10 2011 MLB All-Stars Due to Regress
In 2011, 84 Major League Baseball players were named to either the American League or National League All-Star teams, including injury replacements. It is all but guaranteed that not all of them will be back in the game in 2012.
Come July, we will see many new All-Stars as the new generation of players comes into their own. For the young players to have a spot on the All-Star rosters, past All-Stars need to regress and turn in performances unworthy of such a title.
Here are 10 players from the 2011 All-Star rosters that will regress in 2012 and potentially miss this season's All-Star Game.
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Kevin Youkilis' regression began last season when he missed much of the second half of the season due to injury.
Even before that, despite being an All-Star, he wasn't playing up to his standards.
The biggest regression came with Youkilis' batting average. He hit .258 in 2011 and averages .289 for his career.
One cause could be the switch to third base, which is a much harder position to play, from first base upon the arrival of Adrian Gonzalez.
But he isn't getting any younger and the regression could be caused by his age. Youkilis is currently 32 and will be 33 when the season begins.
With top prospect Will Middlebrooks just about ready to make the jump from Triple-A to the big leagues, Youkilis' time as Boston's third baseman could be limited.
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Much like Youkilis, Alex Rodriguez's regression began when he only played 99 games in 2011. He also was an All-Star in 2011, as was Youkilis.
But that could change in 2012. With young guys like Evan Longoria on the verge of becoming superstars, A-Rod may miss the celebration of the game's stars this season.
The New York Yankees knew they were taking a risk when they gave A-Rod that massive contract, and it now appears the he is no longer worth the millions upon millions of dollars he makes a year. In 2011 he made $31 million.
And at 36 years old, he isn't getting any younger. Look for A-Rod's numbers to take a dip this season.
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A couple seasons back, it seemed as though David Ortiz's days were numbered after posting a .238 batting average in 2009. But he surged back in 2011. Despite the resurgence, Ortiz's numbers will take a hit in 2012.
At the age of 36, a ballplayer's body can't just do the things it used to do. Don't get me wrong, Ortiz will still be one of the best designated hitters in the game, but he doesn't have much competition at that position without many full-time players at the position in the game today.
He will post good numbers but they won't be the same 30 home runs and 100 RBIs that Red Sox fans have grown accustomed to from Ortiz.
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A first-time All-Star in 2011, Alexi Ogando, probably reached the peak of his career in the first half of this past season.
He came out of nowhere and dominated for the Texas Rangers in the first half with a record of 9-3 and an ERA of 2.92.
In the second half of 2011, Ogando fizzled and ended with a record of 13-8 and an ERA of 3.51 including an ERA of 7.14 in the month of August.
Ogando will not be an All-Star in 2012 and will likely never have a better first half than that of 2011.
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The fact that Scott Rolen was an All-Star in 2011 says a lot about the fan voting process considering he hit just .242 with five home runs and 36 RBI.
There isn't much room for Rolen to regress as he already is a shell of his former self, but he likely won't post good numbers in 2012 coming off shoulder surgery.
He is the odds-on favorite to post the worst numbers of anyone on this list. It is probably a good time for the eight-time Gold Glover to hang up the spikes.
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Perhaps one of the most surprising performances of 2011 was Joel Hanrahan's 40 saves and 1.83 ERA for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It came out of nowhere as his career ERA is 3.92 and he had never saved more than nine games in his career.
Despite his All-Star 2011, I am not sold on Hanrahan. Given his history and the caliber of the team he is on, regression seems like the only possible direction for 2012.
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Chipper Jones has been playing on the Atlanta Braves forever. He had a solid 2011, hitting .275 with 18 home runs and 70 RBI, but he is bound to regress in 2012.
At the age of 39 he will not be able to play as many games in the past and injuries from 2011 show that his body is starting to break down.
Jones will forever be a Braves legend but don't expect him to be the All-Star third baseman he has been in the past.
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Paul Konerko is a lot like David Ortiz, an aging bat that showed no signs of slowing down in 2011. But age is bound to catch up to him eventually and 2012 may be that year.
Konerko, 35, turns 36 next week, and with the state of the Chicago White Sox it makes sense that his numbers will drop off this season.
But Konerko is probably the person who is most likely to prove me wrong by putting up another monster season, as he has shown the fewest signs of regression.
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Curtis Granderson is not a player who will regress because of his age,being just 30 years old. But after the monster season he put up in 2011 it is hard to see him surpassing it or even equaling it in 2012.
Granderson hit 41 home runs, 11 more than he had ever hit, and knocked in 119 RBI while scoring 139 runs in 2011 for the New York Yankees, an MVP-worthy season.
His numbers in 2012 will come down despite still playing in the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.
This slide will get a lot of hate from Yankee fans but the reality is that Granderson will not put up the same monster numbers in 2012.
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At the age of 37, Derek Jeter's time as an elite player for the New York Yankees has come to an end.
His range at shortstop, although never as good as people thought it was, has taken a hit and his slow start to the year in 2011 showed he isn't capable of playing a full season at an elite level.
He came back strong in the second half hitting over .300, but the Yankees need to start thinking about replacements for the captain.
Jeter had a good run with the Yankees, but 2012 could be the beginning of the end for the Yankee legend if it hasn't already begun.