Yesterday, I released my picks for National League starters. And today, I will be sharing my picks for the American League.
For each league, the top three position players, including nine outfielders have advanced to the Starter Elections that begins on today at noon and lasts 28 hours until 4 PM EST on the 27th. The player from each position with the most votes during this period will be named the starter and all others will wait until Sunday to see if they make the Midsummer Classic.
- Robinson Chirinos, Houston Astros (.234 / .366 / .484)
- Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees (.268 / .336 / .623)
- James McCann, Chicago White Sox (.328 / .389 / .508)
Chirinos and McCann are both having career years, but even they know that they can’t compete with Sanchez and his AL leading 23 HRs. His defensive anemia can be overlooked in this case, but that won’t stop me from setting the over/under on Sanchez passed balls at 2.5.
AL First Base:
- Luke Voit, New York Yankees (.268 / .387 / .493)
- C.J. Cron, Minnesota Twins (.281 / .344 / .538)
- Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians (.291 / .413 / .538)
Hand up: before doing more thorough research, I was prepared to narrow this choice down to Voit and Cron. They are having great seasons with scarily similar stats, but Santana is sneakily having a better season statistically than the both of them. Carlos Santana has a higher AVG, OBP, and OPS than Voit and Cron so I think he is the deserving choice at the moment.
AL Second Base:
- Jose Altuve, Houston Astros (.251 / .330 / .479)
- D.J. LeMahieu, New York Yankees (.331 / .380 / .495)
- Tommy La Stella, Los Angeles Angels (.297 / .350 / .498)
Jose Altuve is only a finalist because of his past achievements. La Stella has one of the most surprising starts of the year, but LeMahieu seems just a bit more deserving. He has higher offensive stats while La Stella has a -3 Defensive Runs Saved to LeMahieu’s 5.
AL Third Base:
- Hunter Dozier, Kansas City Royals (.305 / .391 / .580)
- Alex Bregman, Houston Astros (.259 / .388 / .522)
- Gio Urshela, New York Yankees (.308 / .359 / .465)
Continuing the trend with third basemen getting screwed. Matt Chapman and Rafael Devers got worked in my opinion. Urshela should not be in the conversation. Dozier is having a wonderful year, but Bregman is Bregman. His AVG is down, but all the other numbers are very impressive and it is tough to overlook his 21 HRs.
- Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees (.285 / .350 /.539)
- Carlos Correa, Houston Astros (.295 / .360 / .547)
- Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins (.326 / .383 / .542)
Taking nothing from Torres and his fantastic start, but this is Jorge Polanco’s without a doubt. He is leading the American League with a .326 batting average and is a huge reason for the surprise team of the first half doing as well as they are doing. No reason for me not to start him.
- Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox (.266 / .386 / .469)
- Michael Brantley, Houston Astros (.322 / .382 / .512)
- Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels (.307 / .466 / .642)
- Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers (.276 / .421 / .653)
- Aaron Judge, New York Yankees (.253 / .370 / .458)
- Austin Meadows, Tampa Bay Rays (.304 / .377 / .552)
- Josh Reddick, Houston Astros (.297 / .337 / .441)
- Eddie Rosario, Minnesota Twins (.269 / .300 / .518)
- George Springer, Houston Astros (.308 / .389 / .643)
After a quick glance, I will eliminate Judge (hardly played), Betts (off year), Reddick and Rosario (both just not at that level compared to others). It is a tougher decision also, but I will eliminate Meadows so that leaves me with Trout, Springer, Brantley and Gallo. The first two are obvious starters. Gallo has not played for the last three weeks due to a tender oblique, but he is coming back from the IL this week and I think he is the right pick. While still hitting absolute bombs, Gallo is starting to hit more for average (.274) and sports a SLG of .653 and an OPS of 1.074. He is an absolute animal.
AL Designated Hitter:
- J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox (.284 / .362 / .518)
- Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners (.266 / .357 / .531)
- Hunter Pence, Texas Rangers (.294 / .353 / .608)
This will probably be awarded to J.D. Martinez, but I am going with Hunter Pence. He came out of no where to resurrect his career and is balling out the first few months of the season. He played in Mexico this past winter just to prove to teams that he was deserving of a roster spot. And I am not just picking him for the feel good story, his numbers are better than Martinez and Cruz. Most impressive of all is that Pence is doing this as the most physically awkward athlete ever. It’s like his limbs are sewed on backwards.
Let me know your thoughts and make your own picks here: https://www.mlb.com/all-star/ballot
Voting starts 6/26 at Noon EST and goes until 6/27 at 4 PM EST.
*Statistics as of completion of games on 6/24