MLB Team Stars, Prospects and More

I have made some categories for each baseball team. These choices are made by me and I am open to any comments or tips on these players. Here are the categories below. The 5 Player Pictures represent 5 of the players mentioned.

(RS) Rising Star(s)- A young rookie or player who has some big league experience but also has a bright future in the MLB for lots of years to come.

(UR) Underrated- A player, that in my eyes is underrated in the eyes of other fans, commentators and people.

(L) Leader(s)- A team leader that has been around the players, works well with everyone and can pump up the team when needed.

(SP) Streaky Player(s)- A player who goes on lots of streaks whether it is a hot streak or a cold slump.

(BP) Best Player(s)- The player which in my eyes is the face of the franchise, most productive and strongest player on the roster.

Arizona Diamondbacks-                           Paul Goldschmidt   Justin Upton   J.J. Putz Aaron Hill  Chris Young

RS- Wade Miley,  Paul Goldschmidt                  

UR- Gerardo Parra             

L- Justin Upton,  J.J. Putz                    

SP- Aaron Hill, Chris Young

BP- Justin Upton

 

Atlanta Braves-                                         Michael Bourn  Martin Prado  Brian McCann  Tim Hudson  Chipper Jones

RS- Andrelton Simmons, Taylor Pastornicky

UR- Michael Bourn, Martin Prado

 L-  Brian McCann, Tim Hudson, Chipper Jones

SP- Dan Uggla

BP- Chipper Jones, Brian McCann        

 

Baltimore Orioles-                                     J.J. Hardy    Nick Markakis  Mark Reynolds  Adam Jones

RS- Manny Machado, Zach Britton

UR- Pedro Strop, J.J. Hardy

L- Jim Thome, Nick Markakis

SP- Mark Reynolds

BP- Adam Jones

 

Boston Red Sox-                                          Jarrod Saltalamacchia  Mike Aviles  David Ortiz  Dustin Pedroia  Jacoby Ellsbury 

UR- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Aviles

L- David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia

SP- Jacoby Ellsbury,

BP- Jon Lester, David Ortiz

 

Chicago Cubs-                                                   Anthony Rizzo  Starlin Castro  David DeJesus  Carlos Marmol  Alfonso Soriano

UR- Carlos Marmol, David DeJesus

L- Alfonso Soriano

SP- Bryan LaHair

BP- Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro

 

Chicago White Sox-                                           Kevin Youkilis  Alex Rios  Paul Konerko  Jake Peavy Adam Dunn

RS- Chris Sale, Addison Reed

UR- Kevin Youkilis, Alex Rios

L- Paul Konerko

SP- Adam Dunn

BP- Paul Konerko

 

Cincinnati Reds-                                               Todd Frazier  Ryan Ludwick  Aroldis Chapman  Brandon Phillips  Jay Bruce

RS- Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier

UR- Ryan Ludwick, Aroldis Chapman

L- Joey Votto, Jay Bruce

SP- Brandon Phillips, Drew Stubbs

BP- Joey Votto

 

Cleveland Indians-                                              Jason Kipnis  Carlos Santana  Chris Perez  Asdrubal Cabrera  Shin-Soo Choo 

RS- Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana

UR- Chris Perez, Asdrubal Cabrera

L- Travis Hafner, Casey Kotchman

SP- Ubaldo Jimenez, Shin- Soo Choo

BP- Shin-Soo Choo

 

Colorado Rockies-                                                 Wilin Rosario  DJ LeMahieu  Dexter Fowler  Jeff Francis  Carlos Gonzalez

RS- Willin Rosario, D.J. LaMahieu, Josh Rutledge

UR- Dexter Fowler

L- Todd Helton, Michael Cuddyer

SP- Jeff Francis, Todd Helton

BP- Carlos Gonzalez

 

Detroit Tigers-                                                     Austin Jackson  Prince Fielder  Miguel Cabrera  Jhonny Peralta  Justin Verlander

RS- Quintin Berry, Drew Smyly

UR- Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer

L- Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Jose Valverde, Justin Verlander

SP- Jhonny Peralta, Brennan Boesch

BP- Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera

 

Houston Astros-                                                  Jose Altuve  Brett Wallace  Jason Castro  Brian Bogusevic 

RS- Jose Altuve, Jordan Schafer

UR- Jed Lowrie, Jason Castro

L- Francisco Cordero, Chris Snyder

SP- Brett Wallace, Brian Bogusevic

BP- Jed Lowrie, Wilton Lopez

 

Kansas City Roylas-                                        Salvador Perez  Mike Moustakas  Alex Gordon  Billy Butler  Eric Hosmer 

RS- Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain

UR- Alex Gordon, Billy Butler

L- Jeff Francoeur, Bruce Chen

SP- Eric Hosmer, Jeremy Guthrie

BP- Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas

 

Los Angeles Angels-                                        Mike Trout  Torii Hunter  Albert Pujols  Mark Trumbo  Jered Weaver 

RS- Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos

UR- Dan Haren, Howie Kendrick

L- Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Jered Weaver

SP- Erick Aybar, C.J. Wilson

BP- Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo, Jered Weaver

 

Los Angeles Dodgers-                                        Shane Victorino  Matt Kemp  Andre Ethier  Hanley Ramirez  Clayton Kershaw 

    

UR- A.J. Ellis, Shane Victorino

L- Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Hanley Ramirez

SP- Shane Victroino, Josh Beckett, Joe Blanton

BP- Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez

 

Miami Marlins-                                                       Justin Ruggiano    Josh Johnson  Jose Reyes  Giancarlo Stanton

RS- Donovan Solano, Rob Brantly

UR- Justin Ruggiano

L- Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle, Carlos Lee, Josh Johnson

