Results tagged ‘ American League ’

My Vote for 2015 A.L. Rookie of the Year

Watching young players succeed upon their first year in the majors is always fun. Though it never guarantees that any given player will carry that early success throughout their career, it’s always a good indication of which players are going to be stars for years to come. We certainly had a fair share of those type of players in the American League this season, with players such as Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Miguel Sano, Lance McCullers Jr., and Carson Smith all having seasons worthy of recognition. However, in the end, only one player can win the coveted Rookie of the Year award.Correa

Carson Smith had a terrific rookie season as a reliever with the Mariners. Posting a 2.31 ERA over the course of 70 innings pitched, all while striking out 92, Smith will likely have many more years to come as a top notch relief pitcher. But although his year was great, it’s no where near good enough for the Rookie of the Year.

Lance McCullers Jr., like Smith, is a pitcher who had a good season, making 22 starts for the Astros and striking out more batters than innings pitched. However, also like Carson Smith, McCullers won’t be taking home any hardware in 2015.

Miguel Sano is a solid candidate for the top rookie honor, but he didn’t quite do enough to receive it in my mind. His 18 homers and 52 RBI’s over just 79 games with the Twins is very impressive, but the numbers just aren’t there for him. Even so, Sano is going to be a force to be reckoned with for the next decade or so.

It came down to Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor for me, but Lindor just misses out. He really exploded onto the scene with the Indians back in June and is cementing himself as a future Gold Glove winner. Lindor’s .356 on base percentage and 12 homers as a shortstop are impressive, but not as impressive as another fellow rookie shortstop.

For me, while it was close between Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa, there’s no other choice for 2015 American League Rookie of the Year over Correa. Hyped ever since he was selected as the number one overall draft pick in 2012, Correa burst into the Astros lineup and never looked back. Blasting 22 home runs (an Astros rookie record) and knocking in 68 runs, Correa is sure to be a future All-Star shortstop for Houston.

Latest MLB Leaders (April 5th – October 4th)

With the 2015 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take today to recap the entire season. It was all very exciting as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it and who you’re rooting for.

But instead of talking about the events that took place this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that lead that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING

Most Games Played – Manny Machado and Kyle Seager (161).

Most At-Bats – Jose Altuve (638)

Most Hits – Dee Gordon (205)

Highest Average – Miguel Cabrera (.338)

Highest OBP – Bryce Harper (.460)

Highest SLG – Bryce Harper (.649)

Most Runs – Josh Donaldson (122)

Most Doubles – Michael Brantley (45)

Most Triples – Eddie Rosario (15)

Most Home Runs – Chris Davis (47)

Most RBI’s – Nolan Arenado (130)

Most Base On Balls – Joey Votto (143)

Most Strikeouts – Chris Davis (208)

Most Stolen Bases – Dee Gordon (58)

Most Caught Stealing – Dee Gordon (20)

Most Intentional Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (29)

Most Hit By Pitch – Anthony Rizzo (30)

Most Sacrifice Flies – Nolan Arenado (11)

Most Total Bases – Nolan Arenado (354)

Most Extra Base Hits – Nolan Arenado (89)

Most Grounded Into Double Plays – Trevor Plouffe (28)

Most Ground Outs – Joe Mauer (242)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Joey Votto (3,020)

Most Plate Appearances – Manny Machado (713)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING

Most Wins – Jake Arrieta (22)

Most Losses – Shelby Miller (17)

Best ERA – Zack Greinke (1.66)

Most Games Started – Chris Archer (34)

Most Games Pitched – Kevin Siegrist (81)

Most Saves – Mark Melancon (51)

Most Innings Pitched – Clayton Kershaw (232.2)

Most Hits Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (228)

Most Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (122)

Most Earned Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (118)

Most Home Runs Allowed – Kyle Kendrick and James Shields (33).

Most Strikeouts – Clayton Kershaw (301)

Most Walks – Tyson Ross (84)

Most Complete Games – Six players tied for most (4).

Most Shutouts – Jake Arrieta, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw (3).

Best Opponent Avg. – Jake Arrieta (.185)

Most Games Finished – Jeurys Familia (65)

Most Double Plays Achieved – John Lackey and Mike Pelfrey (29).

Most Wild Pitches – Garrett Richards (17)

Most Balks – Al Alburquerque, Johnny Cueto and Cole Hamels (4).

Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Jon Lester (44)

Most Pickoffs – Clayton Kershaw (9)

Most Batters Faced – Dallas Keuchel (911)

Most Pitches Thrown – Dallas Keuchel (3,492)

2015 Postseason Picture Taking Shape

There are less than twenty games left to be played by each team around baseball. If the season ended today, the ten teams making the playoffs would be the Blue Jays, Royals, Rangers, Astros, Yankees, Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates and Cubs. With half of those teams not having seen the playoffs in years, that would certainly make for an exciting October.Postseason

However, while things are beginning to become more clear as far as postseason races are concerned, there are a few spots that are by no means set in stone.

The Twins and Angels are within five games of the American League Wild Card, and there are anumber of other teams that theoretically stand a shot at making somewhat improbable last-minute playoff pushes. With that said, however, they do seem like a long shot for the most part.

With the exception of perhaps a few teams, the ten teams listed at the beginning of this post stand the best shot at making the playoffs of any teams in baseball.

When all the teams have officially been locked in for the postseason, I’ll be posting a blog post on my predictions of the 2015 postseason. Until then, it should be an intriguing finish to the regular season to watch.

Latest MLB Leaders (April 5th – August 31st)

With the first five months of the 2015 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take the first day of the new month to recap the season thus far. It’s been exciting as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it and who you’re rooting for.

But instead of talking about the events that have taken place so far this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that leads that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING

Most Games Played – Manny Machado and Kyle Seager (131).

Most At-Bats – Yoenis Cespedes (523)

Most Hits – Jose Altuve and Dee Gordon (161)

Highest Average – Miguel Cabrera (.358)

Highest OBP – Miguel Cabrera (.460)

Highest SLG – Bryce Harper (.626)

Most Runs – Josh Donaldson (101)

Most Doubles – Michael Brantley (40)

Most Triples – Kevin Kiermaier (12)

Most Home Runs – Nelson Cruz (39)

Most RBI’s – Josh Donaldson (108)

Most Base On Balls – Joey Votto (115)

Most Strikeouts – Chris Davis (175)

Most Stolen Bases – Billy Hamilton (54)

Most Caught Stealing – Dee Gordon (16)

Most Intentional Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (24)

Most Hit By Pitch – Anthony Rizzo (25)

Most Sacrifice Flies – Edwin Encarnacion and Ryan Zimmerman (9).

Most Total Bases – Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson (298)

Most Extra Base Hits – Josh Donaldson (72)

Most Grounded Into Double Plays – Trevor Plouffe (24)

Most Ground Outs – Nick Markakis (191)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Joey Votto (2,454)

Most Plate Appearances – Josh Donaldson (578)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING

Most Wins – Jake Arrieta (17)

Most Losses – Matt Garza and Aaron Harang (14).

Best ERA – Zack Greinke (1.61)

Most Games Started – Four players tied for most (28).

Most Games Pitched – Kevin Siegrist (66)

Most Saves – Mark Melancon (43)

Most Innings Pitched – Corey Kluber (200.1)

Most Hits Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (195)

Most Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (102)

Most Earned Runs Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (98)

Most Home Runs Allowed – Dan Haren and Anibal Sanchez (29).

Most Strikeouts – Clayton Kershaw (236)

Most Walks – Tyson Ross (74)

Most Complete Games – Mark Buehrle and Corey Kluber (4).

Most Shutouts – Nine players tied for most (9).

Best Opponent Avg. – Zack Greinke (.189)

Most Games Finished – Mark Melancon (54)

Most Double Plays Achieved – Kyle Gibson and Mike Pelfrey (24).

Most Wild Pitches – Nathan Karns and Garrett Richards (14).

Most Balks – Johnny Cueto (4)

Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Jon Lester (39)

Most Pickoffs – Brett Anderson (6)

Most Batters Faced – Corey Kluber (793)

Most Pitches Thrown – Corey Kluber (2,931)

Latest MLB Leaders (April 5th – July 31st)

With the first four months of the 2015 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take the first day of the new month to recap the season thus far. It’s been exciting as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it and who you’re rooting for.

