Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/20/14

The All-Star Game isn’t for another 35 days, but with the voting in full swing and enough of the season under our belts, I figure it’s time to weigh in on how I’d fill out the roster if I were Grand Poobah and had the final say on all 34 players. I will note up front that I believe the All-Star Game is an annual affair, and we shouldn’t simply have the same collection of players every year just because those are the “true stars”. The All-Star Game is best when it serves as both a platform for the game’s greatest players and recognition for those who have earned their way in. I will not be putting players on the roster who have not performed well in 2013, even if they are bonafide stars. We’ll start with the American League, with the NL to follow in its own post. As a reminder, the rosters now comprise 34 players, which I’ll be splitting as 21 position players and 13 pitchers, as that has been the final tally for the game most of the last few years. And, yes, we’re honoring the rule requiring every team to be represented. I’ll list each player by the tier of how they got selected, then put the final roster down below. On to the picks. The Game Would Be A Farce Without Them These players are the epitome of All-Stars; great players having great seasons. I imagine there will be little disagreement about any of these 14 selections. It’s hard to imagine a reasonable case for excluding any of these players, assuming they still healthy for the next few weeks anyway. Miguel Cabrera, DET, 3B: +3.9 WAR Mike Trout, ANA, OF: +3.4 WAR Evan Longoria, TB, 3B: +3.3 WAR Dustin Pedroia, BOS, 2B: +2.9 WAR Joe Mauer, MIN, C: +2.7 WAR Jose Bautista, TOR, OF: +2.5 WAR David Ortiz, BOS, DH: +1.8 WAR Robinson Cano, NYY, 2B: +1.6 WAR Anibal Sanchez, DET, SP: +3.4 WAR Felix Hernandez, SEA, SP: +3.0 WAR Clay Buchholz, BOS, SP: +2.9 WAR Justin Verlander, DET, SP: +2.7 WAR Yu Darvish, TEX, SP: +2.7 WAR Mariano Rivera, NYY, RP: +0.9 WAR They’ve Earned It You wouldn’t have necessarily pegged these guys as All-Stars headed into the season, but their 2013 performance has been so stellar that they have to be there. You might have a different line for how great a performance needs to be to overcome a lack of a track record, but these seven players should clear most people’s bar and get in based on their performance to date. Chris Davis, BAL, 1B: +3.3 WAR Manny Machado, BAL, 3B: +3.1 WAR Josh Donaldson, OAK, 3B: +2.9 WAR Jhonny Peralta, DET, SS: +2.6 WAR Derek Holland, SP, TEX: +2.7 WAR James Shields, KC, SP: +2.2 WAR Hisashi Iwakuma, SEA, SP: +2.1 WAR The Team Representative These guys are mostly worthy candidates anyway, but they are also the best choice to represent the three franchises that did not have a player listed above. Carlos Santana, CLE, C: +1.7 WAR Jason Castro, HOU, C: +1.4 WAR Chris Sale, CHW, SP: +1.9 WAR The Reserves With 14 hitters and 10 pitchers already on the roster, that leaves us 10 spots to fill, so it’s time to start looking at where the holes are. The AL is certainly deeper at some positions — third base being the most obvious — than others, and we need to make sure the final 10 spots are filled with deserving players who also fit into the spots that we have not already filled — primarily, that’s middle infield and outfielders. Here are the 10 guys who both fit the All-Star criteria and fill the current openings. Brett Gardner, NYY, OF: +2.2 WAR Coco Crisp, OAK, OF: +2.1 WAR J.J. Hardy, BAL, SS: +2.0 WAR Mark Trumbo, ANA, OF: +1.9 WAR Alex Gordon, KC, OF: +1.6 WAR Ben Zobrist, TB, UT: +1.5 WAR Prince Fielder, DET, 1B: +1.1 WAR Max Scherzer, SP, DET: +2.9 WAR Hiroki Kuroda, SP, NYY: +1.7 WAR Glen Perkins, RP, MIN: +0.9 WAR The Final Roster That leaves us with these 34 players. The starters are listed first and are in bold, with the reserves afterwards. Name Team Position PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Fld BsR WAR Joe Mauer Twins C 261 0.332 0.414 0.498 0.392 150 1.1 -0.1 2.7 Carlos Santana Indians C 241 0.283 0.386 0.483 0.376 142 -3.4 -1.4 1.7 Jason Castro Astros C 227 0.266 0.322 0.464 0.336 112 0.0 0.1 1.4 Chris Davis Orioles 1B 263 0.333 0.411 0.684 0.452 188 -1.4 0.3 3.2 Prince Fielder Tigers 1B 281 0.284 0.388 0.500 0.381 140 -5.6 -2.0 1.1 Dustin Pedroia Red Sox 2B 293 0.331 0.416 0.457 0.381 138 2.4 1.4 2.9 Robinson Cano Yankees 2B 271 0.272 0.339 0.500 0.357 123 -2.1 0.0 1.6 Jhonny Peralta Tigers SS 243 0.339 0.388 0.493 0.380 140 1.9 0.5 2.6 J.J. Hardy Orioles SS 262 0.271 0.307 0.486 0.339 111 4.6 -0.7 2.0 Miguel Cabrera Tigers 3B 288 0.361 0.444 0.647 0.458 193 -6.9 1.4 3.9 Evan Longoria Rays 3B 275 0.305 0.360 0.530 0.380 146 7.3 -0.2 3.3 Manny Machado Orioles 3B 294 0.316 0.352 0.484 0.361 126 11.6 -2.0 3.1 Josh Donaldson Athletics 3B 270 0.324 0.393 0.521 0.392 152 1.5 -1.0 2.9 Mike Trout Angels OF 296 0.304 0.375 0.554 0.395 155 -1.0 4.3 3.4 Jose Bautista Blue Jays OF 257 0.267 0.370 0.516 0.380 140 4.6 0.9 2.5 Brett Gardner Yankees OF 265 0.284 0.349 0.453 0.349 118 4.8 0.5 2.2 Coco Crisp Athletics OF 219 0.290 0.381 0.489 0.373 139 -0.8 3.4 2.1 Mark Trumbo Angels OF 282 0.268 0.344 0.512 0.367 136 1.2 -0.1 1.9 Alex Gordon Royals OF 265 0.304 0.347 0.449 0.345 117 2.5 1.4 1.6 Ben Zobrist Rays UT 266 0.274 0.365 0.404 0.340 118 -2.8 2.8 1.5 David Ortiz Red Sox DH 200 0.314 0.395 0.623 0.425 167 -0.1 -0.2 1.8 - - - - - - - - - - - - Name Team POS IP BB% K% HR/9 ERA- FIP- xFIP- WAR RA9WAR Clay Buchholz Red Sox SP 84.1 9% 25% 0.21 40 59 80 2.9 4.2 Anibal Sanchez Tigers SP 78.0 6% 31% 0.35 64 44 60 3.4 2.3 Felix Hernandez Mariners SP 97.2 5% 27% 0.55 65 63 63 3.0 2.9 Max Scherzer Tigers SP 83.1 6% 32% 0.65 78 58 69 2.9 2.1 Yu Darvish Rangers SP 88.1 8% 34% 0.92 63 65 64 2.7 3.0 Derek Holland Rangers SP 79.2 6% 23% 0.45 65 60 79 2.7 2.3 Justin Verlander Tigers SP 80.0 8% 27% 0.56 89 63 75 2.7 1.4 James Shields Royals SP 93.0 7% 23% 0.77 68 79 84 2.2 2.9 Hisashi Iwakuma Mariners SP 95.1 4% 25% 0.94 47 81 77 2.1 3.9 Chris Sale White Sox SP 77.1 6% 24% 0.81 63 76 83 1.9 2.6 Hiroki Kuroda Yankees SP 79.1 5% 18% 0.79 68 84 96 1.7 2.6 Mariano Rivera Yankees RP 24.1 4% 24% 0.37 35 56 78 0.9 1.2 Glen Perkins Twins RP 22.2 7% 38% 0.79 69 54 54 0.9 0.6 And, finally, the starting line-up. 1. Mike Trout, CF 2. Joe Mauer, C 3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B 4. David Ortiz, DH 5. Jose Bautista, OF 6. Chris Davis, 1B 7. Dustin Pedroia, 2B 8. Alex Gordon, RF 9. Brett Gardner, LF Based on both career track record and 2013 performance, this is how I’d fill out the AL All-Star roster. There are a lot of great players who didn’t make the cut, and there are certainly judgment calls here that could have gone another direction, but overall, I think this is a pretty good set of players who would represent the American League quite well.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Meyer: NFL teams were bothered by Tebow media circus