SP- John Buck, Jose Reyes, Carlos Zambrano

BP- Giancarlo Stanton

 

Milwaukee Brewers-                                           Corey Hart  John Axford  Aramis Ramirez  Rickie Weeks  Ryan Braun

RS- Martin Maldonado

UR- Corey Hart, John Axford

L- Aramis Ramirez, Francisco Rodriguez

SP- Rickie Weeks, Carlos Gomez

BP- Ryan Braun

 

Minnesota Twins-                                              Ben Revere  Josh Willingham  Ryan Doumit  Justin Morneau  Denard Span

RS- Scott Diamond, Ben Revere

UR- Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit

L- Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer

SP- Trevor Plouffe, Denard Span

BP- Justin Morneau, Josh Willingham

 

New York Mets-                                                   Ruben Tejada  R.A. Dickey  David Wright  Lucas Duda  Ike Davis

RS- Matt Harvey, Ruben Tejada

UR- R.A. Dickey

L- David Wright, Johan Santana

SP- Lucas Duda, Ike Davis

BP- R.A. Dickey, David Wright

 

New York Yankees-                                        Derek Jeter  CC Sabathia  Nick Swisher  Russell Martin  Curtis Granderson    

RS- Ivan Nova, David Phelps

UR- Eric Chavez, Jayson Nix

L- Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones, C.C. Sabathia, Nick Swisher

SP- Raul Ibanez, Russell Martin, Joba Chamberlin

BP- C.C. Sabathia, Curtis Granderson

 

Oakland Athletics-                                          Derek Norris  Josh Reddick  Coco Crisp    Yoenis Cespedes 

RS- A.J. Griffin, Derek Norris, Tommy Milone

UR- Josh Reddick, Coco Crisp

L- Grant Balfour, Brandon Inge

SP- Yoenis Cespedes, Stephen Drew

BP- Josh Reddick

 

Philadelphia Phillies-                                John Mayberry  Ryan Howard  Jimmy Rollins  Roy Halladay  Placido Polanco

RS- Domonic Brown

UR- Juan Pierre, John Mayberry

L- Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Roy Halladay

SP- Ty Wigginton, Placido Polanco

BP- Roy Halladay

 

Pittsburgh Pirates-                                     Travis Snider  Jose Tabata  A.J. Burnett  Garrett Jones  Andrew McCutchen 

RS- Travis Snider, Starling Marte, Jose Tabata

UR- A.J. Burnett, James McDonald

L- Garrett Jones, A.J. Burnett

SP- Travis Snider, Wandy Rodriguez

BP- Andrew McCutchen

 

San Diego Padres-                                        Yonder Alonso  Yasmani Grandal  Chase Headley  Carlos Quentin  Cameron Maybin      

RS- Yonder Alonso, Alexi Amarista, Yasmani Grandal

UR- Chase Headley

L- Huston Street, Carlos Quentin

SP- Cameron Maybin, Edinson Volquez

BP- Carlos Quentin, Chase Headley

 

San Francisco Giants-                                  Brandon Belt  Brandon Crawford  Madison Bumgarner  Pablo Sandoval  Buster Posey

RS- Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford

UR- Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner

L- Pablo Sandoval, Barry Zito, Brian Wilson

SP- Tim Lincecum

BP- Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey

 

Seattle Mariners-                                            Jesus Montero  Eric Thames  Dustin Ackley  Franklin Gutierrez  Felix Hernandez 

RS- Jesus Montero, Kyle Seager, Eric Thames, Dustin Ackley

UR- Michael Saunders, Franklin Gutierrez

L- Felix Hernandez, Miguel Olivo, Kevin Millwood

SP- Dustin Ackley, Jason Vargas

BP- Felix Hernandez

 

St. Louis Cardinals-                                      David Freese  Yadier Molina  Carlos Beltran  Matt Holliday  Adam Wainwright                       

RS- Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly

UR- Jon Jay, David Freese

L- Jake Westbrook, Yadier Molina, Rafael Furcal

SP- Jaime Garcia, Allen Craig

BP- Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, Adam Wainwright

 

Tampa Bay Rays-                                              Desmond Jennings  Ben Zobrist  Evan Longoria  James Shields  B.J. Upton

RS- Desmond Jennings, Matt Moore

UR- Matt Joyce, Ben Zobrist 

L- Evan Longoria, James Shields, B.J. Upton

SP- Carlos Pena, Luke Scott

BP- Evan Longoria, David Price

 

Texas Rangers-                                                Joe Nathan  Michael Young  Josh Hamilton  Adrian Beltre  Geovany Soto

RS- Mike Olt, Yu Darvish

UR- Joe Nathan, Michael Young

L- Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre

SP- Geovany Soto, Ryan Dempster, Roy Oswalt

BP- Josh Hamilton

 

Toronto Blue Jays-                                       Moises Sierra  Rajai Davis  Edwin Encarnacion    Colby Rasmus 

RS- Moises Sierra, Anthony Gose, Aaron Loup, Brett Lawrie

UR- Rajai Davis, Edwin Encarnacion

L- Jose Bautista, Darren Oliver, Omar Vizquel

SP- Adam Lind, Colby Rasmus

BP- Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion

 

Washington Nationals-                                Bryce Harper  Stephen Strasburg  Michael Morse  Ryan Zimmerman  Danny Espinosa

RS- Bryce Harper, Stephen Lombardozzi, Stephen Strasburg

UR- Michael Morse, Ian Desmond, Sean Burnett

L- Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche

SP- Edwin Jackson, Danny Espinosa

BP- Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman

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MLB All-Star Team 2000-2010

I have recently been reading The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract book, and for each decade of baseball, James would fill out categories and lists evaluating the player and the game of baseball from that time period. I have decided to do my own lists for the years of 2000-2010. Most of these categories are from the 998 page book by Bill James. More lists are soon to come!

