November 28, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
27°F
test

MLB Commentary: Taking a look at the right choices to be All-Star starters

The starting lineups — position players — for the July 15 All-Star Game in Minneapolis will be announced tonight.
Here’s a preview of what they are expected to look like. The “people’s choice” is the leader in the latest voting results at their respective position:

American League

FIRST BASE
The candidates: Jose Abreu (White Sox), Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Brandon Moss (A’s)

The people’s choice: Cabrera

My choice: Abreu

The breakdown: Miggy is the man, but the rookie phenom from the South Side should be the starter.

SECOND BASE
The candidates: Ian Kinsler (Tigers), Jose Altuve (Astros), Robinson Cano (Mariners)

The people’s choice: Cano

My choice: Altuve

The breakdown: Small in size, Altuve has produced big numbers, leading the league in batting average and stolen bases through Friday.

SHORTSTOP
The candidates: Erick Aybar (Angels), Alexei Ramirez (White Sox), Derek Jeter (Yankees)

The people’s choice: Jeter

My choice: Jeter

The breakdown: Though his numbers aren’t as good as the competition, Jeter is retiring and this is an honor one of the most professional and classy players deserves in his final season.

THIRD BASE
The candidates: Adrian Beltre (Rangers), Josh Donaldson (A’s), Kyle Seager (Mariners).

The people’s choice: Donaldson

My choice: Beltre

The breakdown: Indians fans are probably wondering where Lonnie Chisenhall’s name is, but he doesn’t have enough at-bats to qualify, and Beltre is the best choice anyway.

CATCHER
The candidates: Kurt Suzuki (Twins), Derrick Norris (A’s), Salvador Perez (Royals)

The people’s choice: Matt Wieters (Orioles)

My choice: Norris

The breakdown: Wieters is the likely starter, but any one of the three candidates is a far better choice — though Norris has the best numbers.

DESIGNATED HITTER
The candidates: Nelson Cruz (Orioles), Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays), Victor Martinez (Tigers)

The people’s choice: Cruz

My choice: Encarnacion

The breakdown: You can’t go wrong with any of the candidates, all of them producing All-Star first halves to the season.

OUTFIELD
The candidates: Mike Trout (Angels), Michael Brantley (Indians), Adam Jones (Orioles), Jose Bautista (Blue Jays), Yoenis Cespedes (A’s), Melky Cabrera (Blue Jays)

The people’s choice: Bautista, Trout, Cespedes

My choice: Trout, Brantley, Jones

The breakdown: Brantley is expected to be Cleveland’s lone All-Star representative, but he didn’t get enough votes to crack the starting lineup.

National League

First base
The candidates: Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks), Justin Morneau (Rockies), Freddie Freeman (Braves)

The people’s choice: Goldschmidt

My choice: Morneau

The breakdown: Either choice works here. Both players have similar numbers.

SECOND BASE
The candidates: Dee Gordon (Dodgers), Chase Utley (Phillies), Neil Walker (Pirates)

The people’s choice: Utley

My choice: Gordon

The breakdown: None of the candidates has eye-popping numbers, but Gordon leads the league in stolen bases.

SHORTSTOP
The candidates: Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies), Starlin Castro (Cubs), Hanley Ramirez (Dodgers)

The people’s choice: Tulowitzki

My choice: Tulowitzki

The breakdown: Tulo is the clear-cut choice here, though Castro has been very good under the radar.

THIRD BASE
The candidates: Casey McGehee (Marlins), Todd Frazier (Reds), Anthony Rendon (Nationals)

The people’s choice: Aramis Ramirez (Brewers)

My choice: Frazier

The breakdown: Not sure how Ramirez is atop the voting list, but Frazier has far better numbers.

CATCHER
The candidates: Yadier Molina (Cardinals), Jonathan Lucroy (Brewers), Evan Gattis (Braves)

The people’s choice: Molina

My choice: Lucroy

The breakdown: Milwaukee’s catcher has come out of nowhere to produce a fantastic first half.

OUTFIELD
The candidates: Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), Yasiel Puig (Dodgers), Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins), Carlos Gomez (Brewers), Ryan Braun (Brewers), Charlie Blackmon (Rockies)

The people’s choice: McCutchen, Gomez, Puig

My choice: McCutchen, Puig, Stanton

The breakdown: Stanton is among the NL leaders in home runs and RBIs and deserves a spot in the starting lineup.

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him @CAwesomeheimer on Twitter.

Like us on Facebook: