The 2008 MLB All-Star Game is just a couple weeks away, and the deadline for voting is quickly approaching.
At the end of May, I compiled my own All-Star squads, giving praise to those who are putting up great numbers, despite being lesser-known on the national stage.
This will be exactly the same, just an updated version. Here goes.
AMERICAN LEAGUE STARTERS
1B—Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox: I'm still giving Youkilis the nod, though Twins' star Justin Morneau is close behind.
2B—Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers: Just check the stats. It's not even close.
3B—Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees: As long as he's healthy, he'll always be an All-Star starter.
SS—Derek Jeter, New York Yankees: This was a tough call, but I had to go with Jeter over Michael Young.
C—Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins: Mauer has one of the best batting averages in the AL, and he doesn't strike out much.
LF—Carlos Quentin, Chicago White Sox: What a surprise Quentin has been for the surging White Sox. I'll give him some love since Manny Ramirez will start in this spot.
CF—Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers: Tied for the most homers in the AL, has an outstanding batting average, and leads baseball in RBI. No contest here.
RF—Jermaine Dye, Chicago White Sox: Dye is leading all AL right fielders in home runs, and should be getting more consideration than he is.
DH—Milton Bradley, Texas Rangers: With David Ortiz out of the All-Star Game, Bradley should get the nod.
SP—Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians: Best ERA in the AL, coupled with the most wins. What more does he need to prove?
AMERICAN LEAGUE BENCH
1B—Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
2B—Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
3B—Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
SS—Michael Young, Texas Rangers
C—AJ Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox
LF—Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox
CF—Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians
RF—Magglio Ordonez, Detroit Tigers
SP—Joe Saunders, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
SP—Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston Red Sox
SP—John Lackey, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
RP—Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
RP—Jonathan Papelbon, Boston Red Sox
RP—Scott Linebrink, Chicago White Sox
NATIONAL LEAGUE STARTERS
1B—Lance Berkman, Houston Astros: He's a legitimate Triple Crown threat this season.
2B—Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies: Utley gets the nod because his numbers, and team, are slightly better than Dan Uggla's of the Florida Marlins.
3B—Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves: Health is a big concern for Jones, but how can you not go with a guy whose batting average is nearly 100 points higher than the next-best third baseman?
SS—Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins: The NL has all the star shortstops, and Ramirez sits atop the list.
C—Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves: McCann is hitting well this season, and should get the start over Cubs young phenom Geovany Soto.
LF—Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers: One of many, many All-Star games he'll be a part of.
CF—Nate McLouth, Pittsburgh Pirates: McLouth has been great for a Pirates team that is on the rise.
RF—Ryan Ludwick, St. Louis Cardinals: Like McLouth, Ludwick has been an outfield surprise this season.
DH—Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies: Given that the game will be played to the tune of the AL, Holliday's bat has to be present.
SP—Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants: I love this kid's stuff. He'll start more than one All-Star game.
NATIONAL LEAGUE BENCH
1B—Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
2B—Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins
3B—David Wright, New York Mets
SS—Jose Reyes, New York Mets
C—Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs
LF—Carlos Lee, Houston Astros
CF—Rick Ankiel, St. Louis Cardinals
RF—Corey Hart, Milwaukee Brewers
SP—Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati Reds
SP—Brandon Webb, Arizona Diamondbacks
SP—Ben Sheets, Milwaukee Brewers
RP—Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs
RP—Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs
RP—Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies
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