 My MLB All Star Team (2000-2010)

Pos.                                                                                                                   Pitcher

C-  Mike Piazza, NYM, SD, OAK                               RHP-  Tim Hudson, OAK, ATL                                     

1B-  Albert Pujols, STL, LAA                                  RHP-  Roger Clemens, NYY, HOU 

2B-  Jeff Kent, SF, HOU, LAD                                 RHP-  Roy Halladay, TOR, PHI 

3B-  Alex Rodriguez, SEA, TEX, NYY                       LHP-  Andy Pettitte, NYY, HOU

SS-  Derek Jeter, NYY.                                           LHP-  Randy Johnson, ARZ, NYY, SF

LF-  Barry Bonds, SF                                              LHP- Tom Glavine, ATL, NYM 

CF-  Ken Griffey Jr., SEA, CWS, CIN                           CL-  Mariano Rivera, NYY

RF-  Sammy Sosa, TEX, CHC, BAL 

DH-  Jim Thome, CLE, PHI, CWS, LAD, MIN, BAL                  

            

                   Alex Rodriguez                                                                           Tim Hudson

2012 MLB Trade Deadline Deals

Here is a list of all of the MLB trades since July 1st. The Houston Astros were the busiest team in July, trading 5 times. The San Diego Padres and the Washington Nationals are the only two teams with no deals completed in July

 Acquires- RHP  Chad Qualls

 Acquires- Future Considerations

 

 

 Acquires- 3B  Matt Dominguez, LHP  Rob Rasmussen

 Acquires- 1B  Carlos Lee

 

 

 

Acquires- LHP  J.A. Happ, RHP  Brandon Lyon, RHP  David Carpenter

 Acquires- RHP  Francisco Codero, OF  Ben Francisco, C  Carlos Perez, 3 Minor Leaguers

 

 

 Acquires- SS  Paul Janish

 Acquires- RHP  Todd Redmond

 

 

 Acquires- RHP  Justin Germano

 Acquires- Cash

 

 

 Acquires- LHP  Jonathan Sanchez

 Acquires- RHP  Jeremy Guthrie

 

 

Acquires- SS  Omar Quintanilla

 Acquires- Future Considerations

 

 

 Acquires- RHP  Brett Myers

 Acquires- LHP  Blair Walters, RHP  Matt Heidenreich

 

 

  Acquires- RHP  Jacob Turner, LHP  Brian Flynn, C  Rob Brantly

 Acquires- 2B  Omar Infante, RHP  Anibal Sanchez

 

 

 Acquires- OF  Ichiro Suzuki

 Acquires- RHP  Danny Farquhar, RHP  D.J. Mitchell

 

 

 Acquires- RHP  Jose De La Torre

 Acquires- IF/OF  Brent Lillibridge

 

 

 Acquires- LHP  Wandy Rodriguez,

 Acquires- LHP  Rudy Owens, LHP  Robbie Grossman, OF  Colton Cain

 

 

 Acquires- 2B/3B  Ryan Roberts

 Acquires- 2B  Tyler Bortnick

 

 

 Acquires- SS/3B  Hanley Ramirez, LHP  Randy Choate

 Acquires- RHP  Nathan Eovaldi, RHP  Scott McGough

 

 

  Acquires- RHP  Zack Greinke

 Acquires- RHP  Ariel Pena, IF  Jean Segura, RHP  Johnny Hellweg

 

 

 Acquires- SS  Marco Scutaro

 Acquires- 2B  Charlie Culberson, Cash

 

 

 Acquires- IF  Eduardo Escobar, LHP  Pedro Hernandez

 Acquires- LHP  Francisco Liriano

 

 

Acquires- 3B  Bobby Borchering, LF  Marc Krauss

 Acquires- 3B  Chris Johnson

 

 

 Acquires- C  George Kottaras

 Acquires- RHP  Fautino De La Santos

 

 

 Acquires- 2B/SS  Brian Friday

 Acquires- OF  Christian Marrero

 

 

 Acquires- LHP  Paul Maholm, RF  Reed Johnson, Cash

Acquires- RHP  Jaye Chapman, RHP  Arodys Vizcaino

 

 

Acquires- RHP  Brandon League

 Acquires- OF  Leon Landry, RHP  Logan Bawcom

 

 

 Acquires- RHP  Brad Lincoln

 Acquires- LF  Travis Snider

 

 

 Acquires- RHP  Steve Delabar

 Acquires- LF  Eric Thames

 

 

 Acquires- C  Geovany Soto

 Acquires- RHP  Jacob Brigham

 

 

 Acquires- CF  Shane Victorino

 Acquires- RHP  Ethan Martin, RHP  Josh Lindholm

 

 

 Acquires- RF  Hunter Pence

 Acquires- RF  Nate Schierholtz, C  Tommy Joseph, RHP  Seth Rosin

 

 

 Acquires- RHP  Ryan Dempster

 Acquires- 3B  Christian Villaneuva, RHP  Kyle Hendricks

 

 

 Acquires- RHP  Jonathan Broxton

 Acquires- RHP  J.C. Sulbaran, LHP  Donnie Joseph

 

 

 Acquires- 1B/3B  Casey McGehee

 Acquires- RHP  Chad Qualls

 

 

 Acquires- RHP  Edward Mujica

 Acquires- 3B  Zack Cox

 

 

 Acquires- RHP  Matt Albers, OF  Scott Podsednik

 Acquires- LHP  Craig Breslow

 

 

 Acquires- RHP  Steven Wright

 Acquires- 1B/LF  Lars Anderson

Top 10 MLB Catchers

 Playing catcher is a pain in the legs. Having to bend down in a crouch for 100+ pitches really takes a toll on the legs. That is why you don’t see base-stealing catchers very often. Since 2000, only 2 catchers have had more than 20+ steals. Jason Kendall had 22 steals in 2000 and Russel Martin had 21 in 2007. The next closest since 2000 was 18 stolen bases. The catcher has to lay down hundreds of signs in a year for the pitcher. It doesn’t matter how fast you are, but the catcher has one of the hardest positions physically and mentally.
 
1. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals. Yadier in my eyes is the best catcher in the MLB today. Molina is stellar on defense and over the past few years has stepped it up offensively too. But even if Yadi doesn’t always lead all catchers in home runs, his play behind the plate has already led him to 2 World Series rings (2006, 2011) and 4 Gold Gloves in 2008-2011. Yadier and his two brothers Jose and Bengie are the only trio of brothers to have each won the World Series. Yadier had a career year in 2011 when he hit his personal best 14 homers, 65 RBI’s and had a .305 AVG. Molina has great skills catching the Cardinals pitching staff and will continue to dominate the National League with his hitting and fielding. At 30 years old, Yadier can expect a good 7 more years of great baseball.
 
2. Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves. McCann is the best offensive catcher in the National League in my opinion. Brian has a big and strong body that allows him to crush the ball over the wall. McCann has 153 home runs to go along with 591 RBI’s in his 7 year career. Brian has certainly been recognized for his great offense. He has played in 6 All-Star Games and has earned 5 Silver Slugger awards. In the past 6 years, McCann has never ranked lower than 5th amongst MLB catchers in home runs, including leading the league several times. Sure Brian may be off to a sluggish start in 2012, but if he is not producing at the plate, he is excellent behind it. McCann only has 67 errors in 915 games played and has a career fielding percentage at .990. McCann is massive at 6’3″ and 230 lbs. and can provide clutch hits in big time situations.
 
3. Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers. Mike Napoli may not be most people’s third choice for the best catchers in the MLB, but I have some good reasons that could change their minds. Napoli was born on Halloween of 1981 but the only thing scary about this guy is his bat. Mike has hit 139 home runs in his career and drove in 362 as well. Napoli has the ability to play first base too, which lots of teams love. Napoli has played around 524 games behind the plate and about 130 at first base. Napoli had a great year in 2011 when he led all catchers with  30 homers and was 2nd among catchers with his .320 and third in runs with 72. Napoli doesn’t have stand out numbers with his career average but his low errors make up for the average of .260. Mike has played all of his games in the AL West with Los Angeles and Texas. If Napoli is swinging a hot bat, then other teams better be ready for when Mike Napoli steps up to the plate.
 
4. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants. The future looks very bright for the Giants organization thanks to their young catcher Buster Posey. Posey is only 25 years of age and has 35 homers and 149 RBI’s in his career. Buster suffered a broken ankle during a horrific collision at home plate between Posey and Scott Cousins of the Marlins in May 2011. Buster was the NL Player of the Week, Player of the Month and NL Rookie of the Year in 2011. The Giants have been using Posey at first base as well as behind the plate. In 2012 Posey is on pace for career highs in home runs and RBI’s. Posey played a big part in the Giants World Series win, and the MLB thought so too by rewarding Posey with the NL Rookie of the Year in 2011. Posey is hitting well in 2012 with his .316 batting average which is third among MLB catchers. If Buster stays healthy during the rest of 2012 and years to come, he can become a very dangerous hitter and face of the San Francisco Giant franchise.
 
5. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins. Now, over the past few seasons, Mauer has not been his normal self thanks to injuries and a terrible Twins team in the past couple of years. But the Minnesota native still keeps his great average intact over the recent slumpish years. Mauer has a .324 career average to go along with around 90 home runs and 551 RBI’s. Mauer has lots of awards to show off including 4 Silver Slugger Awards, 3 Gold Gloves, 5 All Star Selections and AL MVP (2009). But one thing that really stands out is Mauer’s partaking in the 2009 MLB Home Run Derby. Yes, this is the same Joe Mauer who hit just 9 homers in 2010 and 3 in 2011. Well back in 2009, Joe smashed an amazing 28 dingers which led all major league catchers. While Mauer has yet to regain that 28 home run form, he still contributes in the hit category as well as being a motivator in the locker room. Mauer who is only 29 is known for his good looks and performances in commercials for Playstation and Head & Shoulders shampoo. As Mauer and Morneau will continue to lead the young Twins lineup, all I have left to say is “Well played Mauer”.

6. Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies. Yeah sure, Ruiz may not be the most offensive catcher in the NL, but his leadership skills and his 2012 season is enough proof that Carlos should be in my Top 10. Ruiz is one of just 9 current MLB players born in Panama. Carlos, also known as Chooch, is having a stellar 2012 year so far. Ruiz has career bests in home runs, RBI’s and average. Carlos only has 50 career homers and 14 of those have come in the 2012 season. Chooch is having a break-out year at 33 years of age. He has a stellar batting average at .345 which is good for 4th in the MLB. Ruiz was rated the most underrated catcher in baseball. I believe it. 2012 was Carlos’ first All-Star appearance but he is known more for his defense than his offense. Ruiz has a career .994 fielding percentage and has never committed more than 6 errors in a season. Ruiz has been recognized by coaches, players and the city of Philadelphia. The City of Philly awarded Ruiz with the Pride of Philadelphia Award for representing the Philly area with determination and class through athletics. Even teammates of Carlos have nothing but good things to say about their starting catcher. As underrated as Carlos Ruiz may be, one thing you can count on is clutch hitting and great leadership.

