AL All Star Voting: Who Would Start vs. Who Should Start

August 24, 2011
Detroit Tigers
by The Javelina

Article by Ross Bernhardt

I’m a sucker for All Star games.  I don’t know why, but year after year I watch glorified pick-up games that are overhyped and in the grand scheme of things, pretty insignificant.  The one thing that aggravates me about these contests is the way the teams are put together.  Fans are charged with the task of voting for the players who should start in these games, which means that you are left with some skewed results like the 1957 All Star Game where Cincinnati Reds fans stuffed the ballot boxes. 

With the Midsummer Classic just about two weeks away, I wanted to look at how the fans were doing at choosing the starters for the AL and NL.  For the most part, they identified the best players at the position, but some players have been overlooked in favor of more name brand players.  Here’s a look at who would be starting if All Star Voting ended today paired with who should be starting at each position.

Catcher: Who would start – Russell Martin, New York Yankees.  Who should start – Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers.

Russell Martin started the season hot as the sun, hitting home runs and making the Yankees look like geniuses for picking him up cheap.  But he has since come down to earth in a big way.  He’s hitting a measly .230 and has missed over 20 games due to injuries.  Meanwhile, Alex Avila is having a breakout year for the Tigers this year, and nobody seems to have noticed.  The 24-year-old catcher is battine .303 with 10 HR and 43 RBI for Detroit and has provided them with a reliable presence behind the plate and in the lineup for Detroit.  Although Martin isn’t a worthy starter, it’s better than Joe Mauer being voted in.

First Base: Who would start – Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox.  Who should start – Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox.

No complaints here.  Gonzalez hasn’t just been one of the best first basemen in baseball, he’s been one of the best players in all of baseball this season.  He leads the majors in batting (.361) and RBI (71) and has played stellar defense for Boston at first.  He has been better than advertised and has made the transition to the AL look incredibly easy.  You can’t really make an argument for anyone else in the AL.  I think even Yankees fans would agree that Gonzalez has been better than Mark Teixeira this season.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

Ross Bernhardt is a staff writer for

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