As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, we get to partake in select voting throughout the year. We are most known for our end of the year awards, which we've done two years straight now. As we've grown, we have expanded to adding things like Hall of Fame voting and All-Star game ballots.
Everyone gets a ballot for both the AL and NL. We can decided to do AL, NL, or both. I'm doing them both and taking it a step further and putting out my entire All-Star team. Buckle up.
American League - Starting Ballot
C - Alex Avila, DET
You'd be hard pressed to find a catcher playing better than Avila. This was easy for me.
1B - Adrian Gonzalez, BOS
Gonzalez barely edges out Miguel Cabrera for my first base vote due to defense.
2B - Robinson Cano, NYY
Not a vast range of choices other than Pedroia for second base.
3B - Kevin Youkilis, BOS
Quietly in the shadow of some of his teammates, Youkilis is perhaps playing better than anyone. He's the total package at third. Beltre is a big RBI guy, but Youkilis hits for average and gets on base as well.
SS - Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE
Do I really have to say anything?
OF - Jose Bautista, TOR
This guy was destroying any pitch thrown to him at one point.
OF - Curtis Granderson, NYY
Boy is this kid taking advantage of that short right field porch or what?
OF - Alex Gordon, KC
Don't forget about the redemption story of Alex Gordon, who was hotter than any hitter at the beginning of the year, but hasn't fallen off the earth.
DH - David Ortiz, BOS
If Travis Hafner had more games under his belt, I'd have voted for him here because he's way more valuable. But Papi is having a throwback year in Boston.
National League - Starting Ballot
C - Brian McCann, ATL
No better catcher in the NL in my mind.
1B - Prince Fielder, MIL
Contract year for the Prince. You don't think he knows that?
2B - Rickie Weeks, MIL
Weeks is the best offensive second baseman in the NL, maybe the game.
3B - Chase Headley, SD
A weak field, but Headley has a better OBP than all NL third baseman with the exception of Ryan Roberts in Arizona.
SS - Jose Reyes, NYY
Talk about comebacks, Reyes is having one heck of a year at short. He has some tough competition too with Starlin Castro, Troy Tulowitzki, and personal favorite Stephen Drew.
OF - Ryan Braun, MIL
Mr. Consistent, no wonder they signed him for, like, ever.
OF - Matt Kemp, LAD
Andre Ethier had all the pub with his hit streak, but Kemp is having the monster year.
OF - Lance Berkman, STL
Mentioned a lot of "comeback candidates" but no one is having as much of a throwback part as Lance Berkman.
American League - Pitching
SP - Josh Beckett, BOS
SP - Jered Weaver, LAA
SP - James Shields, TB
SP - Justin Verlander, DET
For me, those five are no-brainers.
SP - Michael Pineda, SEA
SP - Alexi Ogando, TEX
SP - Dan Haren, LAA
SP - Philip Humber CHW
These guys are all last in for me, but they certainly deserve it. Some have had hotter starts, while others have come on late. Either way they still deserve it, but they haven't been as consistent as the first five.
RP - Tony Sipp, CLE
CL - Mariano Rivera, NYY
CL - Chris Perez, CLE
I opted for a middle reliever and chose to give the best bullpen in the business their just due. The Indians get a pair of relievers, one being their Closer. The other, Mariano Rivera, is a no-brainer.
National League - Pitching
SP - Cole Hamels, PHI
SP - Roy Halladay, PHI
SP - Cliff Lee, PHI
SP - Jair Jurrjens, ATL
SP - Tommy Hanson, ATL
That just isn't even fair with those five in the AL East.
SP - Jhoulys Chacin, COL
SP - Ian Kennedy, ARI
I only picked two more starting pitchers, but I could have chosen a half-dozen more. Chacin and Kennedy are under the radar, but having very respectable seasons.
RP - Jonny Venters, ATL
CL - J.J. Putz, ARI
CL - Joel Hanrahan, PIT
CL - Huston Street, COL
I could have went with one less closer, but all three of them deserve it for one reason or another. Have you guys seen the year Jonny Venters is having for Atlanta though? Not only is he a workhorse (42 IP leads all NL relievers) he's untouchable, having given up just three earned runs and 24 hits. It's incredible.
American League - Reserves
C - Victor Martinez, DET
IF - Miguel Cabrera, DET
OF - Adam Jones, BAL
IF/OF - Michael Young, TEX
Victor Martinez has played just 20 games at catcher, but there are few other choices out there and Martinez is having a fantastic year. Miguel Cabrera is a no-brainer, and Michael Young can be my flex option. Adam Jones is totally deserving as the best player Baltimore has.
National League - Reserves
C - Miguel Montero, ARI
IF - Joey Votto, CIN
IF - Troy Tulowitzki, COL
OF - Hunter Pence, HOU
OF - Michael Morse, WAS
Michael Morse is having the best year no one is talking about. I picked him over some more well known names like Pujols and Holliday. I know I know. But Pujols is hurt and Holliday was hurt, so I'm giving the nod to him, Pence, and Votto. I really could have picked Sanchez over Votto too.
All Snub Team
Because I'm bound to get "HEY YOU SNUBBED INSERT PERSON HERE!" I acknowledge I've done so. I could have included pretty much anyone listed down here but chose not to.
Hitters: OF Matt Joyce, TB, DH Travis Hafner, CLE, DH Adam Lind, TOR, 1B Billy Butler, KC, 1B Albert Pujols, STL, WAS, 1B Gaby Sanchez, FL, 2B Neil Walker, PIT. SS Stephen Drew, ARI, SS Starlin Castro, CHC, OF Matt Holliday
Pitchers: SP Josh Tomlin, CLE, SP Justin Masterson, CLE, SP Felix Hernandez, SEA, SP David Price, TB. SP Anibal Sanchez, FL, SP Jordan Zimmerman, WAS, SP Kyle Lohse, STL, SP Shaun Marcum, MIL, SP Clayton Kershaw, LAD, RP Tyler Clippard, WAS, CL Brian Wilson, SF