7. Russell Martin, New York Yankees. I gotta love Martin because he was born in Ontario, Canada. “My home province.” Martin is having a terrible 2012 season. He has just 12 home runs, 30 RBI’s, and a pathetic .188 average. The 29-year-old played for the L.A. Dodgers for 5 seasons before signing with the Yanks before the 2011 year. Martin has pretty good career numbers for a catcher. He has hit 84 homers, 394 RBI’s and has a .260 average. Martin has appeared in 3 All-Star Games in 2007, 2008 and 2011 as well as earning a Gold Glove award and a Silver Slugger award, both in 2007. In my eyes Martin has been overpaid during his career. In 2009, Martin signed a one-year deal worth $3.9 million, in 2010 Martin signed a one-year 6 million dollar deal. Then in 2011 the Dodgers offered Russell 4.2 million for one year and Martin insisted for $5 million or more. After the rejection, Los Angeles non-tendered him. Martin then signed in the Bronx for one year at $6 million. For the 2012 year he signed for a massive 7.5 million bucks. Little did the Yankees know that 2012 would be Martin’s worst season in his career. Even though Martin costs big bucks he is still able to maintain a spot on my top 10.

8. Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians. Santana is exactly what Cleveland needs when it comes to power. The Indians have struggled over the past few years due to the lack of big bats. Carlos provides the strength. The 26-year-old has not performed his best in 2012, but he was on the disabled list for a good period of time. Santana has 42 homers and 142 RBI in his career. Carlos has a reasonable batting average at .240 during his career but when Santana does get on base he can steal a few too. Santana has the ability to play first base as well as catcher, which a lot of teams like. Carlos is a star in the making for the Tribe.The Domincan Republic native shows good baseball knowledge. Santana even started a triple play on April 3 2011 against the White Sox. Carlos is a good deal money- wise too, he signed for 5 years and $21 million in April 2012. In 2011, Santana was second in the MLB in home runs with 27. If Grady Sizemore does not return from injury soon then the Indians will be relying heavily on Santana int he future. I think he can definitely live up to expectations.

9. A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox. This former professional wrestler is a great veteran in the Sox lineup. A.J. has made several appearances on WWE and TNA Impact wrestling.(I wouldn’t want to get into a bench brawl with him). Pierzynski is known for his… colourful personality. Several times he has been accused of hurting or trying to hurt players  and coaches. But what do you expect from a former wrestler? Aside from the negatives Pierzynski is a pretty good offensive and defensive catcher. A.J. bats .284 in his career and has smacked 145 homers and 706 RBI. Anthony John Pierzynski has caught a no-hitter and a perfect game in his career. He has 2 All-Star appearances in 2002 and 2006. But A.J. has what lots of women want, rings and belts. A.J. has a World Series Ring from 2005 with Chicago and I’m sure he has a few championship belts from his wrestling career.  The 35-year-old is having a great 2012 campaign, good enough to be on pace for career highs in home runs and slugging percentage. Although A.J. may not be the most gentle player in the league, he is sure to provide a veteran presence and good power in his bat.

10. J.P. Arencibia, Toronto Blue Jays. When J.P. entered the league in August 2010, he was one of the most highly talked about prospects in Toronto. When J.P. gets a chance he delivers. Living not too far from Toronto, I watch the Blue Jays games daily. When Arencibia made his debut Iwas watching from home as he smacked a first-pitch home run, becoming the 28th MLB player in history to hit a home run on his very first pitch. He followed that up with a double in at bat #2 and a single in #3. He finished the game with one more homer. Arencibia is maintaining the role as the starting catcher for Toronto. J.P. has 41 career home runs with 132 RBI and a reasonable .224 batting average. J.P. hits can hit home runs with the best of them. He was 4th in the MLB in long bombs in 2011 with 23, and is currently 5th in the MLB this year with 16. J.P. won’t probably finish as well as he did offensively this year due to a hand injury but J.P. proves that when he gets in a slump, he can easily break out of it with a sudden hot streak. He is still only in his third year and from here things are looking up for J.P. and the Blue Jays.

Honourable Mentions:    Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks

                                                   Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers

                                                   Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers

                                                   Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles

                                                   Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Boston Red Sox

                                                   Geovany Soto, Texas Rangers

My All-Star Team Predictions

Here are my roster predictions for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City.

American League:

                                          Starter                                            Back-Ups

Starting Pitcher-   Yu Darvish, TEX.               Ivan Nova, NYY.       David Price, TB.        Chris Sale, CWS.

Relief Pitcher-       Chris Perez, CLE.           Jim Johnson, BAL.       Jonathan Broxton, KC.       Fernando Rodney, TB.

Catcher-                   A.J. Pierzynski, CWS.                       Joe Mauer, MIN.       Matt Wieters, BAL.

First Base-               Paul Konerko, CWS.                          Adam Dunn, CWS.       Prince Fielder, DET.

Second Base-          Robinson Cano, NYY.                     Jason Kipnis, CLE.       Ian Kinsler, TEX.

Third Base-              Miguel Cabrera, DET.                      Mark Trumbo, LAA.       Adrian Beltre, TEX.

Shortstop-               Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE.                  Derek Jeter, NYY.       Mike Aviles, BOS.

Left Field-                Josh Hamilton, TEX.                        Josh Willingham, MIN.       Rajai Davis, TOR.

Centre Field-          Adam Jones, BAL.                            Curtis Granderson, NYY.       Austin Jackson, DET.

