Fan voting for the All-Star Game of course means that you (as in fans as a whole) get to see who you want…but it doesn’t mean that the “best” player is starting at every position.
But what if they did? Here’s a look at what the starting lineups could look like if the “top” qualifying statistical player was the starter at every position:
Note: “Qualifier” means at least 2.7 PA per team game (220-230 or so depending on the team). Choices are given if different players lead their position in one of the big three stats (AVG-HR-RBI), and stolen bases will also be used as a category for outfield and the middle infielders.
C: Joe Mauer (.326-5-41) or A.J. Pierzynski (.285-16-49)
1B: Paul Konerko (.329-14-42) or Prince Fielder (.299-15-63)
2B: Robinson Cano (.313-20-51) or Jason Kipnis (.277-11-49, 20 SB)
SS: Derek Jeter (.308-7-25), JJ Hardy (11 HR), Alexei Ramirez/Mike Aviles (44 RBI), or Elvis Andrus (.299, 16 SB)
3B: Adrian Beltre (.326-15-54) or Miguel Cabrera (.324-18-71)
OF: Mike Trout (.341-12-40, 26 SB), Josh Hamilton (.308-27-75), and either Austin Jackson (second with .332 BA) or Jose Bautista (.244 but tied for first with 27 HR and second in RBI with 65)
DH: David Ortiz (.312-22-57) or Adam Dunn (.208-25-61)
C: Carlos Ruiz (.350-13-46), but Yadier Molina (13 HR) and Brian McCann (13 HR, 46 RBI) are “leaders” too
1B: Joey Votto (.348-14-48) or Adam LaRoche (.255-15-53)
2B: Jose Altuve (.303, 15 SB), Dan Uggla (12 HR), or Brandon Phillips (48 RBI)
SS: Willie Bloomquist (.294), Ian Desmond (.285-17-51), or Dee Gordon (30 SB)
3B: David Wright (.351-11-59) or Pedro Alvarez (16 HR)
OF: Andrew McCutchen (.362-18-60), Ryan Braun (.306-24-61), Carlos Beltran (.296-20-65), and Michael Bourn (.311, 25 SB)
There are some interesting candidates there, for sure, and while only two of the AL starters aren’t listed at all (Granderson and Napoli), five NL’ers (Cabrera, Furcal, Posey, and the “ineligible non-qualifiers” Kemp and Sandoval) are left out.
Off that list, I’d personally pick Ortiz, Pierzynski, Konerko/Cano/Jeter/Cabrera, and Trout/Hamilton/Bautista for the AL, and then Ruiz, Votto/Phillips/Desmond/Wright, and McCutchen/Braun/Beltran for the NL, likely with Melky Cabrera (league leader in hits, second in AVG) as the DH. And, as far as pitchers go, take your pick on what stat is most important to you, but my starters would ideally be Jered Weaver (10-1, 1.96 ERA and a no-hitter) and R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.40 ERA, 123 K).
Enjoy the All-Star Game, everyone.