Using True Talent to Select the 2010 All-Stars: AL Position Players

Today we continue our look at the All Star teams using true talent estimates (projections) instead of just recent stats.  As a reminder, we're using averages of rest of season ZiPS, Oliver, and CHONE.  Offensive stats are park-adjusted.  Fielding numbers come from Oliver, CHONE, and Steve Sommer's UZR projections.  If you missed the NL, here it is: hitters & pitchers.

Catcher: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

Name wOBA Bat Field RAA/700
Joe Mauer 0.398 41 5 46
Mike Napoli 0.369 24 -4 19
Jorge Posada 0.363 20 -2 18
Victor Martinez 0.356 16 -1 14
Matt Wieters 0.342 8 5 12

Duh.  I did think it was interesting to see where Napoli ranked, but I think his fielding numbers might be a bit conservative (he's probably a bit worse--this is why he'll mostly be playing 1B once Mathis returns).

First Base: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Name wOBA Bat Field RAA/700
Miguel Cabrera 0.404 45 0 45
Kevin Youkilis 0.395 40 4 44
Justin Morneau 0.388 35 1 36
Mark Teixeira 0.380 31 3 33
Carlos Pena 0.367 22 -1 21

Cabrera just edges Youkilis for the first spot.  First Half Wonder Justin Morneau's projection has gone up a fair bit with his amazing first half, but it's not enough to put him in the same company as the top two.  Pretty big dropoff from Big Tex down to Carlos Pena.

Second Base: Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

Name wOBA Bat Field RAA/700
Dustin Pedroia 0.358 17 6 23
Robinson Cano 0.361 19 0 19
Ian Kinsler 0.359 18 1 19
Brian Roberts 0.353 14 -3 11
Chone Figgins 0.330 0 6 6

Pedroia's fielding vaults him over Robinson Cano and Ian Kinsler for the starting job,.

Third Base: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

Name wOBA Bat Field RAA/700
Evan Longoria 0.386 34 10 44
Alex Rodriguez 0.395 39 -2 38
Michael Young 0.349 11 -1 11
Maicer Izturis 0.335 3 6 9
Adrian Beltre 0.334 2 6 9

Again, it's the fielding that makes the difference here.  I heart Evan Longoria, and I'd love to see him start over A-Rod this year.

Shortstop: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

Name wOBA Bat Field RAA/700
Derek Jeter 0.355 15 -3 13
Marco Scutaro 0.333 2 5 7
Asdrubal Cabrera 0.337 4 1 5
Jason Bartlett 0.333 2 0 2
Elvis Andrus 0.324 -4 5 1

What the heck, American League?  Maybe I'm just spoiled by looking at Hanley and Tulo in the senior circuit, but there isn't much SS awesomeness going on in the AL right now.  Jeter wins the nod by default, with a hat tip to Marco Scutaro and the injured Asdrubal Cabrera.

Left Field: Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays

Name wOBA Bat Field RAA/700
Carl Crawford 0.355 15 9 25
Josh Hamilton 0.352 13 -1 13
Milton Bradley 0.349 11 -2 9
Jacoby Ellsbury 0.337 4 2 6
Fred Lewis 0.336 3 2 5

Hamilton's a distant second.  Ellsbury's fielding might be underrated here--not sure if it's accounting for his playing LF and not CF.  Fred Lewis was a modest surprise at #5.  

Center Field: Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees

Name wOBA Bat Field RAA/700
Grady Sizemore 0.358 17 3 19
Curtis Granderson 0.355 15 4 19
Franklin Gutierrez 0.333 2 12 14
Torii Hunter 0.356 16 -2 14
B.J. Upton 0.342 7 6 13

Remember all the talk this offseason about whether Granderson would need to be platooned?  Well, here he is, ranked as the best center fielder in the league. What?  He's not #1?  Well, technically he's tied, but I gave Granderson the nod given that Sizemore is out for the rest of the season.  That's good, because I don't have to try to speculate on what has happened to Sizemore.   In other news, Franklin Gutierrez don't get no respect.

Right Field: Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers

Name wOBA Bat Field RAA/700
Nelson Cruz 0.377 29 5 34
Shin-Soo Choo 0.376 28 0 28
Ben Zobrist 0.366 22 7 29
Nick Markakis 0.367 22 3 26
Magglio Ordonez 0.368 23 -3 21

I love how the top three players in this set are all guys who sort of came out of no where over the past few years and have proven to be stars.

Designated Hitter: Vladimir Guerrero, Texas Rangers

Name wOBA Bat Field RAA/700
Vladimir Guerrero 0.369 24 0 24
Nick Johnson 0.363 20 0 20
David Ortiz 0.362 20 0 20
Jack Cust 0.357 16 0 16
Jason Kubel 0.354 14 0 14

I forced everyone is this category's fielding to be zero, since all they are supposed to do is hit.  Guerrero has had a terrific first half, which is great to see.  Baseball is more fun with Vlad swinging and hitting everything thrown at him.

Last up: AL pitchers!

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