Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 25, 2007
BASEBALL: 2007 All-Stars Part II

The rest of my All-Star ballot. Let's try, here, to vote in an outfielder at each position.

Rightfield

AL: Vladimir Guerrero (.353/.590/.439, 102 RBI). Sorry, fans of Magglio Ordonez (.334/.542/.398, 114 RBI), who might well be neck and neck with A-Rod for the MVP Award if the season ended today; Vlad is a superstar having his tenth straight great season. What would the All-Star Game be without him? Ordonez is a close runner-up.

NL: With the NL not exactly bursting with quality right fielders, I can't think of a more fitting honoree than Ken Griffey Jr. (.270/.533/.354, 79 RBI as a RF and CF the past year), third in the majors in home runs and having covered more than half the ground to his 600th homer before the end of June.

Center Field

AL: Ichiro (.344/.449/.393, 47 RBI as a CF, .323/.423/.372, 62 RBI overall) has the star power and is hitting .364, Torii Hunter (.296 .337 .555, 108 RBI) still has the great glove and the power bat, and Curtis Granderson (.259/.466/.314, 67 RBI) is having a wonderful year, but let's face it: the dominant center fielder in the league, and a guy who is highly likely to win an MVP over the next few years, is Grady Sizemore (.283/.499/.385, 74 RBI). I give Sizemore the nod, if only narrowly over Ichiro.

NL: When originally voting, my son and I were debating the merits of Carlos Beltran (.271 .367 .523 , 103 RBI) and Andruw Jones (.217/.458/.339, 106 RBI), both of whom have run off the rails since then. If I'm insisting on a center fielder, I still take Beltran. Mike Cameron (.273/.485/.347, 89 RBI) continues to be an unsung star.

Leftfield

AL: Manny Ramirez (.324/.549/.425, 86 RBI) doesn't really have the numbers this year, and at 35 he might not catch up to the competition, but you have to give a guy with his resume the benefit of the doubt, and he's up to .300 this season. Carl Crawford (.301/.487/.352, 87 RBI) is probably a year away from surpassing Manny; the rest of the AL features precious few quality left fielders, Hideki Matsui being an obvious exception.

NL: By any objective measure, you put Barry Bonds (.286/.585/.464, 75 RBI) on the team, as a recognition of an all-time great who is still a devastating hitter. That said, I couldn't actually bring myself to vote for Bonds, so Matt Holliday (.333/.589/.394, 119 RBI), is probably the best alternative even when you account for the Coors Effect. Narrowly trailing Holliday are a bunch of fine sluggers - Carlos Lee (.306/.509/.355, 104 RBI), Adam Dunn (.254/.505/.359, 96 RBI), Alfonso Soriano (.294/.576/.364, 71 RBI), and Jason Bay (.276/.485/.366, 102 RBI).

Starting Pitcher:

AL: Johan Santana (19-8, 2.81 ERA) is the best pitcher in baseball, period. Danny Haren's been the best this season, but as I said, I don't just consider this the April-June All-Star Game.

NL I'd be inclined to tab Jake Peavy (16-8, 2.95 ERA), who is leading the NL in Wins and Strikeouts and a close third in ERA. If you look at the numbers you will see that his teammate Chris Young is also on a great run, though.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:39 AM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Since the ballot goes with a generic "outfield" as opposed to by position, I've been giving it to Magglio over Manny on my ballots.

That's not easy as a lifelong Sox fan and unabashed Manny-lover, but Ordonez has been flat-out amazing this year (remember, I live in MI, and follow the Tigers closely). He deserves to start.

Posted by: Mr. Furious at June 25, 2007 11:23 AM

Have to go with Beltran over Jones, even without the slump for Jones so far this year.

Posted by: Mike at June 26, 2007 7:58 AM

Crank,
There isn't a Coors effect anymore. Google this. They Humidor the balls now. Holliday is a fine choice based on the numbers, plain and simple.

Posted by: mb at June 26, 2007 3:37 PM

Stark, in his book on overrated players, says Andruw Jones is not even a shadow of what he once was defensively. May be the most over-rated player in the game today.

Posted by: stan at June 27, 2007 5:05 PM

No one could possibly argue that Santana isn't the best pitcher in baseball,period/exclamation point.
But don't be surprised when Leland picks Verlander to start.

Posted by: AnonE.Mouse at June 27, 2007 8:36 PM
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