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All-Star starting lineups (if fan vote was ignored)

  • David Whitlock
Credit: Major League Baseball

Credit: Major League Baseball

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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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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