Picking the MLB All-Star Team For Every Division
Picking the MLB All-Star Team For Every Division
The selections for the MLB All-Star Game are hotly debated by fans, writers and players alike, much like in any other sport that features such a celebration of players’ successes by throwing them together on the same team for a one-off extravaganza. When the American League and National League reveal their rosters on July 6, you can be sure that fans may not agree with all the choices.
With that in mind, let’s try something a bit different. Instead of simply having the American League play the National League in one game, what if all six divisions had an All-Star team and they faced each other in some kind of league format? Okay, it’s unrealistic, but it makes for interesting debate, especially when it comes to working out which players should start in their respective divisions’ All-Star teams.
That’s what we’ll be doing here. The next six slides will feature suggested selections for each division’s starting All-Star team, including a pitcher. It could be a very interesting experiment: seeing how the best players from each division stack up against each other. For the sake of argument, and in keeping with traditional All-Star rules, the National League sides will all get a designated hitter.
You might be surprised by some of the selections in here, but one thing is for sure: having six All-Star teams rather than two could be very interesting indeed. Again, it’s unrealistic, but that won’t stop us speculating.
So, read on for a possible All-Star team from each division, see what you think and comment below if you agree or disagree.
Chris Teale is a British-American writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @chris_teale or view his writer’s page here.
C: Matt Wieters (Baltimore Orioles)
1B: Chris Davis (Baltimore Orioles)
2B: Robinson Cano (New York Yankees)
SS: J.J. Hardy (Baltimore Orioles)
3B: Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles)
CF: Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles)
LF: Nate McLouth (Baltimore Orioles)
RF: Nick Markakis (Baltimore Orioles)
DH: David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox)
SP: Matt Moore (Tampa Bay Rays)
The AL East is the strongest division in the American League, and it’s reflected in this selection that is heavily dominated by the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. As expected, AL home run leader Chris Davis starts at first base, with J.J Hardy and Manny Machado continuing their superb partnership at shortstop and third base respectively.
The only non-Red Sox or Oriole starter is Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees, who just sneaks in ahead of Dustin Pedroia having virtually carried the Yankees on his back so far this season. Cano completes the infield by starting at second base.
The Orioles dominate the outfield thanks to their trio’s explosive hitting, with David Ortiz taking his place at DH after another stellar year for the Red Sox.
Behind the plate is Matt Wieters, who has been outstanding both defensively and offensively, with Matt Moore the only representative of the Tampa Bay Rays as he starts on the mound. Moore has the most wins of any AL East pitcher, and with Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox currently on the 15-day DL, he is the clear choice to start given the struggles of other leading pitchers in the division.
C: A.J. Pierzynski (Texas Rangers)
1B: Mark Trumbo (Los Angeles Angels)
2B: Ian Kinsler (Texas Rangers)
SS: Jed Lowrie (Oakland Athletics)
3B: Adrian Beltre (Texas Rangers)
CF: Coco Crisp (Oakland Athletics)
RF: Nelson Cruz (Texas Rangers)
LF: Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels)
DH: Albert Pujols (Los Angeles Angels)
SP: Yu Darvish (Texas Rangers)
Three teams have players in the AL West All-Star team, and with the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers pushing each other all the way for the division lead, it is no surprise that they have plenty of players starting. The Los Angeles Angels have had some struggles, but are still well-represented thanks to some good individual performances.
Mark Trumbo is rewarded for another good first-half of the season with the start at first base, with perennial All-Star Ian Kinsler unsurprisingly standing to his right at second base. On the other side of the infield, Jed Lowrie occupies shortstop while Adrian Beltre is at third, with both players enjoying good seasons both offensively and defensively.
In the outfield, there is a player from each side as Coco Crisp is flanked by Nelson Cruz and Mike Trout. Again, these three players have been hugely impressive at the plate and in the field, so it is little surprise that they make this division team. Albert Pujols finds a spot at designated hitter thanks to some great work at the plate.
On the mound is the hugely impressive Yu Darvish, with his Texas Rangers teammate A.J. Pierzynski catching for him. It’s already been a winning combination for the Rangers this season, and there is little reason to believe it would be any different for this All-Star team.
