Monthly All Star Team: April 2015

Mike Moustakas April All Star

Major League Baseball contains the most games per season in professional sports. Besides regular season, there is also spring training and playoff games. A regular season contains 2,430 games between two opponents. A team that makes it to the fall classic and plays in the maximum amount of games per series: could ultimately play ~30 spring training, 162 regular season games, unless there is a tie which would require tie breakers, then up to 20 postseason games (1 wild card, 5 DS, 7 CS, 7 WS). That’s 212 games maximum for a team.

My point being is that Major Leaguers have a long road ahead that may have many ups and downs. Breaking down players’ statistics monthly constitutes a streaky player from a consistent player. These all-stars are determined both for defensive and offensive reasons.

*All stats are for the full month of April*

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American League

Catcher: Athletics – Stephen Vogt. Vogt is hitting .356 and has driven in 20 runs.

First Base: Tigers – Miguel Cabrera. His slash line to open the season is .366/.459/.624, highlighted by 6 homers and 17 walks.

Second Base: Astros – Jose Altuve. Altuve is hitting .361, and has driven in 19 runners while being the cornerstone to the Stros’ early success as they cling tight to the best record in baseball

Third Base: Royals – Mike Moustakas. Dramatically improving from his start of the season last year, Moose has hit well over .300 for the first month of the season and has helped the Royals stay near the top of the AL Central.

Shortstop: White Sox -Alexei Ramirez. Batting .351 while driving 19 in and scoring 17.

Left Field:  Indians – Michael Brantley. Although the Indians are dead last in the AL Central and Brantley isn’t necessarily driving in a lot of runs or stealing bases like he should, he is still repping a .352 BA and has played some stellar defense.

Center Field: Orioles – Adam Jones. There really aren’t many more outfielders having a better start to the season than Jones. He is two ticks over the .400 mark, has hit 5 homers, driven in 21 runs and is slugging an impressive .667.

Right Field: Mariners – Nelson Cruz. Unbelievable power. The guy hit 13 homers in 99 at bats in the month of April.

Designated Hitter: Royals – Kendrys Morales. Morales has certainly lived up to his contract so far with the Royals and is having a nice bounce back year so far. He is hitting over .300 and has driven in 21 runs.

Starting Pitcher:  Astros – Dallas Keuchel. It is very, very hard to ignore Keuchel as a lead candidate for the AL Cy Young award for 2015. In 37 innings, Dallas has allowed only 16 hits, 11 walks, and 3 earned runs which has led to is stellar .73 ERA/WHIP

Relief Pitcher: Yankees – Dellin Betances. The Bronx Bombers might have the best 1-2 combo punch for the end of a ball game we’ve seen in a while. Although the Royals bullpen was fantastic last year, Dellin has proved that he is the best set up man this year. He hasn’t allowed a run in 14.2 innings.

Closing Pitcher: Yankees – Andrew Miller. The second part of New Yorks’ two-headed monster has made a home in the AL East as he has pitched for the Red Sox, Orioles, and now Yankees. He seems to really enjoy it as well, Miller has shut the door in all 10 chances he has had, and like Betances, has no allowed a run. He has also struck out 23 in 13.1 innings.

AL MVP: Mariners – Nelson Cruz. No one is hitting the ball harder or farther than Cruz. He is leading all MLB HR leaders by 3 and has been one of only few sparks for the Seattle Mariners. Even though the Astros can’t seem to be stopped right now, I would sleep on the Mariners young staff and power of hitters led by Nelson. His slash line reads .343/.387/.788 thus far this season. No, that slugging percentage isn’t incorrect, that is just how good Cruz has been stroking the ball.

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National League

Catcher: Padres – Derek Norris. Derek is hitting .337 with 11 doubles, 16 runs and 16 rbis.

First Base: Justin Morenau – Colorado Rockies. Morenau is hitting .343 with 6 HR, 22 RBI, 14 runs.

Second Base: Marlins –Dee Gordon. A .440 average with give Dee tops in the Majors. 44 hits in his first 100 at bats is impressive for the young speedster.

Third Base: Matt Carpenter. Matt could hit honestly hit anywhere in the order. Due to his patience though, he is excelling as a leadoff hitter. He is 35/96 with 14 doubles, which leads all of the Major Leagues.

Shortstop: Phillies – Freddy Galvis. Freddy is hitting almost 30 points higher than any other shortstop in the NL, and he an amazing defender. Although there aren’t a lot of power numbers, he gets on base. He also doesn’t strike out ( 6 SO in 82 AB).

Left Field: Padres –Justin Upton. Justin was acquired by the Padres in the offseason after being with the Braves, and he has swung a hot bat on both the east and west coast in consecutive years. 7 homers, 21 rbis and a .942 OPS is impressive; only part of his game that isn’t is the strikeouts (26 SO in 93 AB).

Center Field: Rockies –Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon is hitting .316 w/ 5 HR and 14 RBI

Right Field: Padres – Matt Kemp. Kemp is hitting an above average .320, driven in 17, 7 doubles, 2 triples and a homer to add to this year’s resume. Once Kemp finds his power, the Padres will be even more dangerous than they already are.

Starting Pitcher: There are a lot of good choices for this month’s all-star SP, but two really stood out.

Cardianls – Michael Wacha, Dodgers – Zack Greinke. The reason why both of these guys will get this award is essentially due to their IDENTICAL numbers. They both have started 5 games, are 4-0, and have a 1.93 ERA in 32.2 innings. While Greinke has a better strikeout to walk ratio than Wacha, both have pitched fabulous.

Relief Pitcher: Dodgers – Yimi Garcia. In relief, Yimi has picked up 2 Dodgers wins, while not collecting a loss. He’s pitched 13.2 innings, and his ERA and WHIP are 0.66, 0.59, respectively.

Closing Pitcher: Mets – Jeurys Familia. Perfect in saves with 10, he has only allowed 4 hits and 3 walks in 13.1 innings. Familia has helped secure the Mets the top spot in the NL East.

NL MVP: Marlins – Dee Gordon. You can’t help notice that one of the fastest players in the MLB has collected 44 hits in 100 at bats. Although Gordon isn’t your typical power hitter or power pitcher, he has shown his ability to get on base wins ball games for the Marlins. In 25 games, he is on track to have 648 at bats and 285 hits….it’ll be very interesting to see if Dee can continue his hot hitting into the summer.

Author: Matthew Lacy

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