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Los Angeles Dodgers Adam Kennedy makes the tag of the out during game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers 2012

Los Angeles Dodgers Adam Kennedy makes the tag of the out during game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers @2012

 

When I saw that out of the ten positions (including the designated hitter) available for fans to vote for the American League team for the upcoming All-Star Game on July 14, seven of them were led by Kansas City Royals,

It confirmed my opinion that although to make the game a little less than a glorified exhibition, the rules were changed a few years ago to give the winning league home field advantage for the World Series,

And even though Major League Baseball will realistically never take away from the fans the right to vote for the starters,

The fact that this upcoming All-Star contest in Cincinnati will most likely look like the National League All-Stars vs the (mostly) Kansas City Royals, to the detriment of more deserving players from the A.L., loses quite a bit of credibility with me as it’s clear that there are not enough fans who vote with their head and not their heart.

Otherwise those American League starters wouldn’t look so blue, the Royals’ primary color.

However, that’s neither here or there in this case as I wanted to give my list of players hailing from the Los Angeles area’s two MLB teams who deserve to be at that Mid-Summer Classic, starting with the Angels and the extremely obvious choice, one of only three projected A.L. starters whose jersey does not say “Royals” across the front:

 

mike-trout

MIKE TROUT

Batting Average: .301 (top ten in league)

Home Runs: 18 (tied for third in league)

Runs Batted In: 41

This Mickey Mantle-like super stud’s exploits are so well documented, there’s no need for any more comments here.

 

Albert+Pujols+Los+Angeles+Angels+Anaheim+v+fE6pJvagxKfl

ALBERT PUJOLS

Batting Average: .277

Home Runs: 23 (leads league)

Runs Batted In: 47 (tied for fifth in league)

Although I don’t think he should start due to the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera – who like Trout is one of the three projected A.L. starters who doesn’t play his home games in Kansas City – having a better season than him with more RBIs and a much higher batting average,

Pujols has of late been as dominating with the bat as he was during his eleven years as a St. Louis Cardinal, crushing the baseball over the past 24 games as he is hitting .352 with 15 homers and 30 RBIs during that span.

This “what have you done for me lately” tear should more than convince American League (and Royals) manager Ned Yost to give him an invite to Cincinnati.

 

141030-houston-street

HOUSTON STREET

Won-Loss Record: 3-2

Earned Run Average: 2.22

Saves: 20 out of 22 chances

Anyone with 20 saves and an ERA in the low twos while only failing to close out a game twice more than deserves to be an All-Star.

 

As for who deserves to be a National League All-Star among those who play their home games north of Downtown L.A. in Chavez Ravine and wear the blue-script “Dodgers” across their chest:

 

adriangonzalez4

ADRIAN GONZALEZ

Batting Average: .297

Home Runs: 12

Runs Batted In: 45 (among top seven in league)

Even though he has struggled some after a blisteringly wicked start and will likely lose to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt in the fan voting, this Dodger first baseman is clearly the team’s most consistent and reliable hitter and deserves to be picked by National League (and San Francisco Giants) manager Bruce Bochy as a reserve.

 

joc-pederson-center-field

JOC PEDERSON

Batting Average: .248

Home Runs: 19 (tied for fourth in league)

Runs Batted In: 36

Sure, Pederson’s average is below .250 and has more or less been in that neighborhood all season.

Sure, his 84 strikeouts lead the team by a long way.

And normally I wouldn’t be in favor of a rookie in the All-Star Game as I feel a player needs more than a year to prove himself in “The Show”.

Even his winning the N.L. Rookie of the Year is far from a done deal as the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant is performing off the charts since his call-up.

But…

With the way he has solidified center field for the Dodgers to the point that he should be there for the next ten years,

And the way that his hits, including those tape measure homers of his, has meant something more often than not,

Convinces me that Bochy should make room on the All-Star reserve list for this kid.

 

zack-greinke-mlb-los-angeles-dodgers-kansas-city-royals

ZACK GREINKE

Won-Loss Record: 5-2

Earned Run Average: 2.70

Strikeouts: 88

With Clayton Kershaw not being the dominating Cy Young/MVP pitcher that he has been the past few seasons, Greinke has essentially been the ace of the Dodger staff this season.

His win total would be a lot more than five if not for the extreme lack of run support; his six shutout frames in Wrigley Field against the Cubs last night only to have nothing to show for it as his team only collected three hits is a perfect illustration of this.

It would be a bad mistake for him to not be on that N.L. squad.

As for Kershaw…

Even though his numbers are the worst it’s been at this point in the season in years; a 5-5 record and a 3.33 ERA, his 131 strikeouts, which leads all of baseball, will be enough to get him in to the All-Star game as neither I nor the bulk of the fans out there can conceive of an All-Star team without him.

That’s why I expect Kershaw to be at the Great American Ballpark on the banks of the Ohio River on July 14th.

And hopefully everyone else I have mentioned in this article will be there, too.

As a clinching argument for Pederson being included among the National League’s All-Stars, here is his epic, over the shoulder, crashing into the wall catch at Petco Park that saved the game for the Dodgers against the San Diego Padres:

 

Joc Pederson Catch

 

 

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