All-Star Picks, 2011

I'm a little late getting my picks in this year, considering the game is just in a few hours, but here they are. If you're interested in a blast from the past, here are my selections for 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007.

Catcher


Alex Avila

#13 / Catcher / Detroit Tigers

5-11

210

L

R

Jan 29, 1987


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Alex Avila 76 245 30 70 18 3 10 46 36 70 3 0 .286 .370 .506



For the first time in a few years, the catcher position didn't have one starter who was head-and-shoulders above his competition. There are a handful of backstops who deserve the nod this season, I just happen to think Detroit's Avila edges out the rest. His 2.7 wins above replacement paces the position, while his weighted on-base average (wOBA) and weighted runs created (wRC+) give him distance from the next best option.

Previous Selections: 0
Runner-Up: Matt Wieters, Orioles (Not a strong choice, but Victor Martinez is primarily a DH these days and Carlos Santana has played significant time at first base, so my backup is Wieters by a hair over A.J. Pierzynski)

First Base


Adrian Gonzalez

#28 / First Base / Boston Red Sox

6-2

225

L

L

May 08, 1982


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Adrian Gonzalez 89 362 64 128 29 3 17 77 35 65 1 0 .354 .414 .591



One the best and most truly powerful players in the game today, Gonzalez was an easy pick for me. Good eye at the plate, great pitch recognition and plate coverage, truly majestic power. He's on pace for an 8+ WAR season.

Previous Selections: 3 (2008 - 2010)
Runner-Up: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Second Base


Dustin Pedroia

#15 / Second Base / Boston Red Sox

5-9

180

R

R

Aug 17, 1983


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Dustin Pedroia 87 342 59 97 19 1 11 44 63 49 16 3 .284 .395 .442



There are a lot of really good choices at second base this year. Pedroia is a solid combination of defense, offense and speed on the bases, and in his career he's consistently been one of the best second basemen in the game. Plus it's always nice to cheer for the underdog, the guy who was always told he wasn't big enough to be a successful Major Leaguer.

Previous Selections: 3 (2008 - 2010)
Runner-Up: Ben Zobrist, Rays (Ian Kinsler, Howie Kendrick and Robinson Canoe all deserve consideration, too)

Third Base


Kevin Youkilis

#20 / Third Base / Boston Red Sox

6-1

220

R

R

Mar 15, 1979


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Kevin Youkilis 83 295 52 84 26 1 13 63 49 68 1 0 .285 .399 .512



Alex Rodriguez is out, so he loses his spot to his counterpart on his East coast rival. His 3.3 WAR is second to A-Rod, but both his wOBA and wRC+ lead American League third basemen. Very good power, and of course incredible plate discipline and strike zone judgment. He's 32 now, but he's still one of the premier players at his position.

Previous Selections: 2 (2008, 2009)
Runner-Up: Adrian Beltre, Rangers

Shortstop


Jhonny Peralta

#27 / Short Stop / Detroit Tigers

6-2

215

R

R

May 28, 1982


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Jhonny Peralta 82 295 40 92 16 3 14 50 24 52 0 2 .312 .362 .529



Just when you thought Peralta's days as a starter were hitting the dusty trail, he comes out and lights it up. He's been a big part of the Tigers' success this season, posting spike numbers in isolated power and contact rates, while simutaneously posting the lowest swing-and-miss rate of his career. Congratulations to Peralta who, at just 29, may be revitalizing his career. That or he's just had a few good months, you decide.

Previous Selections: 0
Runner-Up: Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians (For the record, Derek Jeter doesn't make the top 8 - I'd seriously consider taking Alexi Casilla over Jeter)

Left Field


Alex Gordon

#4 / Left Field / Kansas City Royals

6-2

220

L

R

Feb 10, 1984


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Alex Gordon 87 354 50 106 24 4 11 50 34 77 6 5 .299 .367 .483



Last season at this time, Gordon was in triple-A. It's great to see him finally having the kind of year we used to think he'd be capable of on a regular basis.

Previous Selections: 0
Runner-Up: Brennan Boesch, Tigers

Center Field


Jacoby Ellsbury

#2 / Center Field / Boston Red Sox

6-1

185

L

L

Sep 11, 1983


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Jacoby Ellsbury 89 361 62 114 26 2 11 49 31 53 28 10 .316 .377 .490



Ellsbury, like Gordon, is having a bounceback season. Except Ellsbury is coming back from an injury that kept him off the field for almost the entire 2010 season. As the league's premier defensive center fielder he isn't the most powerful, and he doesn't post outrageous walk rates, but he's a high-speed, high-contact player with a little pop. And when he has a good season the numbers will reflect that.

Previous Selections: 0
Runner-Up: Curtis Granderson, Yankees

Right Field


Jose Bautista

#19 / Third Base / Toronto Blue Jays

6-0

195

R

R

Oct 19, 1980


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Jose Bautista 84 299 73 100 15 1 31 65 74 54 5 3 .334 .468 .702



Could it be anyone else?

Previous Selections: 1 (2010)
Runner-Up: Michael Cuddyer, Twins (Sure, I partially have a soft spot for Cuddyer, but after Bautista he owns the highest wOBA and wRC+ among qualified right fielders)

Designated Hitter


David Ortiz

#34 / Designated Hitter / Boston Red Sox

6-4

230

L

L

Nov 18, 1975


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - David Ortiz 87 303 52 92 23 1 19 55 43 41 1 0 .304 .391 .574



The 35-year old DH is playing like it's '04 - '07. All the numbers in the world will tell you exactly how good of a first have Ortiz has had, so I won't even reference them.

Previous Selections: 6 (2004 - 2008, 2010)
Runner-Up: Michael Young, Rangers

What about you? Who'd be on your team?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Twinkie Town

You must be a member of Twinkie Town to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Twinkie Town. You should read them.

Join Twinkie Town

You must be a member of Twinkie Town to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Twinkie Town. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker