With Major League Baseball's All-Star Game scheduled for tonight, it makes sense to me that we should take a look at who the 25 best players from the AL Central are, and put together a roster to take on the rest of the baseball world. Some spots are obvious, others, not so much.
Disagree with my decisions? Let me know in the comments section.
C) Alex Avila (Tigers): .286/.370/.506, 10HR, 2.7 WAR - Perennial All-Star Joe Mauer has been hurt, and ineffective when not hurt. Avila has been a revelation.
1B) Miguel Cabrera (Tigers): .311/.430/.549, 18HR, 3.1 WAR - A defensive liability, but an absolute monster at the plate, as his .979 OPS (ho hum) attests.
2B) Gordon Beckham: (White Sox): .245/.305/.360, 7HR, 1.1 WAR - Beckham still hasn't blossomed into the player the Sox hoped, but he's the best choice in a very weak field of candidates.
3B) Jack Hannahan (Indians): .222/.312/.348, 5HR, 1.2 WAR - A solid FA signing by the Indians, Hannahan kept the spot warm for top prospect Lonnie Chisenhall.
SS) Jhonny Peralta (Tigers): .312/.362/.529, 14HR, 3.3 WAR - A dead tie between him and Asdrubal Cabrera in WAR, Peralta has the better wOBA and UZR.
LF) Alex Gordon (Royals): .299/.367/.483, 11HR, 3.4 WAR - The WAR leader amongst AL Central position players. Seriously. Finally becoming the player the Royals always hoped he would.
CF) Melky Cabrera (Royals): .293/.332/.455, 11HR, 3.0 WAR - Perhaps the best dollar/performance FA signing in baseball this year, Cabrera signed for just 1.25m.
RF) Carlos Quentin (White Sox): .251/.350/.502, 17HR, 2.4 WAR - Experiencing a resurgent season, tied with Brennan Boesch in WAR. Get's nod for playing more in RF than Boesch.
DH) Travis Hafner (Indians): .325/.406/.528, 8HR, 1.5 WAR - PRONK SMASH! Indeed.
BN) Carlos Santana (Indians): .230/.363/.418, 13HR, 2.1 WAR - Hampered by a very slow start, bat has started to click the past couple months.
BN) Brennan Boesch (Tigers): .306/.360/.490, 12HR, 2.4 WAR - Proving that 2010 season wasn't a fluke.
BN) Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians): .293/.347/.489, 14HR, 3.3 WAR - Missed being the starting SS by the thinnest of margins.
BN) Alexi Ramirez (White Sox): .274/.331/.414, 9HR, 3.2 WAR - The AL Central boasts the three best shortstops in the AL (by WAR).
SP) Justin Verlander (Tigers): 151 IP, 2.15 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 4.5 WAR - You don't really need an explanation, do you?
SP) Justin Masterson (Indians): 121.2 IP, 2.66 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 2.9 WAR - Helping to corner the market in dominating starters with 'Justin' as their first name.
SP) Scott Baker (Twins): 110.2 IP, 3.01 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 2.2 WAR - The only Twins player actually deserving of the name All-Star (and only in an all ALC context).
SP) Philip Humber (White Sox): 105.1 IP, 2.99 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 2.2 WAR - While Melky is probably the best FA signing of the year, Humber is hands down the finest waiver acquisition.
SP) Mark Buehrle (White Sox): 121.0, 3.42 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 2.0 WAR -
RP) Rafeal Perez (Indians): 37.2 IP, 1.51 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 0.8 WAR - Experiencing a real career revival.
RP) Vinnie Pestano (Indians): 33.1 IP, 2.97 ERA, 2.57 FIP, 0.8 WAR - Key reason why the Indians bullpen has been one of the best in baseball.
RP) Greg Holland (Royals): 25.0 IP, 1.08, 2.32 FIP, 0.8 WAR - A late callup building off his promising 2010 showing, Holland has been nothing less than lights-out.
RP) Aaron Crow (Royals): 43.1 IP, 2.08 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 0.3 WAR - The Royals have leaned on this starter-turned reliever to hold any close lead late in games.
RP) Al Albuquerque (Tigers): 29.0 IP, 2.79 ERA, 2.10 FIP, 0.9 WAR - Has used his hot fastball, frightening lack of control, and devastating slider to shut down opponents.
RP) Sergio Santos (White Sox): 42.0 IP, 3.21 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 1.1 WAR - Continued his meteoric rise from obscure MiLB infielder, to MLB closer.
RP) Glen Perkins (Twins): 33.2IP, 1.87ERA, 1.98 FIP, 1.2 WAR - Fulfilling the potential he had prior to arm surgery years ago.