By Aaron Jackson,
We’re now in the month of June, and you know what that means! Time to prepare for your MLB All Star game party! No? You don’t have a party for the game? Oh…ok. Well, you’re probably at least a little interested in who will be playing in the game right? No? Well, I’ve already made it this far into this blog though so too bad. Here are five Red Sox that should get a spot on the AL All Star team.
1. Mookie Betts: I’m going to start from most obvious to least. Up until his side injury Mookie was the best and hottest player in the majors. For you fantasy baseball players he still ranks as the top player in baseball despite missing a week, which is a pretty good accomplishment this early in the season. Betts has been everything we’d hoped he’d be and more and barring a month long absence he’s a lock to make the team.
2. Chris Sale: Despite his last two outings, I think the lefty is another lock. His ERA was a tick over two before the recent struggles. Though he only has 5 wins in his 12 starts, people have smartened up to how terrible wins are in calculating a pitchers value so I doubt that matters. Sale will be an all-star yet again.
3. J.D. Martinez: I think Martinez wins this battle and he’s certainly deserving of the nod. But there’s a big if hanging over this selection at DH. Major League Baseball has included Shohei Ohtani on the ballot as a DH as opposed to a pitcher, meaning J.D. could be in for a popularity contest, rather than making it off merit. If that happens we could have a Yi Jianlian situation on our hands. Having an entire country put their voting power behind you is practically a guarantee of winning the ballot, as we saw in the NBA for years. For now, I’ll put Martinez at DH, but Ohtani could toss a curveball into that.
4. Craig Kimbrel: His numbers aren’t quite as dominant as they have been in past years, but that’s like saying Russell Westbrook averaging a triple double this year for the Thunder isn’t as impressive as him doing the exact same thing last year. Oh wait, people are saying that? Regardless, Kimbrel’s ERA is a hair over two, and he’s still incredibly effective. It’s a farce if he doesn’t make it.
5. Mitch Moreland: This is where everyone goes WHAT?!?!?!? He wasn’t even a full-time starter until a week ago! Listen, I get the shock value here. How can a part time player make an all-star team when his team has already got numerous other options on the squad? Here’s how…The AL is a dumpster fire when it comes to first baseman. CJ Cron of the Rays leads everyone in homers with 12, unless you count Joey Gallo of the Rangers with 15, but he plays outfield and the occasional first base, and is batting .211. Justin Smoak and Albert Pujols are at best lukewarm, and Miguel Cabrera missed the entire month of May. Jose Abreu’s numbers are good, but not great, and his defense has been suspect. Moreland has a better average, and more home runs in almost 100 less at bats. Call me crazy if you want, but I think Moreland deserves a trip to Nationals park.
Aaron Jackson (@AaronRJackson on Twitter) is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.