2011 Wahoo’s Warriors AL All-Star Team

Catcher
Starter: Alex Avila (DET)
Bench: Matt Wieters (BAL)

Believe it or not, Carlos Santana is almost in this discussion – that’s how bad the position has been this year. Aside from Avila no one is All-Star caliber, so Wieters gets the nod as the Orioles lone representative.

First Base
Starter:  Adrian Gonzalez (BOS)
Bench: Miguel Cabrera (DET), Paul Konerko (CHW), Casey Kotchman (TB)

It’s a toss up between Gonzalez and Cabrera, who both had an MVP-like first half. Kotchman was one of the last additions to the team. He’s only played 67 games, but is batting .333 and has been a huge reason for the Rays’ success.

Second Base
Starter: Robinson Cano (NYY)
Bench: Dustin Pedroia (BOS), Howie Kendrick (LAA)

All three have a legitimate case to start, but I went with Cano because he’s probably been the most valuable for his team.

Third Base
Starter:  Alex Rodriguez (NYY)
Bench:  Kevin Youkilis (BOS)

A-Rod is the only everyday third baseman batting over .300. It’s a weak year for the position, and even Youkilis is only a borderline All-Star candidate.

Shortstop
Starter: Jhonny Peralta (DET)
Bench:  Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE)

As good as Cabrera has been, it’s hard to argue that Peralta hasn’t been the best in the AL. Peralta has a higher BA, OBP and OPS. Cabrera may be more valuable to his team, but Perlta is simply having the better season.

Outfield
Starters: Jose Bautista (TOR), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)
Bench:  Matthew Joyce (TB), Carlos Quentin (CHW), Michael Cuddyer (MIN)

This is a surprisingly weak year for outfielders. Bautista and Granderson are obvious starters, but the rest of the spots are up for grabs. Michael Cuddyer doesn’t have typical All-Star stats, but there aren’t any other options to represent the Twins.

Designated Hitter
Bench: Billy Butler (KC), David Ortiz (BOS), Victor Martinez (DET), Michael Young (TEX)

Four DHs in a NL park? It’s unconventional, but I don’t see how you can deny anyone from this group. Fortunately Martinez and Young can play multiple positions in the field, while Butler and Ortiz can be used as pinch hitters.

Pitchers
Starters: Justin Verlander (DET), Jered Weaver (LAA), Josh Beckett (BOS), Gio Gonzalez (OAK), James Shields (TB), Michael Pineda (SEA), Alexi Ogando (TEX)
Relievers:  Mariano Rivera (NYY), Chris Perez (CLE), Kyle Farnsworth (TB), Jose Valverde (DET)

There are at least five very deserving candidates left off this list, including Justin Masterson, but 11 pitchers is already a large staff. Verlander is the obvious choice as the starter. As for the relievers, Rivera and Perez have their spots on the team wrapped up, but there are four or five others in contention. I went with Farnsworth and Valverde, but Brandon League, Sergio Santos, Jonathan Papelbon and others have strong cases.

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