July 3, 2022

Exercise in futility: Predicting the All-Star teams

One of my favorite exercises every year is picking the All-Star teams and evaluating my process after the teams have been announced. With balloting now closed and the selection show slated for Sunday afternoon, it’s time to get my picks in.

The N.L. All-Star team will have eight elected starters and 25 reserves, for the A.L. it’s nine and 24. I will follow MLB’s guidelines for having a representitive of each team, a rule I vigorously agree with. I’ll also list players that didn’t quite make the cut, and who I would put on the final “fan vote”.

* Indicates leading his position in balloting as of last report. Names highlighted represent only team’s rep in the game.

With no further ado, here are my 2012 All-Stars:

National League

1B: Joey Votto (CIN)*

2B: Dan Uggla (ATL)*

3B: David Wright (NYM)*

SS: Jed Lowrie (HOU)

C: Carlos Ruiz (PHI)

OF: Carlos Beltran (STL)*, Ryan Braun (MIL)*, Carlos Gonzalez – OF (COL)

Reserves (12): Adam LaRoche – 1B (WAS), Brandon Phillps – 2B (CIN), David Freese – 3B (STL), Hanley Ramirez – 3B (MIA), Ian Desmond- SS (WAS), Starlin Castro – SS (CHC), Buster Posey – C (SFG)*, Yadier Molina – C (STL), Melky Cabrera – OF (SFG)*, Andrew McCutchen – OF (PIT), Matt Holliday – OF (STL), Andre Ethier – OF (LAD)

Pitchers (13): Matt Cain (SF), Stephen Strasburg (WAS), R.A. Dickey (NYM), Cole Hamels (PHI), Madison Bumgarner (SFG), Wade Miley (ARI), Gio Gonzalez (WAS), Zack Greinke (MIL), Johnny Cueto (CIN),  Huston Street (SDP), Brett Myers (HOU), Craig Kimbrel (ATL), Aroldis Chapman (CIN)

Final Ballot: Bryce Harper – OF (WAS), Giancarlo Stanton – OF (MIA), Hunter Pence – OF (PHI), Jay Bruce – OF (CIN), Martin Prado – UTL (ATL)

Injured: Matt Kemp (LAD), Brandon Beachy (ATL), Ryan Dempster (CHC)

Just missed: Ryan Vogelsong (SFG), James McDonald (PIT), Chris Capuano (LAD), Lance Lynn (STL), Tyler Clippard (WAS), Joel Hanrahan (PIT), A.J. Ellis – C (LAD), Alfonso Soriano – OF (CHC), Aaron Hill – 2B (ARI)

I went a little bit homer for the Nats, taking four: Strasburg, Gio, LaRoche and Desmond. Honestly, they all have a claim but any of the last three could be left off for good reasons as well. As well has Harper’s played I don’t think he’s earned a shot at the game above the ones on my list and frankly, any on the final ballot list either. That would be an interesting vote among the players listed there though.

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American League

1B: Prince Fielder (DET)*

2B: Robinson Cano (NYY)

3B: Miguel Cabrera (DET)

SS: Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE)

C: Joe Mauer (MIN)

OF: Josh Hamilton (TEX)*, Jose Bautista (TOR)*, Curtis Granderson (NYY)*

DH: David Ortiz (BOS)*

Reserves (11): Paul Konerko – 1B (CWS), Ian Kinsler – 2B (TEX)*, Elvis Andrus – SS (TEX), Adrian Beltre – 3B (TEX)*, A.J. Pierzynski – C (CWS), Mike Napoli – C (TEX)*, Adam Jones – OF (BAL), Josh Willingham – OF (MIN), Josh Reddick – OF (OAK), Mike Trout – OF (LAA), Mark Trumbo – OF (LAA)

Pitchers (13): Justin Verlander (DET), Jered Weaver (LAA), Chris Sale (CWS), C.J. Wilson (LAA), David Price (TBY), Felix Hernandez (SEA), Jake Peavy (CWS), Yu Darvish (TEX), Jason Hammel (BAL), Jonathan Broxton (KC), Fernando Rodney (TBY), Jim Johnson (BAL), Ernesto Frieri (LAA)

Final Ballot: Albert Pujols – 1B (LAA), Alex Rodriguez – 3B (NYY), Jason Kipnis – 2B (CLE), Adam Dunn – DH (CWS), Austin Jackson – OF (DET)

 Injured: C.C. Sabathia (NYY), Brandon McCarthy (OAK), Brandon Morrow (TOR)

Just missed: Matt Harrison (TEX), Chris Perez (CLE), Joe Nathan (TEX), Edwin Encarnacion – DH (TOR), Billy Butler -DH (KC), Jarrod Saltalamacchia – C (BOS), Derek Jeter (NYY)*

Another fun final ballot. It was tough to pick the starters in the A.L. When you look at the numbers, it’s amazing that any starting pitcher would ever want to pitch in the A.L., having to face a real hitter in the DH slot instead of a pitcher or pinch-hitter. Yet another reason MLB should adopt one set of rules any play by them in both leagues.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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