Preseason MLB All-Pro Team
The NBA and NFL have All-Pro teams but the MLB has not unveiled such a creation yet. The MLB has an All-Star team that ,means more than the NBA and NFL All-Star team, but an All-Pro would prove the best all around players in the league. The MLB is a league full of talent all across the board and here are my predictions for the best player at each position for the upcoming season.
Catcher: Joe Mauer
The 2009 AL MVP and gold glove award winner, is by far the best catcher in the league and maybe the best overall player. He hit .365 after missing a month of the season last year. In the 138 games he played in, Mauer had 28 HR and 96 RBI's.
First Base: Prince Fielder
2009 Home Run Derby winner Prince Fielder is a power hitting machine, with 46 HR and 141 RBI's. Most hitters have to give up average to hit for power, not Prince! He had batting avg of .299 in 2009 to go along with his league leading RBI total. Fielder is a very durable player, playing in all 162 games last season and 150+ the last three seasons before that. Look for this mammoth slugger to continue his ways in 2010.
Second Base: Aaron Hill
The pride of Toronto is second basemen Aaron hill. The 27 year old, LSU grad is one of very few bright spots for the Blue Jays this season, but if he continues to deliver results the way he did last season, rebuilding will be easier for new GM Alex Anthopoulus. Hill hit 36 HR and 108 RBI in a breakout season, earning his first silver slugger award. A .286 avg and .499 slugging is a good way to bring recognition to a 2nd basemen on a struggling team. A .991 fielding percentage confirms his status as an elite middle infielder.
Third Base: Evan Longoria
Tampa Bay third basemen Evan Longoria jumped into the MLB in 2008 going to the All-Star game and winning Rookie of the Year. Longoria is an incredible fielder, winning the 2009 gold glove. His bat is even more impressive, 27 HR as a rookie, 33 HR and 113 RBI to go along with a .281 batting avg. Longoria is also featured on the cover MLB 2k10. Longoria is a future Hall of Famer to say the least.
Shortstop: Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter will go down as one of the most accomplished baseball players ever. A 10 time All-Star and a 4 time Gold Glove winner, multiple world series rings and a spot in baseball's Hall of Fame. Jeter has had a .300 batting avg. or better in his last 5 seasons. Last year Jeter totaled 212 hits, 30 SB, 107 runs and 66 RBI from the leadoff spot. What more can a player do in a career?
Left Field: Jason Bay
Jason Bay was not resigned by the Red Sox in the offseason, so he followed the money to the Mets. Last season with Boston, Bay was an All-Star and won a Silver Slugger award. With 36 HR and 116 RBI, Bay was the top free agent acquisition this offseason. Bay is worth most of his 4 year $66 million contract. This dude is for real!
Center Field: Grady Sizemore
Grady Sizemore is talented. He had two options coming out of high school play baseball for the Indians or Quarterback for the University of Washington. He smartly chose baseball and saw instant success. The Seattle native is a three time All-Star and Gold Glove winner. The speed of Sizemore separates him from other outfielders, collecting 130 SB in six seasons. Sizemore could have a bright future if he gets out of Cleveland.
Right Field: Ichiro
The only player in MLB history to wear his first name on the back of his jersey, Ichiro was the beginning of the Japanese movement to the MLB. Ichiro has had 200 hits and an All-Star appearance in every season he has played in the MLB. Winning R.O.Y and MVP in 2001Ichiro made a bold entrance and hasn't looked back since.
Starting Pitcher: Tim Lincecum
Tim Lincecum, words can barely describe the success he has achieved in his young career. At 22, Lincecum has already won 2 Cy Young awards in only two full seasons. Most don't win two Cy's in a lifetime. Last year he recorded 261 K's first in the NL to go along with 2.48 ERA and 15-7 record. The sky is the limit for this young ace.
Closer: Mariano Rivera
Known as Mo, Rivera may have fewer saves than Trevor Hoffman, but he is by far the better closer, making him the best of all-time. With 0.35 ERA and 16 saves in the playoffs, Mo was the key to the success of the Bronx Bombers. 526 career saves and a 2.25 ERA, Mo is a first ballot Hall member. No doubt!