MLB Power Rankings: Texas Rangers at No. 1, MLB All-Star Game on Horizon

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 29 : Mike Napoli #25 of the Texas Rangers looks on as Josh Hamilton #32, Michael Young #10 and Nelson Cruz #17 score on a three-run triple by Craig Gentry #23 in the eight inning for against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 29, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

The 2012 MLB All-Star Game rosters were announced on Sunday, and as we enter the month of July, where does your favorite team stand in this week's MLB power rankings?


1: Texas Rangers (50-30, Previous: 1)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

2012 All-Stars

  • C Mike Napoli (.238/.338/.444, 12 HR, 30 RBI, 36 R)
  • 3B Adrian Beltre (.328/.360/.534, 14 HR, 52 RBI, 45 R)
  • LF Josh Hamilton (.319/.385/.652, 25 HR, 73 RBI, 51 R)
  • 2B Ian Kinsler (.276/.336/.450, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 60 R)
  • SS Elvis Andrus (.305/.381/.411, 1 HR, 31 RBI, 51 R)
  • SP Matt Harrison (16 GS, 11-3, 3.16 ERA, 65 Ks, 105.1 IP)
  • RP Joe Nathan (34 G, 18-of-19 Sv, 1.87 ERA, 11.2 K/9)

Of the seven Rangers players headed to Kansas City, manager Ron Washington selected Andrus, Harrison and Nathan himself.

It's hard to argue against any of these guys being on the team, outside of Napoli, who was voted in by the fans.

Yu Darvish (10-4, 3.57 ERA) has a chance to join them as he's on the "Final Vote" ballot, and a case could also be made for rookie reliever Robbie Ross (30 G, 6-0, 1.08 ERA) to be on the team, as well.


2: New York Yankees (48-30, Previous: 2)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

2012 All-Stars

  • 2B Robinson Cano (.310/.371/.591, 20 HR, 46 RBI, 55 R)
  • SS Derek Jeter (.299/.349/.402, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 41 R)
  • CF Curtis Granderson (.246/.348/.508, 23 HR, 46 RBI, 54 R)
  • SP CC Sabathia (15 GS, 9-3, 3.45 ERA, 105 Ks, 107 IP)

Cano and Granderson continue to do the heavy lifting for the Yankees on offense and are both having great years once again, but the resurgence of Jeter has been a pleasant surprise.

Sabathia is currently nursing a groin injury and could sit out the MLB All-Star Game as a result, but he was certainly deserving of the honor. Hiroki Kuroda (8-7, 3.17 ERA) could get some consideration as his replacement if he does back out.


img 3: Washington Nationals (45-32, Previous: 3)

Last Week's Record: 4-3

2012 All-Stars

  • SS Ian Desmond (.276/.308/.484, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 41 R)
  • SP Gio Gonzalez (16 GS, 11-3, 3.01 ERA, 112 Ks, 95.2 IP)
  • SP Stephen Strasburg (16 GS, 9-3, 2.81 ERA, 122 Ks, 93 IP)

The Nationals have gotten to where they are on the strength of their pitching, and a case can certainly be made for Jordan Zimmermann (4-6, 2.77 ERA) and Tyler Clippard (13 Sv, 1.83 ERA) to join Gonzalez and Strasburg.

Phenom Bryce Harper still has a shot at making the roster, as he is on the "Final Vote" ballot for the National League.


4: Los Angeles Angels (44-35, Previous: 4)

Last Week's Record: 4-2

2012 All-Stars

  • LF Mark Trumbo (.313/.363/.614, 19 HR, 53 RBI, 37 R)
  • CF Mike Trout (.336/.391/.526, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 48 R)
  • SP Jered Weaver (13 GS, 8-1, 2.31 ERA, 66 Ks, 81.2 IP)
  • SP C.J. Wilson (16 GS, 9-4, 2.36 ERA, 81 Ks, 99.1 IP)

There is perhaps no player in baseball that has had a bigger impact on his team's success than rookie Mike Trout, as the Angels were 6-14 when they called him up and have gone 37-21 since. Trumbo, a man without a position to start the season, has settled in nicely in left field.

