AL Fantasy All-Stars

Posted: July 13, 2011 in Articles

By David Kerr

AL Fantasy All-Stars

I wanted to have this done the day of the All-Star Game, but it wasn’t able to happen. So, here it is on Wednesday, a day late.

Catcher: Alex Avila, Tigers and Victor Martinez, Tigers

I couldn’t decide which of these two has been better so I’m going to call it a tie. Since they play on the same time, I think that’s fair. Alex Avila has ten homers to Victor’s six. V-Mart is sporting a .316 average with a .362 on base percentage while Avila is sitting steady at .286 and .370. Martinez has a combined 87 runs and RBI’s and Avila is 11 behind at 76. As far as hitting goes, this is the best 1-2 catching punch in the majors. Avila may regress a bit, but he is still going to be very good. I expect V-Mart’s average to stay steady with a power increase. Good things happened in the first half for both players and I expect that to continue in the second half.

First Base: Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox

There isn’t even a question about this one. Adrian Gonzalez is hitting a cool .354 with 17 homers and 77 RBI’s. There was no problem with a change of scenery for this slugger. In fact, overall he’s never had a better first half. Granted, he changed to a much better home park, but he could have had an adjustment period and didn’t. He should have no problem eclipsing 30 homers and 130 RBI’s and he’ll do it with ease. He won’t hit enough home runs to contend for a triple crown, but he will most definitely be at the top of MVP ballots.

Honorable Mention: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Second Base: Robinson Cano, Yankees

This one was VERY close, but I’m giving the nod to Cano for his better overall numbers. Cano hit four more homers than Pedroia, had a higher average by .12 points, and drove in 13 more runs. Pedroia had 2 more runs scored than Cano and also stole 10 more bases. I like Cano to hit over .300 from here on out while adding another 15 homers and eclipsing 100 RBI’s for the second year in a row. I see no reason that Pedroia won’t continue to have a fine season. It is entirely possibly for him to finish 20/30 with a ton of runs scored. If you own either player, you’re in great shape for rest of the season.

Honorable Mention: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox

Third Base: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

Best player in fantasy baseball, period. Jose Bautista has followed up a 54 home run campaign in 2010 with 31 first half dingers in 2011. He is an on base machine, reaching 46.8% of the time. There is no need to expect a regression of any sort. Bautista was the most valuable player in the first half and should continue to be in the second half. A line of .320-55-120 should be expected. If you doubted him at the beginning of the year, I guarantee you aren’t now!

Honorable Mention: Adrian Beltre, Rangers

Shortstop: Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians

Fueled by a power surge in April and May, Asdrubal Cabrera was the best AL fantasy shortstop in the first half. His career best for home runs in a season was six. He surpassed that mark on May 17th. He’s currently sitting at 14 home runs and should have no problem reaching the 20-25 mark. He chipped in with 12 steals and should reach 20 with ease. Hit totaled 28, 35, and 33 hits in April, May, and June, respectfully. This is a prime example of draft day value. I’m sure he was drafted late by mostly everyone that owns. Expect the same consistency in the second half.

Honorable Mention: Elvis Andrus, Rangers

Outfield: Curtis Granderson, Yankees

Curtis Granderson has definitely come into his own in his second season in the Bronx. With 25 home runs at the mid-way point, he already has one more homer than last year in 139 less at-bats. Add in 15 steals and 79 runs scored, this has been the most valuable fantasy outfielder in the American League. I see some regression in the second half, but not enough to keep Granderson from slugging at least 40-45 homers. If you own him, be confident. When it is all said and done, statistically this will be his best season to date.

Outfield: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox

A rib injury limited Jacoby Ellsbury to 18 games in 2010. Taking most of last season and this past offseason to recover, he picked up right where he left off. Hitting a cool .317 with 28 steals, he’s giving you exactly what you wanted. Added to that is 11 homers which could easily turn into 20 by season’s end. He is batting at the top of one of the best lineups in baseball, so his run total will be plentiful. I like him to have a better all around second half than Granderson, with 20 plus homers and 50 plus steals at the end of the year.

Outfield: Melky Cabrera, Royals

Wait, who? Yes, you read correct. Melky Cabrera. Hey, this is the FIRST HALF AL Fantasy All-Stars and after the first half he had, Cabrera belongs in the top three. He’s hit .293, scored 55 runs, knocked in 51 runs, hit 11 homers, and stolen 12 bases. Find me a better first half AL outfielder statistic wise better than Cabrera from April 1 until the All-Star break. Now, I don’t think this will continue, but he has a shot at 20/20. I think he will fall short, but you can’t take away his very good first half. That being said, if I owned him, I would probably be selling high.

Honorable Mentions: B.J. Upton, Rays, Jeff Francoeur, Royals, Brennan Boesch, Tigers

Starting Pitcher: Justin Verlander, Tigers

At the half way point of the season Justin Verlander has to be in the lead for the AL Cy Young award. He has pitched 151 innings total to this point. In those innings, he has given up 131 hits and 31 walks. That equals a WHIP of 0.87. He has racked up 12 wins and 147 strikeouts to go with an ERA of 2.15. But, my favorite Verlander stat so far? He’s pitched at least six innings in every outing. He’s also been on fire as of late picking up seven wins in eight starts while pitching at least 7 2/3 innings in all but one start (in which he pitched 7 innings). I see no reason that this success won’t continue into the second half with Verlander finally winning his first Cy Young Award.

Honorable Mention: Jered Weaver, Angels

Relief Pitcher: Mariano Rivera, Yankees

Who else but Mo? Even at age 41 he still defies the odds and not only gets the job done, but does it with sparkling numbers. Never missing a beat, Rivera has an ERA of 1.85 and a WHIP at an even 1.00. His strikeout numbers are down from career norms, but they are about even with last year. Nonetheless, it doesn’t really matter. Mariano Rivera defines consistency and has a chance (with 21 more saves this season) to break Trevor Hoffman’s all time saves record. It’s going to be close this season, but I’ll be rooting for him!

Honorable Mention: Sergio Santos, White Sox

Be sure to follow me on twitter by hitting the follow button below. I will answer any and all fantasy baseball questions you have. Also, you can e-mail me at askROTObaseball@yahoo.com for any long form question’s. If you need an answer quick though, definitely use twitter!

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