I have nothing to say about the Dodgers or Kim Kardashian, I just like to look at her so I put her picture at the top of this piece.
There is one day left to vote on for the final player to be added to each league’s All-Star team for next week in St. Louis. If you need a little bit of perspective on who are the best choices in each league, here are my thoughts.
Note: I’m purely addressing who is the most qualified option paying no attention to position or what the All-Star squads may or may not need given how the rosters are configured.
Chone Figgins, 3B, LAA: .310-1-27-63-24 in 318 ABs
Figgins has produced the average that he didn’t last season (.276), and he is on pace to return to the 40-steal plateau that he reached in 2005-07. He isn’t hitting well against lefties (.227) but he is smoking righties to the tune of a .342 mark. He ranks 11th in the AL in average, fourth in steals and he leads the junior circuit in runs scored.
Brandon Inge, 3B/C, DET: .267-19-54-48-2 in 285 ABs
Really scuffing of late hitting just .205 with a .655 OPS the past two weeks, Inge has been a life saver for the Tigers, and for those fantasy leaguers who have been running him out there as a catcher eligible player. Though he has played exclusively third this season, if we compare his numbers to the other catchers he leads the way in home runs and is second in RBI to Victor Martinez (57). As is, he leads third sackers in homers and his 54 RBI are second to Evan Longoria (64).
Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX: .252-20-54-60-17 in 333 ABs
Never has a potential 30/30 season from a second basemen looked so bad. The reason is that .252 average. Kinsler, who hit .322 in April, has hit .226 over his last 60 games. Still, he is tied for the position lead with Aaron Hill in home runs, is second to Hill in RBI (59), is second in runs (Brian Roberts has 62) and he is tied with Roberts for first at the position with 17 steals. That’s a whole lot of top shelf work, minus the batting average.
Adam Lind, OF, TOR: .308-18-57-49-1 in 321 ABs
He has been a breakout star all year, and he just keeps hitting. Still, his numbers don’t really stand out until you compare him to other AL outfielders and realize that he has more homers than Torii Hunter (17) while he has knocked in more runs than all but two others (Jason Bay has 71, Hunter 65).
Carlos Pena, 1B, TB: .228-23-55-59-1 in 294 ABs
Leads the AL in home runs, but other than that, his performance has been awful including being second in the league with 106 Ks, and don’t even get me started about how absurd it is to be considering a man who is hitting .228 for the All-Star team.
Cristian Guzman. SS, WAS: .310-3-21-41-3 in 297 ABs
The opposite of Pena above, this man’s value is totally batting average driven as he has as many home runs this season as Paul Konerko hit on Tuesday night. Guzman also has no speed at all – those three steals are the same as Tyler Greene who has only seen the field enough for 104 at-bats with the Cardinals.
Matt Kemp, OF, LAD: .307-10-45-44-19 in 306 ABs
Kemp still hasn’t developed the power that some believe he one day will, but it’s tough to down a guy who is hitting over .300 with a pace that would result in 85 runs, 85 RBI and 35 steals. Oh, and you want to make sure he is always in the lineup if there is a lefty on the hill as he simply murders them (.384/.483/.630 in 73 ABs).
Mark Reynolds, 3B, ARI: .265-24-62-53-14 in 309 ABs
Yes he strikeouts out at an embarrassing rate (114 Ks or one per 2.71 ABs), but the man still produces as he leads the position in home runs and RBI while he is third in steals behind Wright (20) and Emilio Bonifacio (18). Not many players go 25/25 with 120 RBI (it’s only happened 16 times in big league history).
Pablo Sandoval, 3B, SF: .328-13-48-38-3 in 287 ABs
This is exactly the type of guy the league should be looking to publicize. Portly, a free spirit quick with a smile, and one hell of a young hitter, the Kung Fu Panda has it all. He has a better batting average, more home runs, more RBI and a higher OPS than David Wright (.322-5-42 with a .878 OPS). Nuff said.
Shane Victorino, OF, PHI: .306-6-39-60-13 in 330 ABs
Pains me to list this guy fourth in the NL, but others have been more impressive. Still, he is the only outfielder in the NL who is hitting at least .300 with 60 runs, 10 steals and 100 hits. That should result in some love shouldn’t it?
By Ray Flowers