I covered the National League and now I am onto the American League. Once again, I am giving you a 25-man roster. I will also outline who I think should be starting in this year’s All-Star Game. The fan voting closes today and the final results will be televised on July 2nd. The game will take place July 11th in Miami.
The Astros lead our team with SEVEN All-Stars. The Royals, Twins and Yankees who each have three follow them up. Two players will represent both the Red Sox and White Sox. Every other team will have at least one representative besides the Orioles, Tigers, Athletics and Mariners.
*Statistics are as of June 27th
Chris Sale, Red Sox (STARTER)
Jason Vargas, Royals
Dallas Keuchel, Astros
Ervin Santana, Twins
Lance McCullers, Astros
Chris Sale is the starter for my American League team for obvious reasons. He leads the American League with 155 strikeouts and he has done so in only 113.2 innings pitched. He is also top 5 in wins, ERA, and WHIP. He is one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. Followed up is two Astros pitchers in Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers. If Keuchel did not miss some time due to injury he may be starting this game as he leads the AL in ERA. McCullers and Keuchel have a combined 16-1 record on the season. Ervin Santana and Jason Vargas are having revival seasons. Both of them have double digit wins and an ERA under 3.00.
Mike Minor, Royals
Tommy Kahnle, White Sox
Will Harris, Astros
Brandon Kintzler, Twins
Chris Devenski, Astros
Dellin Betances (7th inning)
Andrew Miller (8th inning)
Craig Kimbrel (Closer)
I like to have two lefties in my bullpen. Mike Minor is one of them as he has had an outstanding season for the Royals so far. He has made a fantastic transition from starter to the bullpen. Brandon Kintzler is second in the AL in saves and a 270 ERA. Tommy Kahnle is top 5 in strikeouts (53 in 31.1 innings), while having a 2.30 ERA. Two more Astros pitchers make my team. Will Harris and Chris Devenski have been dominant out of the pen. Devenski leads AL relievers in strikeouts (64 in 46.1 innings), while Harris leads the AL in holds. Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller are the two best set-up men in the game. They make the team for obvious reasons. Craig Kimbrel is my closer as he is arguably the best closer in the game.
Salvador Perez, Royals (STARTER)
Gary Sanchez, Yankees
The only catcher with at least 250 at bats, Salvador Perez has cemented himself as a one of the best and most reliable catchers in the league. He leads AL catchers in homers (15) and runs batted in (45). He is also third with a .289 batting average among catchers with at least 150 at bats. Sanchez isn’t having the type of run he ended the season with last year, but he is a top-notch catcher. He trails only Perez with 13 homers and he is third in the AL with 39 runs batted in. He also bolsters a .293 batting average.
Justin Smoak, Blue Jays (STARTER)
#SmoakTheVote .. I’m all in on this hash tag. He is having a very good season and it is being overlooked. He does not lead first basemen in homers, runs batted in, or average. However, he is top three in all three categories and he is the only AL first baseman who can brag about that.
Jose Altuve, Astros (STARTER)
This was really tough to choose between Jose Altuve and Starlin Castro. Both players should make the All-Star team, but I only was able to fit one on my 25-man roster. Castro does hold the advantage over Altuve HR and RBIs. However, I chose Altuve because he holds the edge over Castro in hits, doubles, triples, stolen bases, walks, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
Carlos Correa, Astros (STARTER)
Elvis Andrus, Rangers
Carlos Correa was an easy choice as the starting shortstop. He leads AL shortstops in homers (14) and runs batted in (48), while holding the number two stop in batting average (.303). Our back-up shortstop was a tough pick as there are plenty of quality shortstops in the American League. The reason we went with Andrus is because he is the only American League shortstop to be top 5 in homers (9), runs batted in (45), stolen bases (18) and batting average (.295).
Miguel Sano, Twins (STARTER)
Miguel Sano is showing everyone why there was so much hype behind him as he was coming through the Twins’ system. He is top 3 among American League third baseman in homers (18), runs batted in (52), and batting average (.273). He is one of the main reasons why the Twins are having a surprisingly good year.
Aaron Judge, Yankees (STARTER)
George Springer, Astros (STARTER)
Avisail Garcia, White Sox (STARTER)
Mike Trout, Angels
I could not name Mike Trout a starter because of his recent injury and time missed. However, he is still the best player in all of baseball and it is impossible to leave him off my team. There is no need to make a case for Aaron Judge. Look at the stats, read sports news or watch him play. The guy is unreal. George Springer is not only on this team because of his offense, but also because of his stellar defense. To go along with the defense he is second among AL outfielders with 23 homers, third with 50 runs batted in and 7th with a .283 batting average. Avisail Garcia is very deserving of a starting nod, but I’m sure you may be asking why. Let me explain. Garcia is one of two American League outfielders (Aaron Judge the other) to be hitting over .300 and have double digit homers while driving in over 50 runs. Case closed Garcia deserves this.
Corey Dickerson, Rays (STARTER)
I stuck with strictly Designated Hitters for this selection and I choose Corey Dickerson over Nelson Cruz. Cruz does have a whopping 58 RBIs, but that is the only major statistical category he holds over Dickerson. Dickerson is the only Designated Hitter to have 100 hits, 20 doubles and at least a .300 batting average. To go along with that he has 17 homers, 39 runs batted in and leads the position with 3 triples.
I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.