30 June 2011

American League All-Star Ballot 2011

As per our membership in the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, we at Rational Pastime are sharing our 2011 All Star Game selections. J-Doug takes the AL, while Sturgeon General takes on the Senior Circuit.

First Base: Adrian Gonzalez (Boston)
Honorable mentions: Miguel Cabrera (Detroit) and Mark Teixeira (New York)
The Red Sox first baseman is challenging Jose Bautista for the AL MVP. He's #2 among AL first basemen in win probability added (WPA) and leverage-adjusted win probability added (WPA/LI). A-Gon leads AL 1Bs in Fangraphs' wins above replacement (fWAR).

Second Base: Ben Zobrist (Tampa Bay)
Honorable mentions: Howie Kendrick (Anaheim) and Dustin Pedroia (Boston)
Ben Zobrist leads AL second basemen in fWAR and ranks #2 in WPA and WPA/LI. He's also the reason why the Rays refuse to quit despite losing several great players to free agency.

Shortstop: Asdrubal Cabrera (Cleveland)
Honorable mention: Jhonny Peralta (Detroit)
Cabrera ranks second in WPA and WPA/LI, and leads former Indians 2B Peralta by a hair in fWAR. I could have gone either way on this one.

Third Base: Alex Rodriguez (New York)
Honorable mention: Kevin Youkilis (Boston)
Blame my pro-Yankee, anti-Sox bias if you wish, but A-Rod has quietly posted a 3.9 fWAR season. Rodriguez's value easily outpaces #2 Kevin Youkilis, who leads in WPA and WPA/LI.

Catcher: Alex Avila (Detroit)
This is such an easy pick that I won't even bother with an honorable mention. Avila is the only AL catcher with a positive WPA who qualifies for the batting title. He leads his position in the AL with 2.7 fWAR.

Designated Hitter: David Ortiz (Boston)
Another easy pick, Ortiz is easily leading AL designated hitters with 2.5 fWAR, well ahead of former teammate Victor Martinez. He also leads in WPA/LI.

Outfielders: Jose Bautista (Toronto), Curtis Granderson (New York) and Alex Gordon (Kansas City)
Honorable mentions: Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston), Brett Gardner (New York) and Matt Joyce (Tampa Bay)
Bautista is a no-brainer; his 5.3 fWAR leads the majors at all positions. Granderson is keeping pace homer-for-homer with Bautista, securing the #2 spots in fWAR and WPA/LI. While Ellsbury leads Gordon in fWAR, the race is close; Gordon's lead over Ellsbury in WPA/LI is not.

Image credit: Wikipedia

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