Closer Ernesto Frieri (0.00 ERA, 23.1 IP) has been untouchable since coming over from San Diego but will have to earn his spot on the All-Star roster via the "Final Vote" ballot.


5: San Francisco Giants (45-35, Previous: 7)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

2012 All-Stars

  • C Buster Posey (.296/.363/.472, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 31 R)
  • 3B Pablo Sandoval (.307/.366/.482, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 26 R)
  • LF Melky Cabrera (.350/.393/.514, 7 HR, 38 RBI, 53 R)
  • SP Matt Cain (16 GS, 9-3, 2.53 ERA, 114 Ks, 113.2 IP)

The Giants finally overtook the Dodgers this week and are currently first in the NL West.

A strong argument can be made that Carlos Ruiz, David Wright and Ryan Braun should be starting over Posey, Sandoval and Cabrera, but none of those three were outlandish All-Star choices by any means.

Depending on how things fall, Cain could be a contender to get the start for the NL, while Ryan Vogelsong (7-3, 2.23 ERA) rates as one of the bigger snubs.


6: New York Mets (43-37, Previous: 8)

Last Week's Record: 4-3

2012 All-Stars

  • 3B David Wright (.355/.449/.564, 9 HR, 50 RBI, 52 R)
  • SP R.A. Dickey (16 GS, 12-1, 2.15 ERA, 116 Ks, 113 IP)

In what many expected to mark the beginning of a rebuild for the Mets, the team has instead played very well and remains in the thick of things in the NL East.

That success can be traced largely to their All-Stars, as Wright is enjoying a bounce-back season and Dickey is arguably the best starting pitcher in baseball right now.


7: Chicago White Sox (42-37, Previous: 10)

Last Week's Record: 4-3

2012 All-Stars

  • 1B Paul Konerko (.335/.411/.551, 14 HR, 40 RBI, 38 R)
  • DH Adam Dunn (.210/.359/.507, 24 HR, 58 RBI, 44 R)
  • SP Chris Sale (14 GS, 9-2, 2.27 ERA, 94 Ks, 95.1 IP)

Prince Fielder's starting over Paul Konerko is one of the bigger mistakes by the fan voters, but in the end both wound up on the roster.

Sale has been terrific in his first season in the rotation, and while Dunn's .210 batting average may look bad, he has offset it with a .359 OBP and some of the best power numbers in the league.

Jake Peavy (6-5, 2.96 ERA) is on the "Final Vote" ballot, but it's catcher A.J. Pierzynski (.285 BA, 14 HR, 45 RBI) who ranks as the biggest White Sox snub.


8: Cincinnati Reds (43-35, Previous: 14)

Last Week's Record: 4-3

2012 All-Stars

  • 1B Joey Votto (.350/.471/.632, 14 HR, 47 RBI, 50 R)
  • RF Jay Bruce (.257/.327/.526, 17 HR, 54 RBI, 41 R)
  • RP Aroldis Chapman (32 G, 9-of-13 Sv, 1.98 ERA, 15.85 K/9)

Votto has become a bona-fide superstar over the past few seasons, and with Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols now in the AL, he is hands down the top first baseman in the NL.

Bruce continues to display terrific power, while Chapman has solved what could have been a serious problem at closer for the Reds.

Brandon Phillips (.288 BA, 10 HR, 46 RBI) stands out as a snub.


9: Pittsburgh Pirates (42-36, Previous: 11)

Last Week's Record: 4-3

2012 All-Stars

  • CF Andrew McCutchen (.346/.401/.593, 15 HR, 51 RBI, 47 R)
  • RP Joel Hanrahan (31 G, 20-of-22 Sv, 2.10 ERA, 10.5 K/9)

The Pirates are off to a hot start once again this season, and McCutchen has to be the front-runner to start in place of the injured Matt Kemp, as he's put up MVP numbers.

The fact that James McDonald (7-3, 2.44 ERA) didn't make the team rates as the year's biggest snub in my book, while A.J. Burnett (9-2, 3.31 ERA) was deserving of a spot, as well.