NFL to suspend Dion Jordan for entire 2015 season

Bryce Harper calls Andrelton Simmons' slide a 'B.S. play'

Kirk Gibson diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease

Kevin Love likely out for remainder of playoffs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL fines Jets $100K for tampering with Revis

Report: Ray Rice getting 'legititmate interest' from teams

NFL Draft hopeful Ray arrested before biggest day of his life

Goodell expects DeflateGate report's release 'soon'

J.R. Smith promises to be better person, player after suspension

The importance of the Clippers' bench against the Spurs

WATCH: Ray Lewis gives fiery speech about Baltimore riots

Some early season observations that could hold true all year

Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM: 'Everything is for sale'

Tampa restaurant offers Jameis Winston free crab legs

J.J. Watt writes note for fan to get out of work for charity event

Should the Warriors be worried about extended rest?

WATCH: Paul Pierce bangs glass at Capitals-Islanders Game 7

Jon Jones turns himself into police, facing felony charge

Report: Brady was at stadium day of White House visit

Arkansas has leather belt to commemorate Texas Bowl win

Belichick's girlfriend fine with coach checking out Teigen

V. Stiviano posts birthday message to 'BFF' Donald Sterling

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kirk Gibson diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease

Bucs GM: 'Everything is for sale'

Tampa restaurant offers Jameis Winston free crab legs

Hamilton: Angels knew the risks

Jon Jones turns himself into police, facing felony charge

MLB could move Orioles’ home games

Duke takes over as the No. 1 recruiting class

Titans have been 'all over' Mariota?

Doc Rivers tore into Clippers after loss

Worst picks ever by every NFL franchise

Report: Cowboys not in on Peterson

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the QBs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.