Right Field-             Jose Bautista, TOR.                           Josh Reddick, OAK.       Shin-Soo Choo, CLE.

DH-                             Edwin Encarnacion, TOR.              David Ortiz, BOS.       Luke Scott, TB.

National League:

                                                Starter                                         Back-Ups      

Starting Pitcher-        R.A. Dickey, NYM.        Lance Lynn, STL.       Matt Cain, SF.       Stephen Strasburg, WSH.

Relief Pitcher-            Craig Kimbrel, ATL.     Joel Hanrahan, PIT.       Santiago Casilla, SF.       Jonathan Papelbon, PHI.

Catcher-                       Yadier Molina, STL.                         Carlos Ruiz, PHI.       Buster Posey, SF.

First Base-                   Joey Votto, CIN.                               Bryan LaHair, CHC.       Adam LaRoche, WSH.

Second Base-              Aaron Hill, ARZ.                                Omar Infante, MIA.       Jose Altuve, HOU.

Third Base-                  David Wright, NYM.                         Aramis Ramirez, MIL.       Hanley Ramirez, MIA.

Shortstop-                   Starlin Castro, CHC.                          Rafael Furcal, STL.       Jed Lowrie, HOU.

Left Field-                    Melky Cabrera, SF.                            Carlos Gonzalez, COL.       Ryan Braun, MIL.

Centre Fiel                  Andrew McCutchen, PIT.               Michael Bourn, ATL.       Matt Kemp, LAD.

Right Field-                Carlos Beltran, STL.                          Andre Ethier, LAD.       Giancarlo Stanton, MIA.

                                                                     

Best Ballpark Food

There is nothing better than a nice hot dog from a vendor or an ice cream sundae on a hot July day. If you are planning to go to any of these stadiums, be sure to try one of the fan favourites or a famous team special.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Field.  At the Red Hot Stand in section 126 the Apple Gouda, Chipotle Cheddar and Spicy Italian Sausages are being served. These wieners are all-natural Niman Ranch sausages. This concession stand has plenty of toppings including onions, peppers, apple slaw and so much more. These sausages are sure to feed your hunger.

                                                                                

Atlanta Braves, Turner Field.  I am not familiar with any special menu items at Turner Field. (If anyone knows any specialty item, please let me know.) Atlanta always has Cracker Jack bags available for sale in most concession stands. Cracker Jack’s are bags of molasses-flavoured and candy-coated popcorn and peanuts. They have a small prize inside as well. These fun bags are always a hit with young kids.

                                                                                 

Baltimore Orioles, Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  At Oriole Park you can get Maryland’s signature dish; Crab Cakes. The cakes are made by former Oriole Boog Powell who has his own stall called Boog’s BBQ. The Crab Cakes are a seafood lover’s dream. It has crab, shrimp and comes in a big portion size. If you love fish, than try out the Crab Cakes in Baltimore.

                                                                                          Balitmore Orioles — Camden Yards

Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park.  You can’t go to Massachusetts and not have some New England Clam Chowder. That is a big hit in Boston, especially at Fenway Park. Clam Chowder has a variety of ingredients that include clam, lobster, potatoes, celery and onions.  Another popular item in the ballpark are the Lobster Rolls. These are hot dog buns with lobster and toppings in a thick dressing served with lobster coleslaw. Both of these seafood delights will leave any ball fan with a happy stomach.

                           Boston Red Sox — Fenway Park

Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field.  You can’t mess with the Chicago Style Hot Dog. These hot dogs are known worldwide and are one of the best. The typical one found at the vendors have a poppy-seed bun with the wiener covered in mustard, relish and onions. On the side are two tomatoes and on the other there are two hot peppers and a pickle. Although the Chicago fans don’t see World Series titles, they do see and taste great hot dogs.

                                                                                     

Chicago White Sox, U.S. Cellular Field.  Another Chicago team means more Chicago hot dogs, but the Sox are known for their frozen margaritas. These are served right at your seat from the vendors backpacks. That will definitely cool you down on a hot day. Of course children and teens are unable to have the drink, but there are plenty of other great drink possibilities.

                                                                                  

Cincinnati Reds, Great American Ballpark.  Cincinnati is also famous for a hot dog. They sell the Skyline Chili Cheese Coney. This dog is a wiener covered in chili and topped with shredded cheese. These always taste great with a Frosty Malt which is pretty much a cup of ice cream and soda that refreshes you on any day.

                       Cincinnati Reds — Great America Ball Park           Cincinnati Reds — Great American Ball Park

Cleveland Indians, Progressive Field.  The Tribe is known more so for their special mustard. Cleveland fans love the spicy brown mustard on hot dogs, burgers and many more. The Indians also serve a Food Network item known as the Buffalo Mac and Cheese. Cheesy macaroni with a breaded top, the Indians are treated to some very yummy food at ball games.

                                                 Cleveland Indians — Progressive Field

Colorado Rockies, Coors Field.  The Rockies have a signature burger named after their 1B Todd Helton. It is called the Helton Burger. This hamburger is sold at No. 17 Burger Shack. (Helton wears #17). The burger has melted mozzarella cheese on the patty to put the burger over the top. Colorado chefs also make a local specialty called the Rocky Mountain Oysters. My advice is don’t search them online, just eat them. In case you’re wondering, they are calf testicles used for human consumption. Yeah sure they sound gross, but give them a try.

                                 Colorado Rockies — Coors Field

Detroit Tigers, Comerica Park.  Adults can enjoy a massive and colourful Daiquiri, which is a cocktail that consists of rum, lime juice and sugar. This is one of the only cocktails that might give you a brain freeze! The cup is a tall cup that usually a couple could share. So adults can enjoy their huge cocktail while the kids go play at the carnival at the park.