But instead of talking about the events that have taken place so far this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that leads that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING

Most Games Played – Four players tied for most (103).

Most At-Bats – Ian Kinsler (410)

Most Hits – Jason Kipnis (132)

Highest Average – Miguel Cabrera (.350)

Highest OBP – Paul Goldschmidt (.465)

Highest SLG – Bryce Harper (.679)

Most Runs – Mike Trout (76)

Most Doubles – Jason Kipnis (31)

Most Triples – Kevin Kiermaier (10)

Most Home Runs – Mike Trout (32)

Most RBI’s – Nolan Arenado (78)

Most Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (83)

Most Strikeouts – Chris Davis (128)

Most Stolen Bases – Billy Hamilton (49)

Most Caught Stealing – Dee Gordon (13)

Most Intentional Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (23)

Most Hit By Pitch – Anthony Rizzo (21)

Most Sacrifice Flies – Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera and Stephen Vogt (7).

Most Total Bases – Mike Trout (235)

Most Extra Base Hits – Todd Frazier (58)

Most Grounded Into Double Plays – Trevor Plouffe (20)

Most Ground Outs – Andrelton Simmons (163)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Joey Votto (1,885)

Most Plate Appearances – Jason Kipnis (464)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING

Most Wins – Gerrit Cole (14)

Most Losses – Kyle Kendrick and Kyle Lohse (12).

Best ERA – Zack Greinke (1.41)

Most Games Started – Five players tied for most (22).

Most Games Pitched – Kevin Siegrist (53)

Most Saves – Mark Melancon (33)

Most Innings Pitched – Corey Kluber (157)

Most Hits Allowed – Phil Hughes (158)

Most Runs Allowed – Kyle Kendrick and Kyle Lohse (83).

Most Earned Runs Allowed – Kyle Lohse (83)

Most Home Runs Allowed – Kyle Kendrick (26)

Most Strikeouts – Clayton Kershaw (185)

Most Walks – Tyson Ross (61)

Most Complete Games – Mark Buehrle (4)

Most Shutouts – Seven players tied for most (7).

Best Opponent Avg. – Zack Greinke (.186)

Most Games Finished – Mark Melancon (41)

Most Double Plays Achieved – Kyle Gibson, Chris Heston and Mike Pelfrey (22).

Most Wild Pitches – Nathan Karns (12)

Most Balks – Johnny Cueto (4)

Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Jon Lester (30)

Most Pickoffs – Brett Anderson (6)

Most Batters Faced – Corey Kluber (628)

Most Pitches Thrown – Corey Kluber (2,328)

2015 Award Frontrunners at the All-Star Break

Sunday marked the last day of MLB games until after the All-Star break, and although the baseball world is looking forward to seeing baseball’s best sluggers put on a show in the home run derby, I wanted to quickly focus my attention on the players who have posted amazing performances throughout the first half of the season.

For this post, I’m covering the players who I feel stand the best chance right now (given, it’s still early) of winning the three major awards of Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year and Cy Young. All three awards have multiple players who can be argued as being deserving, but I have my own opinion as to who deserves each award the most at this point in the season.

Most Valuable Player Award

American League: Mike TroutLos Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Kansas City Royals

After a couple of seasons of getting beaten out for the award by Miguel Cabrera, Trout is finally breaking out into an every season Most Valuable Player. Already having blasted 26 home runs, and well on his way to another 100+ run year, Trout could be picking up another MVP at the season’s end.

National League: Paul Goldschmidt

I nearly went with Bryce Harper for this category, and when all is said and done, he very well may win it. But there is no ignoring what Paul Goldschmidt is doing for the Diamondback’s. With a .340 batting average, 21 homers and 70 RBI’s, Goldschmidt is having an MVP caliber season.

Rookie of the Year Award

American League: Lance McCullers Jr.McCullers

Picking Lance McCullers Jr. was by no means an easy choice, as there are a few other pitchers and position players that have stats that stand out, but I decided that he was currently the leader. With a 2.52 ERA over 11 games started, McCullers is really impressing a lot of people around the baseball world.

