The Defensive All-Stars

The all-star teams were announced yesterday, and by the sheer number of first basemen on the rosters you can tell which end of the offense/defensive spectrum is considered during the team building process. Michael Young? Sure, Franklin Gutierrez? Ew, no. With that in mind, today I’m going to crown the all-star teams compiled completely of the best defenders in each league. Since we don’t have a central thought process on how to evaluate catchers defense, I’ll skip over those roster spots. Also I went by qualified players only, so some, like Ben Zobrist at second, have a really good case, but don’t qualify due to playing time at the position.

First up, the National League.

1B: Derrek Lee, Adrian Gonzalez
2B: Brandon Phillips, Freddy Sanchez
3B: Ryan Zimmerman, Pedro Feliz
SS: Jack Wilson, J.J. Hardy, Rafael Furcal
COF: Nyjer Morgan, Colby Rasmus, Jay Bruce, Justin Upton, Randy Winn
CF: Matt Kemp, Mike Cameron

Any team in need of a defensive middle infielder for the rest of the season should call the Pirates. Zimmerman is really good, and probably has a real all-star bid locked down until Stephen Strasburg becomes the greatest pitcher in the universe. Lots of youth in the outfield with Rasmus, Bruce, and Upton; what are the odds that those three make up a few real all-star outfielders during their careers? Naitonals/Pirates representation, it doesn’t matter, Morgan is the starter in left.

American League:
1B: Paul Konerko, Miguel Cabrera
2B: Howie Kendrick, Placido Polanco
3B: Joe Crede, Brandon Inge, Evan Longoria
SS: Marco Scutaro, Elvis Andrus
COF: David DeJesus, Nelson Cruz, Juan Rivera, Ichiro
CF: Franklin Gutierrez, B.J. Upton, Ryan Sweeney

What a ridiculous quartet of defensive talent at third base. If Adrian Beltre were healthy, the AL would have four third basemen with 8+ UZR. Originally I had Ian Kinsler on the team as the third second baseman, but I’m pretty sure Evan Longoria could fill in at second and produce 5+ UZR. The most surprising placer is probably Juan Rivera. Given his recent fielding history his UZR this year seems like a small sample size mirage, his last good fielding season was in 2005 after all. How fun would a Gutierrez, Upton, and Ichiro outfield be to watch? Don’t get any ideas, Seattleites.

Since no all-star team is complete without gimmicky vote-in schemes, here’s a list of five in each league worthy of your consideration for addition.

NL: Juan Pierre, Jayson Werth, Casey Blake, Ryan Theriot, Clint Barmes
AL: Carl Crawford, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, J.D. Drew, Aaron Hill

All things considered, I’m not too sure out team of defenders couldn’t defeat the real all-stars.

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daniel
Guest
daniel

Eh. Theriot? UZR likes him but I think any Cubs fan will tell you that he’s a subpar defender at shortstop. His arm would play at second but not short, and it’s incredible how many balls he dives for and misses.

PhDBrian
Guest
PhDBrian

Yes but he dives for balls other guys aren’t even in the tv picture for.