                                                                                               Detroit Tigers — Comerica Park

Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park.  Now I’m not a huge potato fan, but if I was served the Barbeque Baked Potato I would eat it in a heartbeat. I would gain a few pounds, but it would be worth it. This baked potato is barbecued, seasoned and topped with BBQ sauce, pulled pork, cheese, onions, bacon,  jalapeno peppers, and sour cream. You can order it from your Ipod or Iphone and pick it up when it’s ready at the concession stand.

                                                                      Houston Astros — Minute Maid Park

Kansas City Royals, Kauffman Stadium.  Kansas City has a pit master that barbeques at the KC All-Star Barbeque for the fans. His Ribeye Stack was voted fan-favourite at the All-Star Game in L.A. last year. This guy serves just about anything barbecued from ribs to burgers to hot dogs. Concession stands also serve the Royal Bacon Blue Dog which is a hot dog topped with blue cheese sauce, onions and bacon.

                      Kansas City Royals — Kauffman Stadium            

Los Angeles Angels, Angel Stadium.  The Halo Dog is a popular food in L.A. This jumbo dog is bacon wrapped, topped with shredded cheese, chili relish,  pico de gallo (salsa) and charro beans. This hot dog is for any spicy food lover. The wiener is also all-beef and a great snack for the ball game.

                                                                         Los Angeles Angels — Angel Stadium

Los Angeles Dodgers, Dodger Stadium.  The Dodgers have one of the best classic dogs in the league. These are called Dodger Dogs. At 10 inches you get a good filling of food. The toppings are endless and are all-pork dogs. At Levy Restaurants around the stadium, chefs provide a healthy buffet. The food choices change everyday but what ever the game, you are sure to have a great meal.

                                                                                    

Miami Marlins, Marlins Park.  I am unaware of any special menu items with the new team. But if you have peanut/nut allergies, then Marlins Park is the place for you. The Marlins have games that are “Peanut Free Games”. These are ball games where vendors do not sell nuts or peanuts. The Park also has peanut free sections where no peanuts are allowed at the seats. I have two friends and both brothers have a lot of food allergies. These guys go to ball games a lot and never have had any problems, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

                                                                                           

Milwaukee Brewers, Miller Park.  Miller Park is known for its Sausage Race in the sixth inning. To get even more into the action, why not try the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausage Kabobs. Taste all of the different kinds in the race. If you like the platter than you should be thanking Chris Fifarek. This Brewers fan won the Create a Concession contest and had his item added to the menu for all to enjoy.

                                                                                    Milwaukee Brewers — Miller Park

Minnesota Twins, Target Field.  A concession stand called The State Fair offers buyers Fried Pork on a Stick and Fried Halibut on a Stick.  The pork is seasoned to perfection and tastes so good that people steal them. That’s right, a fan at a Twins game actually took a bite out of a reporter hand’s when she was doing a report on the meat on live television. Here is the clip.

New York Mets, Citi Field.  The fans of New York love a good shake. That is why there is a Shake Shack stand at Citi Field. The stand has many varieties of Shakes. on the hot days in July there is nothing better than a frosty beverage. Although you may have to wait in line for a while due to the popularity of the drinks. The refreshing goodness would be worth the wait.

                                                                                               

New York Yankees, Yankee Stadium.  If you are sitting in the left field stands then you should definitely check out Lobel’s Window. The window feature’s a butcher slicing and dicing steak. These prime steaks are used in the Fresh Lobel’s Steak Sandwiches. The simple sandwich features delicious cuts of steak on warm bread. This is a great quick and easy food, good for all ages.

                                                                                            

Oakland Athletics, Oakland Coliseum. Oakland’s signature sandwich is the Carnitas Sandwich which can be found in sections 113 and 121 feature seasoned pork, cilantro, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and pickled jalapenos. This is a great sandwich usually served with potato chips. At the Coliseum there is a West Side Club Restaurant and Bar that serves the Marinated Chicken Sandwich. The sandwich has a hamburger bun, marinated chicken, melted provolone cheese and balsamic onion jam. This is served with french fries and is a great taste of fast food.

           Oakland A's — Overstock.com Coliseum      Oakland A's — Overstock.com Coliseum

Pittsburgh Pirates, PNC Park.  The Primanti Brother’s Sandwich is known locally in Pittsburgh. The sandwich features grilled meat, cole slaw, tomato, cheese and french fries in between the two slices of italian bread. The Primanti Brothers have a chain of diners in Pennsylvenia. One of them is located in PNC Park. If you can’t access that restaurant then try getting the sandwich at Smorgasburgh in the food court.

                                                                           Pittsburgh Pirates — PNC Park

Philadelphia Phillies, Citizens Bank Park.  If you love BBQ than Citizens Bank Park is the place to watch baseball. Former Philly Greg “The Bull” Luzinski barbeques up just about every meat possible. On top of that he does it on the largest grill in the MLB. Bull’s BBQ is in Ashburn Alley. You might just want to order Bull’s own extra-large kielbasa sandwich or the Pit Turkey Sandwich.

                                                                                

San Diego Padres, PETCO Park.  Being so close to the Pacific Ocean , it is fitting that PETCO Park specializes in seafood. A seafood restaurant called Westwinds serves up Sushi. The restaurant overlooks the field in left field. If you are not looking for sit-down dining there are many carts and stalls around the ballpark that offer Sushi Rolls and Fish Tacos. San Diego is the place to go  for baseball and seafood.