National League: Joc Pederson

It is somewhat difficult to pick between Joc Pederson and Kris Bryant for who deserves the award, but I ended up going with Pederson. Despite batting in the lower .200’s, Pederson’s 20 home runs so far is extremely impressive for a rookie. In my mind, that’s enough to earn him the award.

Cy Young Award

American League: Sonny GrayGreinke

Although there is a good amount of competition at the break for the American League Cy Young award, Sonny Gray leads the charge. With a 2.04 ERA over 18 games started, and an opponent batting average below .200, Gray is in a good spot if he can keep pitching the way he has.

National League: Zack Greinke

Once again, there’s a Dodgers pitcher out in front of the candidates for Cy Young award, but this time it’s not Clayton Kershaw. Instead, Kershaw’s teammate, Zack Greinke, is the one dominating the league. With an incredible ERA of 1.39 after 123.1 innings pitched, Greinke would have to fall apart to not win the award.

Whether or not you agree or disagree with my picks for who deserves each award at this point in the season, one thing is for sure: there is still a lot of season left where any player can have anything happen. With 15 of the 30 teams at .500 or better, in terms of wins-losses go, regardless of the award races, the games following the mid-summer classic are sure to make for an exciting second half.

Latest MLB Leaders (April 5th – June 30th)

With the first three months of the 2015 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take the first day of the new month to recap the season thus far. It’s been exciting as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it and who you’re rooting for.

But instead of talking about the events that have taken place so far this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that leads that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING

Most Games Played – Marcus Semien (79)

Most At-Bats – Dee Gordon (322)

Most Hits – Dee Gordon (113)

Highest Average – Paul Goldschmidt (.354)

Highest OBP – Paul Goldschmidt (.469)

Highest SLG – Bryce Harper (.713)

Most Runs – Brian Dozier (60)

Most Doubles – Jason Kipnis (25)

Most Triples – Four players tied for most (6).

Most Home Runs – Giancarlo Stanton (27)

Most RBI’s – Nolan Arenado (68)

Most Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (61)

Most Strikeouts – Chris Carter (105)

Most Stolen Bases – Billy Hamilton (40)

Most Caught Stealing – Dee Gordon (11)

Most Intentional Base On Balls – Paul Goldschmidt (18)

Most Hit By Pitch – Anthony Rizzo (15)

Most Sacrifice Flies – Stephen Vogt (7)

Most Total Bases – Todd Frazier (186)

Most Extra Base Hits – Todd Frazier (48)

Most Grounded Into Double Plays – Casey McGehee and Andrelton Simmons (15).

Most Ground Outs – Andrelton Simmons (128)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Mike Trout (1,423)

Most Plate Appearances – Jason Kipnis (349)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING

Most Wins – Gerrit Cole (11)

Most Losses – Matt Garza, Aaron Harang and Kyle Kendrick (10).

Best ERA – Zack Greinke (1.58)

Most Games Started – Chris Archer and Dallas Keuchel (17).

Most Games Pitched – Luis Avilan and Javier Lopez (39).

Most Saves – Glen Perkins (25)

Most Innings Pitched – Dallas Keuchel (124.1)

Most Hits Allowed – Jeff Samardzija (123)

Most Runs Allowed – Kyle Kendrick (66)

Most Earned Runs Allowed – Kyle Kendrick (65)

Most Home Runs Allowed – Kyle Kendrick (23)

Most Strikeouts – Chris Sale (141)

Most Walks – Tyson Ross (48)

Most Complete Games – Mark Buehrle, Dallas Keuchel and David Price (3).

Most Shutouts – Five players tied for most (5).

Best Opponent Avg. – Max Scherzer (.180)

Most Games Finished – Zach Britton (32)

Most Double Plays Achieved – Kyle Gibson and Mike Pelfrey (17).

Most Wild Pitches – Nathan Karns and C.J. Wilson (10).

Most Balks – Johnny Cueto (4)

Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Tyson Ross (24)

Most Pickoffs – Brett Anderson (5)

Most Batters Faced – Dallas Keuchel (480)

Most Pitches Thrown – Dallas Keuchel (1,803)

Who I’d Like to See In the 2015 Home Run Derby

Although we don’t yet know who the captain for the American League and National League home run derby team is going to be, I wanted to go ahead and give my take for which players I’d like to see in the home run derby up in Cincinnati on July 13th. Assuming the rules change from 2014 that saw an additional player being added to each league’s derby team stays the same, I selected the five players from each league that I wanted to see in the derby.

