2006 Season All-Star Team

2006 All-Star Team

Below is my Major League first and second team all-stars for the 2006 season. This article was originally written on September 25th, so keep that in mind when I quote statistics. In many cases, first and second team nominees could be switched without too much of an argument, highlighting the parity amongst elite players this season.
Catcher:

 

1st Team
Joe Mauer: While Mauer began to fade after a torrid June, he still ekes out the first team selection. On track to win the batting title, Mauer is above average defensively, leads all catchers with 83 runs scored, has a 79/52 BB/SO ratio and ranks 8th in AL OPS.

 

2nd Team
Brian McCann : While it is tempting to go with Pudge, his 11 fielding win shares and his playoff bound team, I’m still inclined to go with McCann, with a .333/.391/.570 line. In-fact, his OPS is .25 points higher than Joe Mauers. He also led all catchers with a 18.3 AB/HR ratio and a .238 IsoP.

 

1B:

 

1st Team
Albert Puljols: What can be said about Pujols that hasn’t been said already? Pujols is #1 in first base WS & VORP, and win share percentage. He’s hit 46 home runs, knocked in 130 runs and posted an incredible 88/49 BB/SO ratio for a power hitter.

 

2nd Team
Ryan Howard sure made Philly fans forget about Jim Thome in a hurry. Howard is first in NL OPS, is approaching 60 home runs and he is helping led the charge towards a playoff spot. Not a bad value for the Phillies at $355,000 this season.
 

2B:

 

1st Team

Hitting steak aside, Chase Utley followed up his 2005 campaign with another stellar season. He is #1 amongst second baseman in runs, home runs and RBIs. He’s also chipped in 13 steals and above average fielding.

 

2nd Team

While Dan Uggla has had a great season, I’m giving this spot to the O-Dog, Orlando Hudson. Uggla has had the luxury of hitting at the top of the lineup for most of the season, and has produced in his role. But their lines are almost identical.

 

Dan Uggla
.282/.339/.483  -  .822
Orlando Hudson
.290/.358/.463  -  .821

 

Where they separate is in their respective fielding. Uggla is no slouch, but Hudson is clearly superior and leads all second baseman with 6.1 fielding win shares.
 

3rd:

 

1st Team
Miguel Cabera: Cabrera gets the nod due to his solid and consistent play throughout the season.

 

2nd Team
David Wright is the superior fielder but he experienced a huge drop in production after the all-star break (and the home run derby…). Pre all-star break Wright his 20 home runs and had a .961 OPS. Post all-star break Wright’s production dropped to 5 home runs and a .837 OPS.
 

SS:

 

1st Team

This was a tough call, as both Jeter and Reyes are potential MVP’s, but Derek Jeter wins out due to his higher OBP and his advantage in fielding win shares. Jeter also had a higher stolen base percentage, going 32 for 37.

 

2nd Team
Jose Reyes can change a game like no other, and has solidified himself as a top-level SS at the age of 23.
 

CF:

 

1st Team
Carlos Beltran proved that last season was a fluke, as he bounced back to pace the majors in win shares. He also had a huge advantage amongst outfielders in defensive win shares, collecting 8.1, and second place was only 6.6! He hit out 40, and is currently 4th in runs scored.

 

2nd Team
Grady Sizemore leads the majors in runs scored with 132, has hit over 50 doubles and is #1 in MLB extra base hits (90).
 

RF

 

1st Team

An unexpected choice at the start of the season, Jermaine Dye is having a career year, currently 2nd in AL HR with 43, with an OPS of 1.004.
 

2nd Team
Vladimir Guerrero is quietly having another spectacular campaign. Although this is the third straight season that his OPS has declined, he is still one of the greatest players in the major leagues.
 

LF:

 

1st Team
Manny Ramirez is fourth in major league OPS, with a 1.049 mark. He has once again hit over 30 HR and knocked in over 100 RBI’s but this will be the first time in four years that he will have failed to score 100 runs (currently at 78 in 129 games).
 

2nd Team
Alfonso Soriano made a successful transition to the outfield, after much trepidation, and has become the first ever 40/40/40 man. It still mystifies me as to why he’s hitting lead-off (.355 OBA but a .569 SLG) but he’s defiantly played himself into the $$$ this upcoming off-season.

