Mike O'Hara's All-Star Picks: Shortstop
The debate wages on with respect to who should be suiting up for theMid-Summer Classic in Arizona this July. Wednesday, I took on first base. The #thickish, Ryan, covered the keystone at second base. Today,I want to talk about the A.L. and N.L. selections at shortstop.
In the American League it seems "Da Captain" Derek Jeeta, Number 2,will again garner his share of All Star Votes. He has been arguably the face of the NewYork Yankees for more than a decade and is respected around the leagueby fans and opponents. It wouldn't hurt my feelings at all if Mr.Jeter gets the nod to play short, but I'm not so lost in The YankeeUniverse to believe Derek deserves to be on the American League squadthis season. It's true that he is knocking his way to 3,000 hits, andit would be great to honor his career with an All-Star nod, but hisoverall numbers are less than "Jeterian.” He is a first-ballot Hallof Famer, but a 2011 All-Star? No, he isn't there at this point inthe season—never count him out, though.
I think names like Elvis Andrus, Erick Aybar, or Alexei Ramirez shouldbe brought into the conversation for who deserved to get the startingnod for the A.L. club this July. They all have strong cases to make inone way or another. And, although Captain Jeter will most likely be inArizona because of what he has done in the past, I think one of theseshortstops should be there, too. The Cleveland Indians’ Asdrubel Cabrera has also played excellent baseball this spring, helping hisclub surprisingly rise to the top of the A.L. Central division.
In the Senior Circuit, the choice to name a battle-tested veteran willalso be there. Jimmy Rollins has done so much for the Phight'n Philsover the years, but, like Jeter, he is not my first choice for theN.L. All-Star team. In fact, I say the selection should come from upI-95. Citi Field currently houses the best shortstop in the N.L., inmy opinion. New York Mets SS Jose Reyes has been the subject of traderumors and distractions, but it isn't hurting his game at all. Reyeshas been exceptional, making dazzling plays in the field and producingat the plate. Finally healthy, he is proving to be one of the league’sbrightest and most-exciting all-around players.
If you had asked me this question before the 2011 campaign had gottenup and rolling, I would have said Troy Tulowitzki of the ColoradoRockies would be the guy. Every day! And three times on Sunday. ButTulo would have to start this All-Star contest on the pine. Reyes ismy pick to start.
Who are your picks for Shortstop and why? Is it okay with you to seea player reaching a milestone make the club even if his numbers aresub-par? Let me know by sending me a tweet @mikeyoh21.
Voting ends June 30 at 11:59 p.m. E.T. so cast your vote now!