Catcher – Brian McCann, New York Yankees
First Base – Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
First Base – Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
Second Base – Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
Second Base – Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers
Shortstop – Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
Third Base – Josh Donaldson
Third Base – Kyle Seager
Outfield – George Springer, Houston Astros
Outfield – Mark Trumbo, Baltimore Orioles
Outfield – Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners
DH – Victor Martinez
Do we really need to have a backup catcher? Fine, I’ll take McCann by default given that he at least has a track record, but it’s an ugly bunch after Perez.
Miggy could easily be worthy of being the starter, so if you want to flip him for Hosmer I won’t fight you on it, but both clearly have to make the team. Davis wasn’t an easy choice given his brutal .228 average and the fact that he strikes out a ton, but his 15 homers are the most at the position. Joe Mauer is having a fine bounce back season and his 1.7 WAR equals what Davis has produced, but an Orioles team tied for first in the AL East deserves multiple All-Stars more than the Twins deserve any. In reality, Mauer probably makes the team as Minnesota’s lone representative because he has name recognition and MLB rules are dumb.
Cano is finally living up to his enormous contract after a slow start to last season had many questioning Seattle’s decision. His 3.2 WAR is 4th in the league and he’s 3rd with 18 homers. Kinsler is having too great of a season to leave off this team, producing a 3.1 WAR and .897 OPS, so we’re rolling with three second basemen on this squad.
We’re only bringing one backup shortstop with us and Lindor is the only option that makes much sense, but that’s fine because Machado can always slide over to that spot if necessary.
As the reigning MVP, Donaldson has to be on the team and he’s having a solid season, even if it’s not up to last year’s standards. I thought about putting Todd Frazier on the roster too considering his 18 home runs are a big part of Chicago’s hot start that has them competitive again in the AL Centeral, but the dude is hitting .215, so no thanks. Seager gets the other hot corner spot, with a slight edge over Adrian Beltre. Although I can’t blame you if you want to pick Beltre instead because, well, he’s Adrian Beltre.
Springer can make a case for being a starter over JBJ, especially if you lean more towards track record. Both are having outstanding seasons and have to be on this team either way, but I gave Bradley the edge because
I’m a homer
of his defense.
Trumbo makes the team because he leads the league with 20 home runs and his .939 OPS is sixth, although I remain skeptical he can keep this up. The power is real, but a career .254 hitter isn’t likely to keep flirting with a .300 average at age 30.
Cruz spends most of his time at DH, but he’s played enough right field that we can sneak him in. The 35-year old can still rake and could be headed for his third straight 40-homer season. I’m putting him as an outfielder mostly so I can use my backup DH spot on Martinez, who is fifth in the league in hitting at .335 and has a .907 OPS.