As Major League Baseball readies itself for its Mid-Summer Classic, it is always nice to take a look at how individuals are faring at the midway point. Many players that are headed to St. Louis for the All-Star Game are having their typical all-star seasons. Albert Pujols, who hit his 32nd home run as this article was written, is making others numbers pale in comparison.
Interestingly, the American League has many not-so-household names littering its statistical leader board. In fact, we have concocted a full No-Name American League lineup of all nine positions with the DH taking the pitcher's spot.
Some players are coming into their own, some may have just needed the opportunity, one may have finally found a home.
So, without further adieu, your No-Name American League All Stars:
Leading off, in center field, Baltimore Oriole Adam Jones. This five-tool talent heads to the break batting .308 with twelve homers and forty seven RBI.
Bating second, at shortstop, Tampa Bay Ray Jason Bartlett. Known for stellar defense, Bartlett is still sizzling with a .354 average and an already career-high eight homers.
Batting third, in left field, Toronto Blue Jay Adam Lind. At .309/19/59, Lind is busting out in his first full season.
At cleanup, playing first base, Seattle Mariner Russell Branyan. Has Branyan finally found a home? On his 10th team in eleven seasons, Branyan leads Seattle with twenty one home runs.
Batting fifth, designated hitter, Minnesota Twin Jason Kubel. A career .275 hitter with limited power, Kubel is doing his best to protect Justin Morneau. At .306/14/43, it seems to be working.
Batting sixth, in right field, Tampa Bay Ray Ben Zobrist. This ultra-utility man is showing he needs to play every day. His 1.009 OPS leads the No-Names.
Batting seventh, at third base, Detroit Tiger Brandon Inge. Inge has always had the skills, just no position to show them off. At .264/19/54, he is on pace to shatter his career-bests in homers (27) and RBI (83).
Batting eighth, at second base, Toronto Blue Jay Aaron Hill. A huge power surge for the veteran Hill. With twenty homers, he is already three past his career best.
And batting ninth, at catcher, Oakland Athletic Kurt Suzuki. In his second full season behind the plate, Suzuki shows to be a weapon with a .289 average. His five homers and twenty two doubles almost match last years totals (seven and 25).
There you have your 2009 American League No-Name All Stars, No-Names- not for long.