The fans are getting closer and closer. Hamilton has fallen within striking distance of Torii Hunter and Carl Crawford. There's still some flubs that need to be hashed out and here's my 2009 All-Star teams (33 per team, at least one player per team).
Catcher: Joe Mauer (MIN) leads AL catchers in the triple crown categories (.386 avg/14 HR/63 RBI), and he has a 1.129 OPS.
Reserves: Victor Martinez (CLE)
Who Will Start: Joe Mauer. Mauer Power.
First Base: Justin Morneau (MIN) leads AL first basemen with 63 RBI. He has 90 hits, 18 homers, a .309 average, and a .960 OPS. He is also very good defensively.
Reserves: Mark Teixeira (NYY), Kevin Youkilis (BOS), Miguel Cabrera (DET)
Snubs: Russell Branyan (SEA), Carlos Pena (TAM)
Who Will Start: Mark Teixeira. New York versus Boston votes.
Second Base: Aaron Hill (TOR) leads AL second basemen in the triple crown categories (.302 avg/19 HR/56 RBI). He also has 102 hits and an .842 OPS.
Reserves: Ian Kinsler (TEX), Ben Zobrist (TAM)
Snubs: Robinson Cano (NYY)
Who Will Start: Dustin Pedroia. I'm voting for Kinsler because he at least has a chance to maintain the lead.
Shortstop: Jason Bartlett (TAM) leads AL shortstops in batting average (.368), home runs (10), and OPS (.970). He also has 17 stolen bases and 78 hits.
Reserves: Derek Jeter (NYY)
Snubs: Marco Scutaro (TOR)
Who Will Start: Derek Jeter. America's infatuation with him continues.
Third Base: Evan Longoria (TAM) leads AL third basemen in RBI (63) and OPS (.951). He is also batting .303 with 82 hits and 16 homers.
Reserves: Brandon Inge (DET), Chone Figgins (LAA)
Snubs: Scott Rolen (TOR), Michael Young (TEX)
Who Will Start: Evan Longoria.
Outfield: Torii Hunter (LAA) is batting .306 with 17 HR, 56 RBI, 12 SB, and .961 OPS. Jason Bay (BOS) is batting .272 with 19 HR, 69 RBI, and .935 OPS. Adam Jones (BAL) is batting .306 with 12 HR, 44 RBI, and .871 OPS.
Reserves: Nick Markakis (BAL), Ichiro Suzuki (SEA), Carl Crawford (TAM)
Snubs: Bobby Abreu (LAA), Shin-soo Choo (CLE), Jermaine Dye (CHW)
Who Will Start: Ichiro and Bay have a considerable lead. Hunter could/should be able to takeover Hamilton.
Starting Pitcher: Zack Greinke (KAN) is 10-3 with a 1.95 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 114 strikeouts, and he has hurled five complete games.
Reserves: Edwin Jackson (DET), Jered Weaver (LAA), Roy Halladay (TOR), Kevin Milwood (TEX), Felix Hernandez (SEA), Dallas Braden (OAK), Mark Buehrle (CHW), Justin Verlander (DET), Nick Blackburn (MIN)
Snubs: Josh Beckett (BOS), Cliff Lee (CLE), Jarrod Washburn (SEA)
Who Will Start: Zack Greinke. No question.
Closer: Joe Nathan (MIN) has 19 saves with a 1.50 ERA and 0.80 WHIP.
Reserves: Jonathan Papelbon (BOS), David Aardsma (SEA)
Snubs: George Sherrill (BAL), Brian Fuentes (LAA)
Who Will Close: Jonathan Papelbon. AL East closer with AL East manager.
Sorry you play DH, maybe next year: Adam Lind (TOR), Jason Kubel (MIN)
National League picks are on the next page...National League
Catcher: Brian McCann (ATL) is the only catcher in the NL batting over .280 (at .316). He also has 8 homers, 31 RBI, and a .931 OPS.
Reserves: Yadier Molina (STL)
Who Will Start: Yadier Molina. It's in St. Louis.
First Base: Albert Pujols (STL) leads NL first basemen in the triple crown categories (.328 avg/28 HR/74 RBI) and has a 1.171 OPS.
Reserves: Prince Fielder (MIL), Todd Helton (COL), Derrek Lee (CHC)
Snubs: Adrian Gonzalez (SDP), Nick Johnson (WSN)
Who Will Start: Albert Pujols. Duh.
Second Base: Chase Utley (PHI) leads NL second basemen in homers (16) and RBI (51). He's also batting .302 and has a .991 OPS.
Reserves: Orlando Hudson (LAD), Brandon Phillips (CIN)
Snubs: Freddy Sanchez (PIT)
Who Will Start: Chase Utley. Second leading vote getter.
Shortstop: Hanley Ramirez (FLA) leads NL shortstops in the triple crown categories (.339 avg/12 HR/52 RBI). He also has a .959 OPS.
Reserves: Miguel Tejada (HOU)
Snubs: Cristian Guzman
Who Will Start: Hanley Ramirez should stave off Jimmy Rollins.
Third Base: David Wright (NYM) leads NL third basemen in batting average (.339). He also has 39 RBI, 20 stolen bases, and a .914 OPS.
Reserves: Pablo Sandoval (SFG), Mark Reynolds (ARI), Ryan Zimmerman (WSN)
Snubs: Casey Blake (LAD)
Who Will Start: David Wright. No chance of a catch-up.
Brad Hawpe (COL) is batting .327 with 12 homers, 55 RBI, and a .986 OPS.
Ryan Braun (MIL) is batting .321 with 16 homers, 53 RBI, and a .980 OPS.
Raul Ibanez* (PHI) is batting .312 with 22 homers, 59 RBI, and a 1.027 OPS.
Reserves: Justin Upton (ARI), Matt Kemp (LAD), Hunter Pence (HOU)
Snubs: Juan Pierre (LAD), Carlos Beltran* (NYM), Shane Victorino (PHI), Carlos Lee (HOU), Adam Dunn (WSN)
Who Will Start: Braun and Ibanez will start. Beltran will get the votes, but injury will prevent him from starting so I guess that Victorino will take his spot.
Starting Pitcher: Tim Lincecum (SFG) is 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 132 strikeouts.
Reserves: Dan Haren (ARI), Josh Johnson (FLA), Matt Cain (SFG), Chad Billingsley (LAD), Yovani Gallardo (MIL), Zach Duke (PIT), Johnny Cueto (CIN), Johan Santana (NYM)
Snubs: Chris Carpenter (STL), Javier Vazquez (ATL), Jair Jurrjens (ATL)
Who Will Start: Tim Lincecum looks like the frontrunner right now.
Closer: Heath Bell (SDP) has 21 saves with a 1.39 ERA an 0.99 WHIP.
Reserves: Francisco Rodriguez (NYM), Ryan Franklin (STL)
Snubs: Trevor Hoffman (MIL), Francisco Cordero (CIN), Jonathan Broxton (LAD)
Who Will Close: Francisco Rodriguez will. There's an NL East manager.
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