10: Los Angeles Dodgers (44-36, Previous: 6)

Last Week's Record: 1-6

2012 All-Stars

  • CF Matt Kemp (.355/.444/.719, 12 HR, 28 RBI, 30 R)
  • SP Clayton Kershaw (16 GS, 5-4, 2.74 ERA, 103 Ks, 108.1 IP)

Despite having the best record in baseball for much of the first half, the Dodgers netted just two All-Star selections, and one of them won't be playing, as Kemp is still injured.

It is a crime that veteran Chris Capuano (9-3, 2.69 ERA) wasn't named to the team, and closer Kenley Jansen (12 Sv, 2.36 ERA, 14.2 K/9) had a strong resume as well.


11: St. Louis Cardinals (41-38, Previous: 12)

Last Week's Record: 3-3

2012 All-Stars

  • SS Rafael Furcal (.280/.346/.377, 5 HR, 31 RBI, 52 R)
  • RF Carlos Beltran (.310/.396/.576, 20 HR, 61 RBI, 48 R)
  • C Yadier Molina (.311/.362/.510, 12 HR, 44 RBI, 33 R)
  • SP Lance Lynn (16 GS, 10-4, 3.62 ERA, 98 Ks, 97 IP)

The highlight of the MLB All-Star Game for Cardinals fans will be seeing Tony LaRussa manage one last big league game, as he will head the NL squad.

In the end LaRussa did not personally select any of the four Cardinals representatives, as two were voted in as starters and two were selected by the player vote.

Third baseman David Freese (13 HR, 48 RBI) is on the "Final Vote" ballot and could give the team a fifth representative.


12: Baltimore Orioles (42-36, Previous: 9)

Last Week's Record: 1-5

2012 All-Stars

  • C Matt Wieters (.249/.331/.440, 11 HR, 38 RBI, 33 R)
  • CF Adam Jones (.302/.345/.556, 19 HR, 42 RBI, 52 R)
  • RP Jim Johnson (34 G, 23-of-24 Sv, 1.30 ERA, 5.7 K/9)

The Orioles have been the story of the first half, as they have used a group of homegrown players to play to a 42-36 record so far. Jones has emerged as a legitimate superstar, while Johnson and Wieters have been paramount to the team's success.

Jason Hammel (8-3, 3.29 ERA) is on the "Final Vote" ballot and gets my vote for the final member of the AL roster.


13: Boston Red Sox (42-37, Previous: 13)

Last Week's Record: 4-3

2012 All-Star

  • DH David Ortiz (.305/.393/.613, 21 HR, 53 RBI, 57 R)

It has been a trying start to the season for the Red Sox, but bringing back Ortiz has proven to be a terrific idea, as he has led the team across the board offensively.

This marks the first time since 2001 (Manny Ramirez) that the Red Sox have had only one All-Star representative.


14: Tampa Bay Rays (41-38, Previous: 5)

Last Week's Record: 1-6

2012 All-Stars

  • SP David Price (16 GS, 11-4, 2.92 ERA, 97 Ks, 104.2 IP)
  • RP Fernando Rodney (37 G, 22-of-23 Sv, 1.01 ERA, 8.8 K/9)

It is to no surprise that Price is having another great season, as he has become one of the top starters in all of baseball over the past few years.

However, Rodney has been as big a surprise as any in baseball.

After posting an ERA over 4.00 each of the past five seasons, he signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Rays this offseason and slid into the closer's role when Kyle Farnsworth was injured, and he has thrived.


15: Atlanta Braves (41-37, Previous: 16)

Last Week's Record: 3-3

2012 All-Stars

  • 2B Dan Uggla (.235/.363/.414, 11 HR, 43 RBI, 51 R)
  • RP Craig Kimbrel (30 G, 23-of-24 Sv, 1.50 ERA, 15.0 K/9)

After a terrible start to his tenure with the Braves last season, in which he hit .185 in the first half, Uggla has been much better this year and is making the first MLB All-Star Game start of his career in his third appearance.