While there are some players that I left off, for one reason or another, I feel the players I selected would make for a great 2015 home run derby, as they all have to ability to hit a good amount of home runs as well as doing so for big power. With the 2015 home run derby just over three weeks away, here are the players I’d most enjoy seeing take part:

American League

Nelson Cruz: Of all the players from the American League to choose from, this was the easiest of them all. Nelson Cruz led all of baseball in home runs back in 2014, and is well on his way to finishing near the top again. Although Cruz can hit tape measure shots, I think he would do well in the derby due to his ability to hit numerous home runs as well. He would put on a show.

Josh Donaldson: Donaldson isn’t that widely known as a slugger, but he has been a breakout player over the past few seasons, and is having a great year with the Blue Jays this season. Donaldson can really launch the ball a long way, and I think that he would stand a shot at winning if he can find a groove and stick with it. Having him in the derby would definitely be fun.

Mark Teixeira: This isn’t the most obvious of picks, as Teixeira has been up and down over the past few years, but he is having a good season this year, and he should be in the home run derby. Somewhat surprisingly sitting in the top five of the American League in homers, Teixeira would be a general sleeper pick for the derby, but if he could get things going, he would last awhile, I believe.

Mike Trout: There truly isn’t anything in baseball that Mike Trout isn’t good at, and that includes hitting home runs. Trout is currently one of the most well known and liked players in baseball, and having him take part in the derby would get more people to watch. And I feel that they would be treated to a show, as Trout would likely hit several long homers on his pursuit of the title.

Edwin Encarnacion: Josh Donaldson’s teammate, Edwin Encarnacion, can hit a ball just as far, if not farther, than nearly every other player in the big leagues. It’s that ability to launch balls a great distance that I think would make him great for the derby. He would be able to put on a show, hitting balls deep into the stands, and would stand a good chance at making it deep into the derby.

National League

Paul Goldschmidt: Goldschmidt is well on his way to having a great season yet again, and that includes posting a large number in the home run category. Goldschmidt has the ability to hit numerous home runs in addition to hitting them a great distance, and that makes him perfect for the home run derby. He would represent the National League extremely well in the competition.

Todd Frazier: Frazier would be on my list of derby participant regardless of the fact that his team is hosting the All-Star festivities, as he has great stats that warrant the selection. However, it is an added bonus that Frazier is a Red, and that would inevitably make him a fan favorite among the crowd. Frazier might not win, but he will give the fans an extra something to cheer for.

Giancarlo Stanton: Stanton was the favorite to win the 2014 derby by nearly everyone, but he disappointed to say the least. But although he didn’t win, Stanton hit balls further than nearly all of his competition and was still able to put on a show. With him having another great year, I think Stanton would do better in the derby and deserves another shot at winning the whole thing.

Joc Pederson: The fact that Pederson is merely a rookie and is launching home runs as if he’s been in the majors for a decade is remarkable. And that’s why he deserves to be in the derby. Pederson would likely hit balls farther than anyone with the exception of Stanton, and he would be able to put on a great show. Therefore, having Pederson in the derby is something I’d really like to see happen.

Bryce Harper: Harper surprised some people in the 2013 derby with how well he did, and with him having such a good season this time around, I think he should be in the derby once again. Harper isn’t liked by some around the baseball world, but his talent can’t be denied. If Harper can find a pace he’s comfortable with, I think he stands a really good shot at the derby crown.

So, those are my picks for who I’d like to see in the 2015 home run derby up at Great American Ballpark on July 13th. Odds are that not all of them will be selected, but I truly hoped the majority of them are in the derby. Do you agree or disagree with my picks? Who would you like to see participate? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Latest MLB Leaders (April 5th – May 31st)

With the first two months of the 2015 MLB season in the books, I thought I’d take the first day of the new month to recap the season thus far. It’s been exciting as well as disappointing, depending on how you look at it and who you’re rooting for.

