With the All-Star rosters being announced yesterday I thought it would be fun to do my own. I used WAR as my primary deciding factor so without further ado here's my All-Star team.
Catcher - Joe Mauer (S), A.J. Pierzynski
Joe Mauer is the easy choice to start as catcher for the American League. After having a horrible year last year, he's finally healthy and has the numbers to back up the selection. I could have had Matt Wieters and Pierzynski has back-ups but I chose to go with just Pierzynski. His power surge was the deciding factor for me.
First Baseman - Paul Konerko
First base has been one of the weaker positions in baseball this year, and the AL only has one viable candidate in my opinion. Konerko has been about as consistent as they come this year and he's currently on pace to finish with one of the best seasons of his career.
Second Baseman - Robinson Cano (S), Jason Kipnis, Ben Zobrist
Robinson Cano is the best second baseman in baseball, so it's only appropriate that he's the starting second baseman. Jason Kipnis is an up and coming star and has had a fine season. I chose Ben Zobrist over Ian Kinsler because he can play multiple positions if needed, and his .377 wOBA also helps.
Third Baseman - Miguel Cabrera (S), Brett Lawrie, Adrian Beltre
Third base has been one of the bigger strengths in the American League this year. Any one of these third basemen have a legitimate case to be starters but I chose Miguel Cabrera because his .387 wOBA is highest among qualifying third baseman. After his excellent showing last season Lawrie takes the next step and becomes an all-star in 2012. He isn't showing as much power but he deserves it nonetheless. Beltre's .373 wOBA is the second highest and he continues to be a force at the plate.
Shortstop - Elvis Andrus (S), Asdrubal Cabrera
Elvis Andrus is the easy choice to start the all-star game since he's the best shortstop in the American League. His .353 wOBA is the second best in the AL and he's been an OK defender. I have Cabrera backing him up since he's been the second best shortstop and he adds more pop.
Outfield - Mike Trout (S), Josh Hamilton (S), Adam Jones (S), Jose Bautista, Josh Reddick, Mark Trumbo, Austin Jackson
Mike Trout should easily be starting the all-star game in my opinion. He's been the best outfielder in baseball by accumulating 4.3 WAR and it's a shame that he isn't starting. Hamilton is also an easy selection to start. The month was just crazy for Hamilton and he's also a no-brainer. I took Adam Jones over Austin Jackson in the outfield because he gives me a little more pop and he's still a serviceable defender. Josh Reddick was easily the biggest snub and deserves to be on the roster. Austin Jackson adds speed if a pinch runner is needed and Trumbo and Bautista add first class power.
Designated Hitter - David Ortiz (S), Billy Butler
David Ortiz is the obvious choice to be the starter. His .309 ISO is the highest it's been since he posted a ISO of .349 back in 2006. Billy Butler is also deserving of a bid. He's shown a lot more home run power compared to past years and is a nice addition.
Starting Pitching - Justin Verlander (S), Chris Sale, Jake Peavy, Felix Hernandez, David Price, CC Sabathia, Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, Jason Hammel
Justin Verlander is my starter, but I debated putting Chris Sale there. C.J. Wilson made the actual all-star game but gets left off my ballot because of his 3.53 FIP. After thinking it over I also decided that Yu Darvish deserves a spot on the team.
Relief Pitching - Joe Nathan, Fernando Rodney, Chris Perez, Charlie Furbush
Joe Nathan is off to another fantastic start and appears to be fully healed after Tommy John surgery. The rest round out a nice bullpen for the American League.
Last one in - Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Jered Weaver, Edwin Encarnacion, Ian Kinsler
I would probably add Jered Weaver or Ian Kinsler to the team. I'd lean towards Kinsler just because I think the pitching in the AL is already very good. Even though there would technically be four second baseman Ben Zobrist can play a multitude of positions