Firstbase: Miguel Cabrera (DET)
Runner Up: Chris Davis (BAL)
Miggy has been one of the best in the AL at 1B by wRC+ with a 139 but his 1.8 WAR only rates 4th. He gets the lifetime achievement vote anyway because Davis and EE aren’t blowing him out of the water by any means. Davis gets the nod over EE because he has a better glove, even if it’s still pretty bad.
Secondbase: Jose Altuve (HOU)
Runner Up: Robinson Cano (SEA)
Altuve is the easiest pick in the AL. He has been 1.3 wins better than Cano and only Trout is standing between him and the AL MVP. Cano is an easy choice as well with his nice bounce back season. Kinsler is a distant third as his offensive contributions just haven’t been as good as Cano’s.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts (BOS)
Runner Up: Francisco Lindor (CLE)
If Bogaerts and Lindor don’t give you wood over the future of the SS position in the AL then I don’t know who will. Lindor is arguably one of the best defensive infielders in baseball and he’s bringing plenty of offense unlike Andrelton Simmons. Bogaerts got my vote because I am shameless when it comes to my love for him and because his 135 wRC+ is tops among SSs not named Machado.
Thirdbase: Manny Machado (BAL)
Runner Up: Josh Donaldson (TOR)
This is the closest race in the AL. Donaldson and Machado are separated by 0.1 in WAR (Donaldson is higher) and 3 in wRC+ (Machado is higher). I’m giving Machado my vote because he is the best in the majors at two positions right now. I don’t think there’s any argument that he’s the best SS alive right now and only Kris Bryant and Donaldson can hang with him at 3B. Machado is right up there on Harper and Trout’s plane of existence and deserves to be recognized for that. That’s not a knock on Donaldson at all. He is firmly a top 10 non-pitcher in all of baseball and likely top 5.
Catcher: Salvador Perez (KC)
Runner Up: Matt Wieters (BAL)
Sal Perez is a full win better than Wieters and Stephen Vogt and is another easy choice. Vogt’s 99 wRC+ disqualifies him in my book since his defense isn’t demonstrably better than Wieters’s.
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz (BOS)
Runner Up: Nelson Cruz (SEA)
Ortiz deserves this not just because it’s his last ASG but because he has a .431 OBP and a 182 wRC+. He just rakes. I gave Cruz the nod over EE due to Cruz being slightly better in OBP and wRC+.
Outfield: Mike Trout (LAA), Ian Desmond (TEX), Mookie Betts (BOS)
Runners Up: Jackie Bradley Jr. (BOS), George Springer (HOU), Adam Eaton (CWS)
Mike Trout shouldn’t even be an option at this point. His selection should be mandatory. Ian Desmond has been a revelation in Texas and absolutely deserves this selection. He’s even been pretty good on defense to go along with great offensive numbers. The last spot was either going to Betts or Bradley. I went with Betts because I am unapologetically in love with him. Springer is having a great year on a disappointing Astros team. He’s establishing himself as one of the better AL OFs. Eaton was a tough call over some other guys. He ultimately gets the call because his defense has been elite this year and he’s chipped in just enough offense to be 5th in the AL in WAR.
Starting Pitcher: Corey Kluber (CLE)
Runners Up: Jose Quintana (CWS), Chris Sale (CWS), Danny Salazar (CLE), David Price (BOS)
AL starting pitching has not been particularly great this year but Kluber leads the AL in WAR, xFIP and FIP. He’s been unlucky all year even though he’s pitching at an elite level. Quintana’s regression is going to happen at some point, but he deserves recognition. He’s been one of the most underrated SPs in baseball over the last 3-4 years and deserves an invite to this game. Sale is an easy call even though he has a 3.64 xFIP. Salazar is another SP due regression, but there’s no denying what he’s done this year. His K rate of 28.5% is 1.5 points higher than the next best AL SP. Finally there’s David price. His 4.74 ERA seems awful but he has the second best xFIP in the AL behind Kluber. If this game truly means anything, Price has to be there.
Relief Pitcher: Dellin Berances (NYY)
Runners Up: Andrew Miller (NYY), Zach Britton (BAL)
Yet again, Betances has been one of the best AL RPs. He’s been unlucky this year and his 1.2 xFIP is only beaten by Miller. If I had to pick one RP to get an out Betances is that guy. Miller is the obvious second choice. He has the highest K rate in the AL and the second lowest BB rate. He is about as elite as it gets. Britton earns the third spot over Will Harris due to his better overall numbers. Harris has a 0.78 ERA but a 2.92 xFIP. Britton’s xFIP is only 1.77 and he has a much longer record of success.
Evan Longoria, 3B, TB
Brian Dozier, 2B, MIN
Rich Hill, SP, OAK
If Machado and Donaldson weren’t other worldly, he’d be in consideration for the 3B spot. He’s been by far the best Ray this year and is an easy choice. Brian Dozier struggled mightily at the start of the season but has turned it around as of late. He leads the Twins in WAR and that’s about all the nice things I have to say. This team is bad. Ricky Nolasco leads their SPs in WAR for fucks sake. Oakland was actually a difficult choice between the resurgent Rich Hill or Marcus Semien. Semien was one of the worst SSs in the field in all of baseball last year and has turned that around to be somewhat valuable. However the nod goes to Hill if for nothing else than seeing Hill pump curveballs in an All Star game will be awesome to watch.