Kimbrel has built off of his Rookie of the Year campaign and is arguably the best closer in the NL.

Michael Bourn and the retiring Chipper Jones are both on the "Final Vote" ballot for the final NL roster spot.


16: Cleveland Indians (40-38, Previous: 17)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

2012 All-Stars

  • SS Asdrubal Cabrera (.298/.379/.493, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 40 R)
  • RP Chris Perez (31 G, 23-of-24 Sv, 2.76 ERA, 9.2 K/9)

After a breakout season in 2011, Cabrera has proven that it was no fluke with a great start to the 2012 season, while Perez has emerged as one of the game's top closers.

A solid argument can be made for Jason Kipnis (.275 BA, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 19 SB) to be on the team, perhaps even over Cabrera, but he'll have plenty more chances.


17: Toronto Blue Jays (40-39, Previous: 18)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

2012 All-Star

  • RF Jose Bautista (.239/.359/.549, 26 HR, 62 RBI, 56 R)

Despite some horrendous luck (.204 BABIP), Bautista has again put up tremendous numbers this season, as he currently leads Josh Hamilton in the AL home-run race.

Tough to see Edwin Encarnacion (.289 BA, 22 HR, 55 RBI) left off the team, as he carried the offense early in the season and is having a terrific year.


18: Detroit Tigers (39-40, Previous: 19)

Last Week's Record: 4-3

2012 All-Stars

  • 1B Prince Fielder (.294/.371/.485, 12 HR, 52 RBI, 42 R)
  • 3B Miguel Cabrera (.315/.376/.541, 16 HR, 62 RBI, 45 R)
  • SP Justin Verlander (17 GS, 8-5, 2.69 ERA, 121 Ks, 123.2 IP)

No surprises here, as the Tigers' trio of superstars all made the team. Cabrera was narrowly edged out to start at third by Adrian Beltre and rightfully so as Beltre is the complete package as a third baseman.

If Austin Jackson (.326 BA, 8 HR, 34 RBI) would not have gotten hurt, he likely would have joined those three in Kansas City, as he has taken a huge step forward this season.


19: Arizona Diamondbacks (39-39, Previous: 15)

Last Week's Record: 2-4

2012 All-Star

  • SP Wade Miley (13 GS, 9-4, 2.87 ERA, 66 Ks, 94 IP)

After the Diamondbacks won a surprise division title last season, I don't think anyone would have guessed entering 2012 that rookie Wade Miley would be the team's lone All-Star representative.

In fact, he didn't even break camp as a member of the rotation and got his chance only when Collmenter struggled early. He's more than earned his spot, though, and gives the team another impressive young arm.

Aaron Hill (.301 BA, 11 HR, 38 RBI) is part of the "Final Vote" ballot for the final NL roster spot.


20: Miami Marlins (38-40, Previous: 21)

Last Week's Record: 4-2

2012 All-Star

  • RF Giancarlo Stanton (.282/.362/.554, 19 HR, 50 RBI, 45 R)

Also chosen to participate in the Home Run Derby, Stanton will get a chance to showcase his skills to a national audience. The 22-year-old is among the most dynamic talents in all of the MLB, and this will likely be the first of many trips for him to the Midsummer Classic.


21: Oakland Athletics (38-42, Previous: 20)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

2012 All-Star

  • RP Ryan Cook (34 G, 6-of-9 Sv, 1.59 ERA, 9.79 K/9)

Cook was more or less a throw-in when the A's sent Trevor Cahill to the Diamondbacks for top prospect Jarrod Parker, and the 25-year-old entered the season as Oakland's No. 21 prospect.

However, he's taken over the closer's role and has been the team's most reliable reliever by far.

Outfielder Josh Reddick (18 HR, 39 RBI) deserves a mention, but the AL outfield was simply too crowded.

And the A's weren't going to get two representatives.