                             

 

 

San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park.  Don’t complain if the person sitting next to you has garlic breath. San Francisco has garlic festivals and lots of Garlic Fries. Garlic Fries can be bought at one of the ten Gilroy Garlic Fries stands. The fries are made with fresh garlic and parsley. The fries are cut daily and made with no trans-fat. If you don’t want yourself smelling bad, go for something like the Crazy Crab Sandwich. These can be bought at the Crazy Crab’z concession stand. The sandwich is made with Dungeness Crab and served on grilled bread. The fries or the sandwich are sure to be a “Giant” hit.

                          

Seattle Mariners, Safeco Field.  Do you like fish and hotdogs? Well you should try the IvarDog in Seattle. This half-fish, half hot dog is only available at Safeco Field. The IvarDog is a battered cod filet topped with coleslaw on a fresh hot dog bun. If you a looking for a nice treat, the ballpark features bakeries that sell many home-made items including a Cupcake that is topped with frosting, crushed almonds, toffee bits, whipped cream and fresh fruit. This is a sure favourite for any sweet tooth.

                    Seattle Mariners — Safeco Field           Seattle Mariners — Safeco Field

St. Louis Cardinals, Busch Stadium.  Busch Stadium offers a tasty food called Pig Skins. No, they are not actual pig skins but you are eating pulled pork stuffed in potato skins. The skins are drizzled in nacho cheese and topped with whatever you want. Many fans like to put banana peppers on them to provide a spicy kick to the pig skins.

                                                                              St. Louis Cardinals — Busch Stadium

Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field. One food that I haven’t mentioned yet are Chicken Wings. But Tropicana Field is known for their boneless wings with a huge variety of sauces, such as barbecue, sweet red chili and Cajun. These wings are boneless so you can just pop the whole thing in your mouth because you don’t have to worry about meat left on the bones. And hey, why don’t you wash down the wings with some Tropicana Juice?

                                                                                 Tampa Bay Rays — Tropicana Field

Texas Rangers, Ballpark at Arlington.  If you love to eat and you love to eat big portion sizes than come down to Texas. These menu items are just ridiculous. The ballpark offers fans the opportunity to scarf down a two foot long hot dog. This dog is called the Championship Dog, and is served to you on a large cutting board to share with a group of friends. Yeah sure the dog costs $26 but it is all worth it when you have the bragging rights to eating the 2 ft. hot dog topped with cheese, chili, sautéed onions and served with fries. Everyone loves pretzels but this is no ordinary pretzel. This is a huge three-pound Soft Pretzel. The pretzel is enough to feed the family… for a week. Top it with condiments of your choice and enjoy.

                          Texas Rangers — Ballpark at Arlington

Toronto Blue Jays, Rogers Centre.  Every ballpark serves some sort of french fries, but Toronto serves Sweet Potato Fries. These come in a good portion size and you can dip these in ketchup or the aioli sauce that comes with the fries. Aioli sauce is a light mayonnaise style sauce with a garlic flavour. Living around the Toronto gives me the chance to take in many Jays games but I have yet to try the sweet potato fries… eh!

                                                                  Toronto Blue Jays — Rogers Centre

Washington Nationals, Nationals Park.  The Nationals are having a great year so far in 2012, that is due to some great pitching from guys like Stephen Strasburg. The Nats created a new hamburger to begin 2012 called the Strasburger. The burger is a massive  8 pounds. Not many people will be able to finish the all-beef burger but if you do, you should lay off the calories for the rest of the week. Eating the Strasburger is like equivalent to eating 32 Quarter Pounders from McDonald’s. The Strasburger has ordinary toppings such as ketchup, tomatoes and pickles. It will probably take you the entire game to finish this burger.

                                                                    

Eating these specialty items are certainly on baseball fans bucket list but don’t be surprised if you gain 30 pounds or more. If anyone knows of other popular menu items, please let me know in a comment.

MLB Country Dream Team (Dominican Republic)

My Dream Team for Dominican Republic. Some players are not on the teams 40-man roster but I still included them. The starting players are in bold.  

                                                                    

Starting Pitcher- Johnny Cueto, CIN.    Ivan Nova, NYY.    Francisco,Liriano, MIN.    Neftali Feliz, TEX.    Ervin Santana, LAA.    

Relief Pitcher- Rapheal Soriano, NYY.    Carlos Marmol, CHC.    Jose Valverde, DET.    Joel Peralta, TB.    Alexi Ogando, TEX.    Francisco Codero, TOR.    Al Alburquerque, DET.    Joaquin Benoit, DET.    Antonio Bastardo, PHI.

C- Carlos Santana, CLE.    Miguel Olivo, SEA.    Ronny Paulino, BAL.

1B- Albert Pujols, LAA.    Carlos Pena, TB.    Carlos Santana, CLE.

2B- Robinson Cano, NYY.    Emilio Bonifacio, MIA.    Ramon Santiago, DET.    Alexi Casilla, MIN.

3B- Hanley Ramirez, MIA.    Aramis Ramirez, MIL.    Adrian Beltre, TEX.    Placido Polanco, PHI.    Edwin Encarnacion, TOR.

SS- Jose Reyes, MIA.    Hanley Ramirez, MIA.    Rafael Furcal, STL.    Jhonny Peralta, DET.    Starlin Castro, CHC.

LF- Alfonso Soriano, CHC.    Melky Cabrera, SF.    Wilson Betemit, BAL.   

CF- Melky Cabrera, SF.    Carlos Gomez, MIL.    Alejandro De Aza, CWS.

RF- Jose Bautista, TOR.   Nelson Cruz, TEX.    Alejandro De Aza, CWS.    Emilio Bonifacio, MIA.

        

                      Johnny Cueto                                                                               Albert Pujols