This Fan is still not comfortable with the fans picking the All Stars. It's too much like an American Idol vote with block voting and it becomes a popularity and PR event instead of a well-thought-out adventure. The Fan isn't saying that most fans are irresponsible with the picks. But there is a block of them that simply vote over and over again for the home team and that's just wrong. Too many bad picks happen. This Fan love Derek Jeter. That has been obvious since this site started way back in 2003. But there's no way he should start the All Star Game. But that's what is going to happen. There is even a Twitter account dedicated to getting Jose Bautista selected to the All Star Game. He already deserves the nod, but still. It's unseemly. This isn't a presidential election.
Okay. The BBA deadline looms. Time to make the picks.
- First base: Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox). This one is easy. Gonzalez has been everything the Red Sox hoped and more. The guy is a hitting machine. Reserve: Miguel Cabrera.
- Second base: Ben Zobrist (Bay Rays). Let's face it, Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia are the class in the league, but they aren't performing up to their usual standards. Zobrist leads all second basemen in WAR. Reserve: Howie Kendrick. Kendrick has been one of the few bright spots for the Angels.
- Shortstop: Alexei Ramirez (White Sox). Ramirez is currently the best fielding shortstop in the AL and leads all shortstops in WAR. Reserves: Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera is second in WAR. Derek Jeter. You have to have Jeter at the game for history's sake.
- Third base: Alex Rodriguez (Yankees). Hey, this isn't popular, but A-Rod leads all others at the position in WAR. Deal with it. Reserve: Adrian Beltre, who is giving the Rangers their money's worth.
- Left Field: Alex Gordon (Royals). This Fan doesn't believe in treating the outfield like one big blob. Each position is different and is voted that way. Gordon leads the AL in WAR for left fielders. Reserve: Brent Gardner. Thanks largely to his defense, Gardner is second in the AL in WAR.
- Center Field: Curtis Granderson (Yankees). This is tighter than you think. Granderson just overtook Denard Span for the WAR lead in the AL with his big weekend. Reserves: Span and Jacoby Ellsbury, who is having a great season and is third in WAR.
- Right Field: Jose Bautista (Blue Jays). This one is easy. Bautista leads all of baseball in WAR, wOBA, wRC+ and many other categories. Reserve: Matt Joyce, who is having a breakout season for the Bay Rays.
- Catcher: Alex Avila (Tigers). Not great on defense, but Avila has been potent and leads all AL catchers in WAR. Reserve: Matt Wieters, who is second to Avila in the AL.
AL Pitchers: Jared Weaver and Dan Haren (Angels), C. C. Sabathia (Yankees), Felix Hernandez (Mariners), David Price (Bay Rays), Justin Verlander (Tigers), Josh Beckett (Red Sox), Justin Masterson (Indians) and C. J. Wilson (Rangers). Those are your AL leaders for starting pitchers in WAR. Relief pitchers: Jordan Walden (Angels), Mariano Rivera (Yankees), Jonathan Papelban (Red Sox), Kyle Farnsworth (Bay Rays), Daniel Bard (Red Sox), Sergio Santos (White Sox), Brandon League (Mariners). Those are your AL WAR leaders.
- First base: Joey Votto (Reds). Second in the majors in WAR to Bautista. The guy is simply as good as his MVP season last year suggested. Reserve: Prince Fielder. Fielder is coming on strong and has come close to Votto in WAR. He actually leads Votto in wOBA and wRC+.
- Second base: Richie Weeks (Brewers). Weeks has a full win more in WAR than his nearest competitor. Reserves: Danny Espinosa and Brandon Phillips. Those two are two and three in WAR in the NL.
- Shortstop: Jose Reyes (Mets). This one isn't even close. He's the best shortstop in baseball this year by far. Reserves: Troy Tulowitzki and Stephen Drew. It's time for Drew to make the team.
- Third base: Ryan Roberts (Diamondbacks). Third base is a wasteland in the National League. Roberts leads them all in WAR in a less than spectacular season. Reserves: Placido Polanco and Chipper Jones (for sentimental reasons like Jeter).
- Left Field: Ryan Braun (Brewers). This one is easy. Braun is so far ahead of the others that it's easy. Reserve: Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick is third behind Martin Prado, but will overtake him soon the way it has been going.
- Center Field: Matt Kemp (Dodgers). What a season he is having. Wow! Reserve: Andrew McCutchen, who is having another great season that is lost in the shuffle sometimes.
- Right Field: Lance Berkman (Cardinals). Forget the defense. Berkman is having a monster season for the Cardinals at the plate. Reserves: Tough one here. Going with Andre Ethier but it just as easily could be Justin Upton, Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence, who are all lumped up in WAR. Pence will have to be picked to give the Astros a player.
- Catcher: Brian McCann (Braves). McCann has a slight lead in WAR. Reserves: Miguel Montero and Yadier Molina.
NL Pitchers: Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee (yes, all three), Daniel Hudson, Jordan Zimmermann, Clayton Kershaw, Jaime Garcia, Jair Jurrjens and Zack Greinke. Relievers: Jonny Venters, Craig Kimbrel, Fernando Salas, Sean Marshall, John Axford, Mike Adams and Joel Hanrahan.
There you go. As of right now, those are your All Stars and this is the Fan's official BBA ballot.