But instead of talking about the events that have taken place so far this year, I decided to make a list of different categories and beside them name the player(s) that leads that particular category. I’ve done lists like these for the past several years, and they have been well received, so I decided to do it again.

The following lists are categorized into hitting and pitching, but not AL or NL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – HITTING

Most Games Played – Marcus Semien (53)

Most At-Bats – Dee Gordon (207)

Most Hits – Dee Gordon (78)

Highest Average – Dee Gordon (.377)

Highest OBP – Bryce Harper (.469)

Highest SLG – Bryce Harper (.724)

Most Runs – Josh Donaldson (43)

Most Doubles – Four players tied for most (17).

Most Triples – Paulo Orlando (5)

Most Home Runs – Nelson Cruz and Bryce Harper (18).

Most RBI’s – Giancarlo Stanton (44)

Most Base On Balls – Bryce Harper (44)

Most Strikeouts – Chris Carter (69)

Most Stolen Bases – Billy Hamilton (21)

Most Caught Stealing – Dee Gordon (7)

Most Intentional Base On Balls – Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt (10).

Most Hit By Pitch – Anthony Rizzo (13)

Most Sacrifice Flies – Stephen Vogt (5)

Most Total Bases – Nelson Cruz (128)

Most Extra Base Hits – Josh Donaldson (29)

Most Grounded Into Double Plays – Casey McGehee and Andrelton Simmons (12).

Most Ground Outs – Nori Aoki (89)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced – Mookie Betts (925)

Most Plate Appearances – Jason Kipnis (238)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL) – PITCHING

Most Wins – Bartolo Colon and Felix Hernandez (8).

Most Losses – Four players tied for most (7).

Best ERA – Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller (1.48).

Most Games Started – Twenty players tied for most (11).

Most Games Pitched – Jeremy Jeffress (27)

Most Saves – Glen Perkins (19)

Most Innings Pitched – Dallas Keuchel (81.2)

Most Hits Allowed – Jerome Williams (78)

Most Runs Allowed – Kyle Lohse (45)

Most Earned Runs Allowed – Kyle Lohse (45)

Most Home Runs Allowed – James Shields (15)

Most Strikeouts – Corey Kluber (96)

Most Walks – Aaron Sanchez (37)

Most Complete Games – Four players tied for most (2).

Most Shutouts – Felix Hernandez and Shelby Miller (2).

Best Opponent Avg. – Shelby Miller (.175)

Most Games Finished – Glen Perkins (23)

Most Double Plays Achieved – Kyle Gibson (13)

Most Wild Pitches – Scott Feldman, Aaron Sanchez and C.J. Wilson (7).

Most Balks – Johnny Cueto (4)

Most Stolen Bases Allowed – Tyson Ross (21)

Most Pickoffs – Julio Teheran and Alex Wood (4).

Most Batters Faced – David Price (314)

Most Pitches Thrown – Cole Hamels (1,169)

My Ballot for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game

The ballot for the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star game has been out for awhile now, but I’ve been holding off with casting my votes for who I’d like to see in the game up in Cincinnati on July 14th. With it seeming like the ballot is coming out earlier and earlier each year, I wanted to give players enough time to put up quality numbers before I made any decisions. But I finally feel there are enough stats to make a logical decision.AllStar

Voting is simple. Although there are no longer paper ballots that you can pick up and fill out at your local ballpark, you can head over to MLB.com and fill out an online ballot with the player you feel most deserves the honor for each position. You can vote up to 35 times for the players of your choice. (Voting is open until July 2nd.)

I cast my maximum 35 votes a few days ago. Although the All-Star game is still just under two months away, I figured I’d go ahead and go over the players I picked for the Midsummer Classic. A lot of things can change, with my picks subsequently changing as well, but these are the players I went ahead and voted for to make the All-Star game:

FIRST BASE: Miguel Cabrera (AL), Adrian Gonzalez (NL)

It came down to Miguel Cabrera, Eric Hosmer and Mark Teixeira for me in the American League portion of the first base spot. While Teixeira leads in homers and RBI’s, his batting average was too low for me to select him. In addition, Eric Hosmer has fewer homers and RBI’s than Cabrera in more at-bats, and thus, I picked Miguel Cabrera.

