Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Friday, June 30, 2006

All-Star Game Thoughts #5 - Shortstop

This post is devoted to consideration of the Shortstop position for the All-Star Game.

American League
1.) Derek Jeter - NYY (1,867,418) [.331/5/46]
2.) Miguel Tejada - BAL (1,401,157) [.320/16/57]
3.) Michael Young - TEX (541,202) [.323/5/50]
4.) Alex Gonzalez - BOS (482,901) [.270/5/24]
5.) Juan Uribe - CHW (403,111) [.232/8/32]
* Carlos Guillen - DET [.299/9/44]
* Orlando Cabrera - LAA [.305/5/44]
* Yuniesky Betancourt - SEA [.286/4/31]
* Julio Lugo - TBD [.299/8/18]

Clearly, Derek Jeter will be starting for the American League in Pittsburgh. Jeter has had another very solid season; the guy is simply Mr. Consistent.

While the choice of Jeter isn't a bad one, I would say that the player who SHOULD be starting is Miguel Tejada. Tejada has a lower batting average, but has 11 more HR's and 11 more RBI's than Jeter. That higher level of production should earn Tejada the job, and it also should earn him a trip as Jeter's backup.

As for the third player I would take to Pittsburgh? Why not go right down the line to Michael Young, who is also having an excellent season. The fans essentially got this one right, with the top 3 players in fan voting being the three guys who most deserve to be called All-Stars. Unfortunately, Alex Gonzalez and Juan Uribe (especially Uribe with his paltry, pathetic batting average) don't belong on the list. Carlos Guillen, Julio Lugo, and/or Orlando Cabrera would all be more deserving of a spot in the top 5 in fan voting. I can live with the fans screwing up the 4th and 5th spots, though, and am overall pleased with how the fans did with this category.

National League
1.) Jose Reyes - NYM (1,068,105) [.293/8/36]
2.) Jack Wilson - PIT (986,117) [.266/7/23]
3.) David Eckstein - STL (875,209) [.319/1/18]
4.) Edgar Renteria - ATL (784,030) [.300/8/30]
5.) Jimmy Rollins - PHI (624,538) [.260/9/29]
* Ronny Cedeno - CHC [.274/2/21]
* Felipe Lopez - CIN [.271/9/30]
* Bill Hall - MIL [.268/16/39]
* Omar Vizquel - SFG [.306/3/24]

I was going to blast the fans for having Jack Wilson and Jimmy Rollins on this list, but honestly there are a lot of very bad Shortstops in the National League. Jose Reyes is going to win the starting job, and I can't argue that too hard; Edgar Renteria has playd well but their numbers are very close, and while Reyes has a slightly lower batting average he also has more RBI's, and don't forget that he plays for a much, much better team. As I result, I would say that Reyes also SHOULD win the fan voting. Good job, fans!

As for who should join Reyes in Pittsburgh, my first choice is Edgar Renteria, who is much improved from where he was last year in Boston. The third choice is a close call between David Eckstein of the Cardinals and Omar Vizquel (who somehow is still playing Major League Baseball, and well). Vizquel has been a little more productive, but I have to give the nod to David Eckstein, who has the higher batting average and plays for a better team. Sorry, Omar.


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