Midseason All-Star AL Depth Chart

People like when things are ranked. Maybe that’s why High Fidelity was so appealing. No top fives here, but one big top 25 of a semi-feasible assortment of players. The goal is to assemble the best 25-man squad based on 2008 performance at the halfway mark. The best players will occupy the starting position, and notable backups will be recognized for their efforts too. Not all positions will have a backup as they can be covered by players already in backup roles. Starters are in bold.

My team consists of

  • 2 C
  • 1 1B
  • 1 1B/3B
  • 1 2B
  • 1 SS
  • 1 3B
  • 1 IF
  • 5 OF
  • 1 DH
  • 5 SP
  • 6 RP

Catchers

  1. Joe Mauer-Minnesota Twins
  2. Kelly Shoppach-Cleveland Indians

Mauer is having a great season for the always in contention Twins. He is 3rd in the AL with a .322 batting average and while the power numbers haven’t been there, he has been making up for it by getting on base (.417) and great defense. Kelly Shoppach is our backup catcher. He has split time behind the plate with the now injured Victor Martinez and is hitting .248 with 7 home runs.

First Base

  1. Kevin Youkilis-Boston Red Sox
  2. Sean Casey-Boston Red Sox

Youkilis is leading AL first basemen with a .927 OPS and plays exceptional defense at first base. In addition to his great play at first, he can also play on the other corner of the infield to get Sean Casey some action. Casey is batting .363/.410/.460 in 124 at bats. And he’s a great clubhouse presence.

Second Base

  1. Ian Kinsler-Texas Rangers
  2. Ramon Santiago-Detroit Tigers

Kinsler is having a huge year in every stat category. He is batting .333, has 14 home runs, and he has stolen 23 bases. He is Brian Roberts with power and Dustin Pedroia with speed. A nice combination indeed. Our backup at second is Saniago because he can play all the infield positions. He has been hurt this year, but in his limited action, he is batting .348 and contributes a sure glove.

Third Base

  1. Alex Rodriguez-New York Yankees

Despite his penchant for dirty old women, Alex Rodriguez is still amazing. Even with his injury, he has still hit 19 home runs and is batting .313. Another typical great year for A-Rod.

Shortstop

  1. MIchael Young-Texas Rangers

Shortstop is less productive this year in the AL but Young is still playing good baseball. Young has been scoring a lot, a byproduct of Texas’ explosive offense this season. Young has quietly been one of the best shortstops in baseball since 2003.

Outfield

  1. Josh Hamilton-Texas Rangers
  2. Grady Sizemore-Cleveland Indians
  3. Jermaine Dye-Chicago White Sox
  4. Marcus Thames-Detroit Tigers
  5. Denard Span-Minnesota Twins

Hamilton is the most obvious choice of this bunch at .314/.369/.558 as he makes an MVP statement. Grady Sizemore is one of my favorite players even though he plays for the Cleveland Indians who I am not such a big fan of. He’s a very exciting defender but it’s his bat that’s making Grady’s Ladies moist. His 23 homers lead the American League. Jermaine Dye got snubbed in the All-Star voting this season. I guess people ignored his near .300 average and 20 home runs and the fact that he plays for a first place team. Thames would be my fourth outfielder because he is a dangerous power hitter. He has 17 home runs so far which softened the blow of losing Jacque Jones to a sudden lack of ability. My final guy in the outfield is Denard Span. He’s a speedster who has been getting playing time as of late in Minnesota. I like him, Gomez, and Delmon Young out there.

Designated Hitter

  1. J.D. Drew-Boston Red Sox

He has been playing outfield but I am going to DH him. Leading the AL in OPS.

Starting Pitchers

  1. Cliff Lee-Cleveland Indians
  2. Justin Duchscherer-Oakland Athletics
  3. Nick Blackburn-Minnesota Twins
  4. Tim Wakefield-Boston Red Sox
  5. Gavin Floyd-Chicago White Sox

I went by the depth charts on ESPN.com which orders guys in number of starts. So that determined the order. Lee is having a resurgence and making a case for Cy Young. Duchscherer has a WHIP of .87 which is incredible. A starter with a <1.00 WHIP is mind-blowing. Blackburn is giving the Twins some good outings with a 3.67 ERA. Wakefield is good to have because he could also do some relief for us if we ran into trouble. Gavin Floyd will round out our rotation. It hardly seems fair to have such a good #5 but we’ll say he’s a #5 because he’s still a youngun.

Bullpen

Closer-Francisco Rodriguez-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Setup-Dan Wheeler-Tampa Bay Rays
Lefty Specialist-Hideki Okajima-Boston Red Sox
Unorthodox delivery-Chad Bradford-Baltimore Orioles
Mop up guy-R.A. Dickey-Seattle Mariners
Lifetime achievement-Kyle Farnsworth-New York Yankees

K-Rod has 37 saves already which puts him on pace for 63. Dan Wheeler has had a few hiccups lately, but he’s been good this year setting up. Okajima isn’t used strictly in a lefty role, but he could fill the spot or setup for Rodriguez. You need something weird in the bullepn so Chad Bradford will do. He has a mustache and a submarine delivery. And R.A. Dickey can float his knuckler around when we’re losing by 12. Kyle Farnsworth is also invited because throws fast and is unstable.

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