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|Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:25 am Post subject: Votebook A hard look can help make decisions
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So let's look closer. Ruiz has the highest batting average, highest slugging percentage, highest OPS and is tied with Molina in homers and RBIs. Ellis leads them all in on-base percentage, but he has played fewer games, has fewer at-bats and plate appearances and has hit for less power.
And then there's the old lion, Derek Jeter. His early-season sizzle has fizzled a bit cheap goyard handbags, but he's still been the league's second-best-hitting shortstop. His defense continues to rate poorly by statistical measures, but well, he's Derek Jeter. The game does have the word "Star" in its name, after all.
Curtis Granderson is having another excellent year at the plate, and in light of his 2011 season, he'd seem to be a safe call, but by virtually every advanced statistical measure, his defense rates poorly. Jose Bautista is having a down year, though he's come back to life recently.
Sometimes an All-Star choice is obvious. Take first base in the National League, where Joey Votto is the best player this year and has been great for a long time. Obviously fans are free to vote for whomever they like, but it would be hard for an unbiased observer to argue that someone deserves the vote over the Reds' one-time NL MVP Award winner.
Ruiz wins when it comes to WAR (wins above replacement, a way to measure a player's total contributions), scoring 2.5 according to Fangraphs.com and 2.4 according to Baseball-Reference.com. Ellis' fWAR (WAR according to Fangraphs) is tied with Ruiz, while he trails at 2.0 at Baseball-Reference. Molina ranks behind them both in both systems. Meanwhile, Molina is the incumbent and the recognized leader defensively. It's hard to go wrong.
The best bat at the position belongs, fairly easily, to Cleveland's Asdrubal Cabrera. He leads the position in on-base custom baseball jerseys cheap, slugging and doubles, and he's third in RBIs. But he's not exactly the best defender, with various systems rating him somewhere between so-so and not good. The leader in fWAR custom baseball jerseys, for his combination of bat and glove, is Texas' Elvis Andrus, and it's easy to envision the 23-year-old holding down that spot for a while (unless Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar forces him to another position).
A.J. Ellis of the Dodgers has been a revelation and an on-base machine. The Phillies' Carlos Ruiz is putting up the best overall offensive numbers. St. Louis' Yadier Molina has been the league's best all-around player at the position since the start of last season.
Sometimes it's quite a bit more difficult. As All-Star voting continues to ramp up, with fewer than six weeks left until the 2012 Midsummer Classic, here is a look at a few cases where the choices might not be immediately evident.
Do you want the best story, the best season or the best player?
All of which would seem to open the door to some new contenders. The Tigers' Austin Jackson ranks second to Hamilton among AL outfielders in OPS, and third behind Hamilton and Adam Jones in fWAR. Speaking of Jones, his power breakout makes him an intriguing candidate as well. He's fourth in OPS thanks in large part to his 14 home runs, and he's second in fWAR.
The question here is a bit like the one at catcher in the NL: Do you want the bat, the star or the all-around stud?
By pretty much any reasonable definition, Josh Hamilton makes the cut, whether you're looking at this year or the long view. The other two spots are a bit more challenging cheap mlb jerseys, though.