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2012 MLB All-Star Roster: Adrian Beltre Deserves the Nod at Third Base for A.L.

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2012 MLB All-Star Roster: Adrian Beltre Deserves the Nod at Third Base for A.L.
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

The 2012 MLB All-Star Game rosters will be released on Sunday. Fans are eager to see which of their favorites will make the Midsummer Classic and third base in the American League is one of the more interesting position battles.

A fan poll on ESPN.com shows third base is one of the most competitive battles. Miguel Cabrera is leading, followed by Mark Trumbo. But Adrian Beltre is a distant third at third base.

The fans are getting this contest wrong.

I have no intention of taking anything away from Cabrera or Trumbo. Both are great players having good seasons. However, Beltre is putting up the offensive numbers he needs to pair with his Gold Glove defense to earn the starting spot.

While playing with the Seattle Mariners, Beltre's offensive output suffered. His best season produced a batting average of just .276 and 26 home runs.

However, his strong defense at the hot corner helped fans overlook his struggling bat.

The move to Boston and then Texas brought back the offensive production. His third Gold Glove, coming after the 2011 season, shows he still possesses great defense.

The same can't be said for Cabrera or Trumbo.

Both have been moved across the diamond to get them in the lineup. Cabrera has been passable at the position, but Trumbo was so bad early in the year that the Anaheim Angels opted to bench him.

Who should start at 3rd Base

Submit Vote vote to see results

So why are they leading the ESPN.com vote?

Fans simply can't be trusted to know who the best players are...but that is a different article.

Looking at the offensive side of the stat sheet, Beltre still holds the edge. He has the best batting average of the trio and the fewest strikeouts. While he is last in home runs and RBI, the difference isn't material. 

The ESPN.com fan vote isn't reflective of the official voting, as Beltre has been leading in the votes that count. He had a slim lead over Cabrera, with Alex Rodriguez a distant third.

Trumbo didn't crack the top five.

Final rosters will be announced on Sunday. Beltre's revived offensive production and stellar defense should make him the clear choice at third base. 

 

Player

GP

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

SO

AVG

Beltre

74

286

44

93

13

51

36

.325

Cabrera

77

311

45

96

16

62

47

.309

Trumbo

68

255

37

80

19

53

61

.314

Rodriguez

74

275

43

74

13

35

68

.269


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