In the 1990s, MLB was all about the shortstop. Young stars Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra and Alex Rodriguez helped make the position exciting, especially when it came time for the All-Star Game. The position has switched to the their double play partner, the second baseman. This year’s American League All-Star roster is proof. Seattle Mariners star second baseman Robinson Cano got the nod over division rival Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who is having a career year.
Not to mention left off this year’s roster is Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler who is having a terrific year, something many worried he would not have since arriving in a much bigger ballpark, and three time world series champion second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who gives 110 percent and never leaves a game dirty. Simply put, it has become the most exciting position to watch in all of baseball, and it should become even more exciting with rumors of Philadelphia Phillies looking to trade their All-Star second baseman Chase Utley by this season’s trade deadline. Two teams that look to be in the running are the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics. Yeah, imagine having to decide between five players who will all make individual cases in years to come.
The American League ballots should be interesting as Cano is planted in the Pacific Northwest for another decade. It will be hard to see Pedroia and the Red Sox part ways, Altuve and the Astros signed a four-year extension this past offseason and Kinsler is under contract until 2017. Then again, not only should the All-Star Game be interesting, but the hardware for Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards should be switching homes for the next few years as well. The excitement is great to have with a new generation of players taking control of baseball.