In the National League, it was another tough decision. While Paul Goldschmidt is producing another year worth of MVP caliber numbers, and although Anthony Rizzo is getting better and better, I voted for Adrian Gonzalez. Getting off to a hot start to begin the year, Gonzalez holds the second highest batting average in baseball and deserves to make it.

SECOND BASE: Jose Altuve (AL), Dee Gordon (NL)

Jose Altuve leading all of American League second baseman in stolen bases, sitting second in average and third in homers was enough to get him selected by me to make the All-Star game. Although Devon Travis of the Blue Jays has been a highlight reel each night, Altuve is one of the most exciting second basemen in baseball.

The National League race for All-Star second baseman was an easy decision on my part. Dee Gordon is deserving of the spot, no question about it. Gordon doesn’t have any home runs, but that’s not his game. He leads all NL second basemen in stolen bases, and holds a batting average above .400. That’s deserving of All-Star recognition.

SHORTSTOP: Marcus Semien (AL), Brandon Crawford (NL)

I’ll be honest — I had to double check Marcus Semien’s stats when I was casting my vote for American League shortstop. I knew he was having a good year, but I didn’t realize how good. Leading the American League shortstops in homers and stolen bases, Semien is the unlikely frontrunner for the honor.

It was no easy task to choose a shortstop that had the best stats for the All-Star game. There are a ton of them with good numbers in one category or another. But while names such as Zack Cozart, Jhonny Peralta, etc., stood out, I went with Brandon Crawford, who has good numbers as well as the amazing defense to match.

THIRD BASE: Josh Donaldson (AL), Todd Frazier (NL)

You could make cases for Manny Machado, Mike Moustakas, Josh Donaldson and even Evan Longoria for the American League third base spot in the All-Star game. But I went with Donaldson, who is having a fantastic year. Sitting second in homers but first in RBI’s among AL third basemen, Donaldson should be in Cincy in July.

The first and only Red on my list — likely to be a favorite with the Reds hosting the All-Star game — is Todd Frazier, who I selected for NL third base in the midsummer classic. His batting average isn’t the best, but he is at the top in homers and is deserving in my mind of the honor.

CATCHER: Stephen Vogt (AL), Buster Posey (NL)

This is somewhat of a shocking pick, but a very deserving one. Stephen Vogt wasn’t all that well known as recently as a year ago, but his bat is making him more of a common name. Vogt leads AL catchers in average, home runs and RBI’s, and should lead them in voting when all is said and done.

I could’ve easily picked Miguel Montero or Yasmani Grandal to make the start behind the plate for the National League, but I went with the always consistent Buster Posey instead. Posey leads AL catchers in homers, and should be adding another All-Star game to his already impressive resume.

DESIGNATED HITTER: Nelson Cruz

Although the designated hitter role in the All-Star game goes to David Ortiz the majority of the time, there is simply no other choice for DH this year than Nelson Cruz. It’s not even close. Cruz leads all designated hitters in homers, runs batted in and average, and will be in the All-Star game up in Cincinnati.

OUTFIELD

It’s never easy to narrow down several dozen players to three All-Star picks for each league, especially when you could make a strong case for a dozen of the outfield choices for each league, but it’s a requirement when casting a ballot. So, while I voted for the players who I felt were All-Star caliber players at the moment, there are a few more I would’ve liked to vote for, but couldn’t. Keep that in mind when reading the outfielders I selected for the American League and National League:

Mike Trout, Josh Reddick and Adam Jones (AL)

Mike Trout was a nobrainer, as he once again is in the process of posting another fantastic season, but the other two spots were somewhat difficult with all of the great players. In the end, after examining all of the stats, I made the tough choice of Josh Reddick and Adam Jones. I hope to see them in the All-Star game starting lineups.

Bryce Harper, Justin Upton and Giancarlo Stanton (NL)

As with Mike Trout in the AL, picking Bryce Harper for National League outfield was the easiest choice of the three. But after a lot of debate between the candidates to fill the other places, I wound up choosing Justin Upton and Giancarlo Stanton. Upton is having a good year, and despite a subpar average, Stanton is dominating yet again.

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