With the baseball regular season wrapped up, I thought I would spend a few minutes detailing for you the 2009 Fantasy All-Star Team for the American League. It’s certainly not an easy call naming just a handful of guys, I’m sure some of you will disagree with some of my choices, but here is my best effort to give you the names of the best guys the Junior Circuit had to offer.
CATCHER: Joe Mauer
Duh. When you lead the league in average (.365), OBP (.444) and SLG (.587) there is nothing this guy didn’t do in 2009.
FIRST BASE: Mark Teixeira
This was a really close race between Tex and Miguel Cabrera, but the Yankees’ slugger pulled just slightly ahead.
Teixeira: .292/.383/.565 with 39 homers, 122 RBI and 103 runs
Cabrera: .324/.396/.547 with 34 homers, 103 RBI and 96 runs
SECOND BASE:Ben Zobrist
While it pains me to pass on Robinson Cano (.320-25-85-103-5) and Aaron Hill (.289-36-108-103-6), I’m going to go with Zobrist who played 91 games at second base. Zobrist hit a strong .297, flashed a lot of power (27 homers, 91 RBI) and stole more bases than the other two combined (17).
THIRD BASE:Evan Longoria
He led the position with 33 homers and 113 RBI while coming in second in runs (100). Despite all that he hit 20 homers with only 58 RBI over his last 106 games. Chone Figgins was a hell of a backup option (.298-5-54-114-42).
The Yankees’ captain led his position in average (.334) and runs (107) while at the same time hitting 18 homers with 66 RBI and 30 steals making this a rather easy call. Jason Bartlett might have caught him if he had stayed healthy for more than 137 games (.320-14-66-90-30).
OUTFIELD:Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Bobby Abreu
Ellsbury led baseball with 70 steals. Crawford managed to swipe 60 bags while hitting 15 homers and, knocking in 96 runs – all the while hitting .305. Abreu batted .293 with 103 RBI, 96 runs and 30 steals of his own. Tough to leave off Jason Bay (.267-36-119-103-13) and Adam Lind (.305-35-114-93-1), but their all-around games left them just on the outside.
STARTING PITCHER:Zack Greinke, Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez
I already broke down this battle in a previous piece titled The AL Cy Young Race .
RELIEF PITCHER:Joe Nathan
I’m skipping over the league leader in saves (Brian Fuentes had 48) as well as the man who is widely regarded as the best closer of all-time (Mariano Rivera) to go with the Twins’ hurler. Why? Nathan had 47 saves, a 2.10 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP and 89 Ks on the year while limiting batters to a .171 BAA, that’s why.
By Ray Flowes