All-Star starting lineups (if fan vote was ignored)
Never has the Major League Baseball All-Star game fan vote been more popular or scrutinized than in 2015. Moving to online only, top vote getters in each league reached 14M votes. Controversy swirled when at one point eight Kansas City Royals were slated to start, including light hitting Omar Infante. Pushes for other stars in other cities lowered that number to four Royals, but we noted earlier that zero are probably the best player at their position.
So if you took the rosters as named and gave the manager the opportunity to fill out a lineup card solely based upon the players ability (while balancing out lineup needs such as speed, contact, and defense) how would it turn out? Here is your answer.
Note that injured players in real life (Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Dee Gordon, etc.) are excluded here as well.
American League (Bold actually voted by fans):
CF Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals
2B Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
RF Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
3B Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
DH Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers
1B Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels
C Stephen Vogt, Oakland Athletics
SS Jose Iglesias, Detroit Tigers
LF Brett Gardner, New York Yankees
SP Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
Deciding between Cain and Gardner for leadoff is a toss up. The only reason to go with Cain is to have the lefty Kipnis batting behind up and not start with two lefties. Move Gardner to the last spot as an extra leadoff hitter as the lineup turns. Fielder over Cruz is tough for DH, but Fielder a much better batting average and comparable power. Deciding between Cain and Trout as to who goes to right field is another tough one, both are Gold Glove caliber. J.D. Martinez (OF) and Manny Machado (3B) are first two weapons off the bench (along with Cruz). Start with Felix Hernandez as the best RHP to counteract the right hand hitting heavy NL lineup (Keuchel or Sale worthy nominees as well)
National League (Bold actually voted by fans):
CF Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
C Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
LF Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
DH Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
3B Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
SS Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals
CF A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks
2B Joe Panik, San Francisco Giants
SP Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers
The top part of the lineup falls out pretty nicely. More McCutchen to right as I like Pollack in CF slightly better. Choosing Arenado over Todd Frazier is splitting hairs, but I like the RBI machine Arenado with his defense. Pollack over Joc Pederson is a contrast in styles, going defense and avearage over raw power (and low average). Pollock and Panik at the bottom give you two .300 hitters before turning the lineup over. Rizzo at DH is to get another lefty bat in the middle of the lineup to break up the right handers. Frazier and Troy Tulowitzki are the first two sticks off the bench. Greinke (since Scherzer went Sunday) is logical to start given his streak.
– David Whitlock
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