2012ASGMost teams have now played between 40-42 games, so we’re now pretty much at the quarter point in the season. If Wins Above Replacement was to select the American League All-Star squad at this point in time, what would that team look like*?

*For the purposes of this post, I’m going to average the WAR values as reported on FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.

Before I get to the picks, here’s my selection process: I wanted to mimic last year’s roster composition of 21 hitters and 13 pitchers. For hitters, I selected the top two players in WAR at each position to have a starter and a reserve (I selected a second reserve at the catcher position). I then filled out the hitter portion of the roster (the last two spots) by selecting the two highest WAR players that ranked third at their position. For pitchers, I copied last year’s mix of eight starters and five relievers, and selected accordingly (players with both starting and relief appearances were classified as starters).

I’ll start with the hitters:

CONTINUE READING THIS POST>>

Starters

C – Matt Wieters, Baltimore – 1.45 WAR

1B – Paul Konerko, Chicago – 2.00 WAR

2B – Robinson Cano, New York – 1.80 WAR

3B – Brett Lawrie, Toronto – 2.00 WAR

SS – Elvis Andrus, Texas – 1.95 WAR

OF – Josh Hamilton, Texas – 3.50 WAR

OF – Austin Jackson, Detroit – 2.65 WAR

OF – Adam Jones, Baltimore – 2.15 WAR

DH – David Ortiz, Boston – 1.30 WAR

There aren’t really many surprises here, with the exception of probably Brett Lawrie of the Blue Jays. He’s only been an average hitter this season (maybe even a tick below), but he rates incredibly well on defense. Austin Jackson also gets a lot of value from his plus-defense, but he’s currently third among AL outfielders in wOBA, so he’s provided enough offense to be a legitimate member of this list.

Reserves

C – Carlos Santana, Cleveland – 1.35 WAR

C – Joe Mauer, Minnesota – 1.15 WAR

1B – Adrian Gonzalez, Boston – 0.90 WAR

2B – Kelly Johnson, Toronto – 1.70 WAR

2B – Dustin Pedroia, Boston – 1.65 WAR

3B – Mike Moustakas, Kansas City – 1.90 WAR

SS – Mike Aviles, Boston – 1.80 WAR

SS – Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland – 1.70 WAR

OF – Josh Reddick, Oakland – 1.60 WAR

OF – Matt Joyce, Tampa Bay – 1.60 WAR

OF – Mike Trout, Los Angeles – 1.40 WAR

DH – Adam Dunn, Chicago – 1.20 WAR

I find a lot of the names on this list to be surprising, but that’s not to say these guys don’t deserve recognition. The third base fan vote will likely be won by Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera, or Adrian Beltre (and the others could very well find roster spots as well), but Mike Moustakas as out-hit them all to date.

The big surprise is how “bad” the first base group has been in the American League so far this year. Adrian Gonzalez won the reserve spot here, but he has the lowest WAR of the bunch. Prince Fielder comes in third, all the way down at 0.65 WAR, and Albert Pujols is nowhere to be found.

Pitchers

SP – Justin Verlander, Detroit – 2.75 WAR

SP – Jake Peavy, Chicago – 2.45 WAR

SP – Jered Weaver, Los Angeles – 1.60 WAR

SP – Jason Hammel, Baltimore – 1.35 WAR

SP – Felix Hernandez, Seattle – 1.35 WAR

SP – Yu Darvish, Texas – 1.35 WAR

SP – Derek Lowe, Cleveland – 1.30 WAR

SP – Brandon Morrow, Toronto – 1.30 WAR

RP – Alexi Ogando, Texas – 1.05 WAR

RP – Ryan Cook, Oakland – 0.90 WAR

RP – Pedro Strop, Baltimore – 0.90 WAR

RP – Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay – 0.80 WAR

RP – Jim Johnson, Baltimore – 0.80 WAR

Justin Verlander looks to be in line to be named the American League starting pitcher. He may have to beat Josh Hamilton back with a stick if he hopes to win back-to-back MVP awards, but he’s probably in his own class right now when it comes to starting pitchers.

As far as relievers go, WAR obviously doesn’t care much for the save statistic. Only two of the five relief pitchers selected are their team’s regular closer.

I didn’t necessarily intend for this to happen, but each of the 14 teams ended up with a player represented on this list. The surprising winner was Baltimore with five players, and the losers were Seattle, Kansas City, Minnesota, and New York with only one player each.

An All-Star Game with only one Yankee? Wouldn’t we all love to see that!