22: Milwaukee Brewers (36-42, Previous: 23)

Last Week's Record: 3-3

2012 All-Star

  • LF Ryan Braun (.313/.394/.611, 22 HR, 55 RBI, 49 R)

The reigning NL MVP narrowly lost out to Giants LF Melky Cabrera for the third starting outfield spot in the NL. After an offseason of controversy surrounding him, he didn't receive the same fan support that had made him a starter three of the past four years, but in the end his numbers were more than worthy of a spot on the roster.


23: Kansas City Royals (35-42, Previous: 24)

Last Week's Record: 4-3

2012 All-Star

  • DH Billy Butler (.297/.365/.516, 16 HR, 48 RBI, 29 R)

As it stands, Butler is the only Royals player slated to play in from of the home fans, and he was certainly the most deserving member of the team.

Closer Jonathan Broxton (20 Sv, 2.05 ERA) is one of the five players on the "Final Vote" ballot for the AL.


24: Philadelphia Phillies (36-45, Previous: 22)

Last Week's Record: 2-5

2012 All-Stars

  • C Carlos Ruiz (.356/.420/.579, 11 HR, 43 RBI, 38 R)
  • SP Cole Hamels (16 GS, 10-4, 3.08 ERA, 111 Ks, 111 IP)
  • RP Jonathan Papelbon (30 G, 18-of-19 Sv, 3.03 ERA, 11.2 K/9)

Despite a less-than-impressive start to the season, the Phillies have three All-Stars, and it's hard to argue against any of them being on the squad. Carlos Ruiz has been the best catcher in all of baseball and deserved to start, while Hamels and Papelbon have continued to rank among the best arms in the game.


25: Seattle Mariners (34-47, Previous: 26)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

2012 All-Star

  • SP Felix Hernandez (16 GS, 6-5, 3.09 ERA, 114 Ks, 110.2 IP)

The Mariners have struggled once again this season, but they are heading in the right direction with a good young core gaining valuable experience and more help on the way in a strong minor league system.

Hernandez remains the team's best player and the face of the franchise, and he is having another top-tier season.


26: Minnesota Twins (33-45, Previous: 27)

Last Week's Record: 4-3

2012 All-Star

  • C Joe Mauer (.325/.416/.448, 4 HR, 36 RBI, 37 R)

After missing much of last season due to injury and struggling when he did play, Mauer has quietly rejoined the elite at his position this season and currently leads the AL with a .416 on-base percentage.


27: Houston Astros (32-47, Previous: 25)

Last Week's Record: 2-5

2012 All-Star

  • 2B Jose Altuve (.309/.351/.453, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 45 R)

One of the better stories of the first half, the 5'5" Altuve has emerged as a building block for the future in Houston and one of the better second basemen in all of baseball.

He was the clear-cut choice to represent the Astros.


28: Chicago Cubs (29-49, Previous: 30)

Last Week's Record: 5-1

2012 All-Stars

  • 1B Bryan LaHair (.284/.364/.526, 13 HR, 28 RBI, 30 R)
  • SS Starlin Castro (..298/.319/.432, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 36 R) 

Most assumed Castro would be the Cubs lone representative, but you can certainly make the case that LaHair is deserving and ranks as the NL's No. 2 first baseman, after Joey Votto.

A case can be made for Ryan Dempster (12 GS, 2.11 ERA), but his 3-3 record and injuries kept him off the team.

29: San Diego Padres (30-50, Previous: 29)

Last Week's Record: 4-3

2012 All-Star

  • RP Huston Street (21 G, 11-of-11 Sv, 1.35 ERA, 11.7 K/9)

The Padres had to have someone represent their team, and Street was the right choice, as he has been perfect since coming back from early-season injury.

Their only other possibly honoree would have been 3B Chase Headley (.369 OBP, 38 RBI), but that would have been a stretch.


30: Colorado Rockies (30-48, Previous: 28)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

2012 All-Star

  • LF Carlos Gonzalez (.337/.394/.604, 17 HR, 58 RBI, 59 R)

Really, Gonzalez was the only choice for a bad Rockies team, but that is not to take away from the terrific season he is having. After a down 2011 season in which he battled injuries, he is once again among the game's elite outfielders.