves since blowing lead on Opening Day.
RP – Ernesto Frieri, LAA – 10-10 in save opportunities and has yet to allow a run since being acquired by Angels in early May.