If you could have your pick of the best of every player at each position, who would you choose?
The purpose is to pick players to win this year, as well as to continue winning in the future. I pick a starting 8 plus a DH, 5 starting pitchers, and a closer with a set-up man (also a closer in real life), but no bench or full bullpen.
I find I tend toward youth, but a couple players are just too good to pass up. Also, injuries and inconsistent production shied me away from certain players, although you may not be able to tell, since some of my choices could be criticized for those very things.
I think one could easily field 4 or 5 teams with All-Star caliber players at every position and all 5 starting slots, so these weren't easy to pick. Your team, totally different from mine, could beat my top team, and even my third-best team could beat my top team. But it was fun.
Here it is, with batting/pitching side and current age (not end of 2010 age):
1B Albert Pujols R 30 -- obvious choice, right?
2B Chase Utley L 31 -- some injury concerns, but still the best
SS Hanley Ramirez R 26 -- no one's even close production-wise
3B Evan Longoria R 24 -- already a star, and so young
RF Ichiro Suzuki L 36 -- gets on base, steals, good defense, I'll overlook the age
CF Matt Kemp R 25 -- feels a little like a reach, but the pickings were slimmer than expected
LF Ryan Braun R 26 -- power and average and youth, oh my
C Joe Mauer L 27 -- no-brainer, right?
DH Josh Hamilton L 29 -- injury concerns, but when he's good, he's one of the best
*note* for DH, I picked a good hitter with limited mobility, not necessarily a bad defensive player or an old guy. Whether or not these guys would actually want to DH is beside the point.
SP Ubaldo Jimenez R 26 -- can't ignore his stuff or the results this year
SP Tim Lincecum R 26 -- a little down this year, but oh-so-good
SP Roy Halladay R 33 -- old guy on the block is still effective and may be for years to come
SP Josh Johnson R 26 -- great fastball, great results
SP Jon Lester L 26 -- had to find a lefty, and he's only gonna get better
Closer Mariano Rivera R 40 -- so old, but still so good
RP Joakim Soria R 26 -- could be a young Rivera, he's that good
1 Ichiro L
2 Kemp R
3 Pujols R
4 Hamilton L
5 Braun R
6 Longoria R
7 Utley L
8 Ramirez R
9 Mauer L
I then had to pick a team that would face them, so these are my next-tier of players:
1B Adrian Gonzalez L 28 -- great production, even in a bad offense
2B Dustin Pedroia R 26 -- love his fire, and he produces too
SS Troy Tulowitzki R 25 -- good young shortstop beats out Jeter and injury risks Reyes and Rollins
3B Alex Rodriguez R 35 -- HOF production, and now in the postseason, too!
LF Carl Crawford L 28 -- speed, hits for average, good defense
CF Andrew McCutchen R 23 -- like I said, thin here, but really like his potential
RF Andre Ethier L 28 -- he does it all, and was on an MVP pace this year before he got hurt
C Matt Wieters S 24 -- I still believe he will be great! and the pickings are slim
DH Justin Morneau L 29 -- power and average, and plays a good first base if you DH Gonzalez instead
SP Felix Hernandez R 24 -- power arm, Cy Young runner-up last year, very young still
SP Zach Greinke R 26 -- Cy Young winner last year, not quite as good this year but on a bad team
SP David Price L 24 -- Going out on a 2-month limb, but I think he'll keep it up
SP CC Sabathia L 29 -- ERA is 4.00 this year, but when he's on, he's great
SP Stephen Strasburg R 21 -- yeah, I believe the hype
Closer Brian Wilson R 28 -- seems to have figured it all out
1 Crawford L
2 Pedroia R
3 ARod R
4 Gonzalez L
5 Tulowitzki R
6 Morneau L
7 Ethier L
8 McCutchen R
9 Wieters S
Left a LOT of good players on the board, including a plethora of pitching such as Carpenter, Johan Santana, Matt Cain, Justin Verlander.... But I like these teams. Now you give it a shot. Who did I get wrong?