Just for fun, I thought I'd take a look at what the American League All-Star roster would look like if, in fact, they did pick the best player for each position. I'm going to use fWAR for the exercise. I know it's not everyone's favorite, but it's a heck of a lot easier than examining every stat a player has, and it's good for comparisons. You'll see three things listed below the jump: the WAR leader at each position, the WAR for the Oriole who plays that position, and the WAR of the player who was at the top of their position in All-Star voting when the last update came out on June 21st.
I've said before that I'm not a big fan of the All-Star game, but it's part of the sport and I usually watch it at least until the Orioles representative plays his inning. I prefer the home run derby because I like to watch all the players hanging out on the sidelines while their kids run around more than I like the actual game.
|WAR All-Star||ASG votes leader - WAR; rank||Orioles - WAR; rank|
|Catcher||Alex Avila - 2.7||Russell Martin - 1.7; 3rd||Matt Wieters - 1.8; 2nd|
|First Base||Adrian Gonzalez - 4.6||Adrian Gonzalez||Derrek Lee - 0.0; 20th|
|Second Base||T - Ben Zobrist, Dustin Pedroia - 3.7||Robinson Cano - 2.1; 5th||Robert Andino - 0.3; 16th|
|Third Base||Alex Rodriguez - 3.7||Alex Rodriguez||Mark Reynolds - 0.7; 8th|
|Shortstop||Alexei Ramirez - 2.8||Derek Jeter - 0.5; 13th||J.J. Hardy - 2.0; 5th|
|Outfield||Jose Bautista - 4.7||Jose Bautista||Adam Jones - 1.8; 12th|
|Outfield||Curtis Granderson - 4.0||Curtis Granderson||Nick Markakis - 0.8; 32nd|
|Outfield||Jacoby Ellsbury - 3.1||Josh Hamilton - 1.3; 19th||Luke Scott - 0.4; 40th|
|Designated Hitter||David Ortiz - 2.6||David Ortiz||Vladimir Guerrero - 0.0; 12th|
- Because WAR is a cumulative stat, I didn't use only qualfied players. If a guy can play in half the games of his colleagues and have the same WAR, he's awesome.
- Brandon Snyder and his 17 plate appearances also tally a 0.0 WAR.
- The race for best shortstop is really quite close, as Asdrubal Cabrera trails Ramirez by just 0.1 with a WAR of 2.8, Jhonny Peralta has posted 2.7, and Elvis Andrus is hanging in at 2.3.
- 20 of Zobrist's 76 starts have come in the OF.
- Hardy is 5th despite the fact that he's only played in 48 games. No one above him on the leader board has played in less than 69. I know it doesn't actually work this way in reality, but if you project Hardy out to 76 games, the number of games played by Alexei Ramirez, his WAR would be 3.2.
- On June 21st, Ellsbury trailed Hamilton by only about 150,000 votes, so it's likely he'll pass Hamilton before it's all said and done.
Pitchers are, of course, chosen by the coaches, but here are the top five starters and top five relievers in the AL:
David Robertson - 1.3
Jordan Walden - 1.2
Mariano Rivera - 1.1
Jonathan Papelbon - 1.0
Al Albuquerque, Sergio Santos, Jim Johnson (yay!) - 0.9; It's the all alliteration group!
Best Oriole besides JJ - Koji Uehara - 0.5; 18th
Of course, only starters and closers get chosen for the ASG, so too bad JJ, Robertson, and Al Albuquerque (who is a a shoe-in for the Awesome Name Hall of Fame).