 

DH:

 

1st Team
Travis Hafner : This should cause some controversy. I would attribute this to the market that Hafner plays in and his lack of post-season exploits. Hafner has over a .60 point advantage over Ortiz (MLB leading 1.097 to 1.035) and while be injured for the past few weeks, he still leads the majors in VORP. He leads the AL in both OBP & SLG and is second only to Ortiz in AB/HR.

 

2nd team
David Ortiz: Ortiz has had yet another great season, and is on pace to led the AL in HR, RBI’s and BB.
 

LHStarter:

 

1st Team

 

Santana is the man, as usual. He once again improved post all-star break, going 9-1 with a 2.52 ERA. He should take home the AL Cy Young.

 

2nd Team

 

Liriano had a good chance to push Santana for the number one spot, but, of course, he suffered arm fatigue and later injury. His era was even lower than Santan’s but with past arm injuries and a arm not yet able to sustain a full-time starting role, he holds the 2nd team spot. I wouldn’t put up a fight if someone said he deserves first team honors.

 

RHP Starter:

 

1st Team
Chris Carpenter beats out Webb, Hallady, and Oswalt for the first team selection. His ERA, WHIP, Hit per 9 innings, K/9 and opponent OPS are all the best of this group, which secures his roster spot.

2nd Team
It was difficult to give this roster spot to Roy Oswalt, but opponents are hitting a ridiculous .312 on batted balls in play. League average is around .290 and Webb (.292), & Halladay (.279) had the benefit of stronger defensive play, which makes me assume that if Oswalt had even an average defense behind him his ERA, WHIP and win totals would have been much higher.

 

Closer:

 

1st Team

BJ Ryan has made a great season, and while he isn’t the leader in K’s, ERA, or save percentage, he does have a ridiculously low Inherited runners scored ratio, with only 1 of 29 IR scoring.

 

2nd Team
Jonathon Papelbon has an ERA under one (0.92) but he has blown six saves. Mike Gonzalez of the Pittsburgh Pirates and is 100% save percentage (24/24) almost took the roster spot. He’s no slouch with a 2.17 ERA, although he has a high WHIP at 1.35. Joe Nathan has converted an AL high 94.6% of all save opportunities (35/37), but with a 1.65 ERA and a 0.75 Whip. Nathan will get the nod in a close race.
 

 

Where did I go wrong? What’s your team?

Written By

has written for mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Matthias on Twitter, Facebook and Google +

  • You went wrong assuming Halladay had the benefit of stronger defensive play. Batted balls in play is not a stat that should be used to decide who is the studliest RHP in the league. Oswalt is a stud, I agree, but Halladay is the more dominant RHP in the league this year. Carpenter’s stats are MARGINALLY better than Halladay’s, and I do realize this was written Sept. 25, but he is crumbling when his team needs him most.

    I also can’t accept the Indians bias in choosing Hafner over Ortiz, it makes no sense at all. Ortiz has the best projection in the league which is propping up his gawdy numbers, but the numbers are still there.

    You went right by giving the RF nod to J-Dye. Beltran was good too, but I might have even given it to Sizemore! He us just a stud who plays all out all the time. O-dog 2nd team all star is also a nice touch.

  • and by projection, I mean protection.

  • I just read my article through, and I’m sorry for lack of pre-editing.

    Carpenter vs Hallady

    I wouldn’t call one bad start crumbling. Also, both are tied with 19 Quality Starts, so one hasn’t been more dominating than the other. I prefer Carpenter’s lower WHIP and higher K ratio but don’t get me wrong, Doc is the man.

    Hafner vs Papi

    Should have read a .60 lead for hafner in OPS. This is pretty significant, and Papi’s HR rate is only 0.5 AB/HR better than Hafner’s. Many will quote clutch hitting (which is hard to measure, as papi is -6 according to hardball times, which is bull), but Hafner has 6 Grand Slams and I personally always count a bases loaded at-bat as a clutch situation. Hafner leads in VORP, trails by 3 in win shares (understandable due to time missed), leads in SLOB by about 3 runs per 100 at-bats (28.93 to 25.97) and is smoking Ortiz in Runs Created per game at 10.7 to 8.5. Papi has the better HR & RBI numbers, but that is due to the amount of games played. All of the sabermatical stats lean towards Hafner.

    Beltran vs Sizemore

    Sizemore was close to getting 1st place, but Beltran’s fielding and 40 HR while playing in Shea won out.