C: Joe Mauer (Minnesota Twins)
1B: Prince Fielder (Detroit Tigers)
2B: Omar Infante (Detroit Tigers)
SS: Jhonny Peralta (Detroit Tigers)
3B: Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers)
CF: Austin Jackson (Detroit Tigers)
LF: Alex Gordon (Kansas City Royals)
RF: Torii Hunter (Detroit Tigers)
DH: Billy Butler (Kansas City Royals)
SP: Max Scherzer (Detroit Tigers)
Completing the American League teams, we have the AL Central, and as you may notice from the roster, it is dominated by the Detroit Tigers and not the Cleveland Indians, who have gone about their business with few stand-out performances.
It’s an all-Detroit infield, with Prince Fielder, Omar Infante, Jhonny Peralta and Miguel Cabrera working across the diamond and sure to have a good understanding together after a successful first half of the season.
Moving into the outfield, there’s just the two Tigers as Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter stand at center field and right field respectively, with Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals rewarded for some good production already this year. Gordon’s Royals teammate Billy Butler gets the nod at DH, with little other production coming from any other designated hitters in this division.
Starting on the hill is Max Scherzer, who has collected the most wins among all MLB pitchers. Joe Mauer is the only Twins representative behind the plate, having shown great consistency at a losing team.
C: John Buck (New York Mets)
1B: Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves)
2B: Daniel Murphy (New York Mets)
SS: Ian Desmond (Washington Nationals)
3B: David Wright (New York Mets)
CF: Ben Revere (Philadelphia Phillies)
LF: Justin Upton (Atlanta Braves)
RF: Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals)
DH: Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals)
SP: Jordan Zimmermann (Washington Nationals)
Let’s move into the National League and start with the NL East, which sees its All-Star team contain at least one player from four of the five teams in the division.
The Atlanta Braves have Freddie Freeman at first base, while Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets takes his place at second. Ian Desmond of the Washington Nationals has swung a hot bat at times this season, so gets the nod at shortstop, while David Wright of the Mets slots in at third.
Moving to the outfield, Ben Revere has been one of the better performers in center field in this division, and he will be flanked by Justin Upton of the Braves and Bryce Harper of the Nationals, having returned successful from knee bursitis.
The designated hitter for this team is Ryan Zimmerman, while namesake Jordan Zimmermann is rewarded for being in the joint-MLB lead for wins this season with the start on the mound. John Buck of the Mets will start at catcher.
C: Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants)
1B: Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona DBacks)
2B: Marco Scutaro (San Francisco Giants)
SS: Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado Rockies)
3B: Pablo Sandoval (San Francisco Giants)
CF: Matt Kemp (Los Angeles Dodgers)
LF: Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)
RF: Michael Cuddyer (Colorado Rockies)
DH: Yasiel Puig (Los Angeles Dodgers)
SP: Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Out west, we’ve got a good mix of players as once again four out of five teams have representatives here. The infield is dominated by the San Francisco Giants, with Pablo Sandoval at third base and Marco Scutaro at second. In between those guys at shortstop is Troy Tulowitzki, a guy who has enjoyed a superb year at the plate and with the glove so far. Rounding off the infield is Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who starts at first.
Moving out, Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers is flanked by Carlos Gonzalez in left field and Michael Cuddyer in right, both of the Colorado Rockies.
Then, arguably the headline pick, Yasiel Puig finds his way into this team at designated hitter. For his hitting along this year, he deserves his selection.
Clayton Kershaw gets the start at pitcher, throwing to Buster Posey who continues to contribute offensively and defensively despite the Giants’ struggles.
C: Yadier Molina (St. Louis Cardinals)
1B: Joey Votto (Cincinnati Reds)
2B: Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati Reds)
SS: Jean Segura (Milwaukee Brewers)
3B: David Freese (St. Louis Cardinals)
CF: Carlos Gomez (Milwaukee Brewers)
LF: Matt Holliday (St. Louis Cardinals)
RF: Carlos Beltran (St. Louis Cardinals)
DH: Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates)
SP: Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals)
Finally, we move to the AL Central, with the St. Louis Cardinals enjoying good representation among their divisional peers and rivals.
However, two of the four infield spots are taken by members of the Cincinnati Reds, as Joey Votto starts at first base alongside Brandon Phillips at second in a defensive and offensive combination sure to strike fear into the hearts of any opponent. Over the other side, Jean Segura starts at short while David Freese continues his good form and is rewarded with a start at third base.
In the outfield, Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran occupy left and right field respectively, with Carlos Gomez of the Milwaukee Brewers in between them. At DH is another center fielder: Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates, rewarded for some stellar work at the plate for the current AL Central leaders.
At pitcher and catcher, we have a familiar combination from the Cardinals as Adam Wainwright starts on the mound while Yadier Molina catches him.