My 2001 All-Star selections and Silver Slugger comparison

12 03 2015

My opinion of the best player at each position in each league.  For pitchers, I pick 3 starters and 1 reliever.  I do include a DH. Here’s the 2001 version:

My NL All-Stars: C – Paul Lo Duca, LAD (.320/25/90)

1B – Todd Helton, COL (.336/49/146, 132 R, .685 SLG)

2B – Jeff Kent, SFG (.298/22/106)

3B – Albert Pujols, STL (.329/37/130)

SS – Rich Aurilia, SFG (.324/37/97, 206 H)

OF – Barry Bonds, SFG (.328/73 (MLB record)/137, 177 BB (MLB record), .515 OBP, .863 SLG (MLB record))

Gonzo walk-off singleOF – Sammy Sosa, CHC (.328/64/160, 146 R, .737 SLG)

OF – Luis Gonzalez, ARI (.345/44/123, .737 SLG)

SP – Randy Johnson, ARI (21-6/2.49/372, 249.2 IP, Cy Young)

SP – Curt Schilling, ARI (22-6/2.98/293, 256.2 IP, 6 CG)

SP – Greg Maddux, ATL (17-11/3.05/173, 233 IP)

RP – Byung-Hyun Kim, ARI (5-6/2.94/113, 19 SV)

Larry Walker and Shawn Green were the odd men out in a very talented outfield pool, though I would say the top 3 guys were clear-cut.  Jeff Bagwell had a really good year at first, but even considering Coors Field piece it wasn’t better than Helton.  The only difficult decision was at catcher, where Mike Piazza had a very good season.  Lo Duca was much better defensively and probably a little better as a hitter.  The top 2 pitchers were easy, but picking between Maddux and a few others was tough.  Matt Morris tied Schilling for the league lead with 22 wins.  Javy Vazquez had very similar numbers in less of a pitcher’s park.  I even considered Roy Oswalt, who went 14-3 after a mid-season call-up that energized the Astros.  But I think Maddux is the right choice.

My AL All-Stars: C – Ivan Rodriguez, TEX (.308/25/65)

1B – Jason Giambi, OAK (.342/38/120, 47 2B, .477 OBP, 129 BB, .660 SLG)

2B – Bret Boone, SEA (.331/37/141, 206 H)

3B – Troy Glaus, ANA (.250/41/108)

SS – Alex Rodriguez, TEX (.318/52/135, 133 R)

OF – Ichiro, SEA (.350/8/69, 242 H, 56 SB, 127 R, MVP)

OF – Carlos Beltran, KCR (.306/24/101, 12 3B, 31 SB)

OF – Bernie Williams, NYY (.307/26/94)

DH – Manny Ramirez, BOS (.306/41/125)

SP – Pedro Martinez, BOS (18-6/1.74/284, 4 SHO)

SP – David Wells, TOR (20-8/4.11/166, 9 CG)

SP – Mike Mussina, BAL (11-15/3.79/210, 237.2 IP)

RP – Derek Lowe, BOS (4-4/2.56/79, 42 SV)

The toughest pick was 3rd base.  Corey Coskie, Eric Chavez and Glaus were all very close.  The last outfield spot was also very different, though the top 2 were very clear.  Instead of Williams, I considered Torii Hunter and Juan Gonzalez.  At second base, I went with Bret Boone – that was a tough selection over Roberto Alomar at second base, who was better than a lot of guys at other positions who made my team.

**********

NL Silver Slugger: C – Mike Piazza (.300/36/94), 1B – Helton, 2B – Kent, 3B – Pujols, SS – Aurilia, OF – Bonds, Gonzalez, Sosa, P – Hampton (.291/7/16)

Mike Hampton had a historical season in 2001 – he hit 7 home runs as a pitcher.  This was the most by a pitcher in a long time.  The record is 9, by Wes Ferrell in 1931, and a number of guys are in second place with 7.  However, no pitcher has hit 7 since the DH came into place – except for Hampton.  Even more amazing is that Hampton, who had always been a good hitter, had never hit a homer until 2001.  Now some of this was because he had signed with Colorado – but he did hit 3 of the 7 homers away from Coors Field.

AL Silver Sluggers: C – Jorge Posada (.277/22/95), 1B – Giambi, 2B – Boone, 3B – Glaus, SS – Rodriguez, OF – Suzuki, Ramirez, Juan Gonzalez CLE (.325/35/140), DH – Edgar Martinez (.306/23/116)

At catcher, Posada may have been better as a hitter than Pudge, but it was marginal.  And Pudge’s defense more than made up for that difference.  Manny Ramirez caused an interesting thing here.  He won the silver slugger in the outfield, but he only played 55 games there.  Manny was a DH in 87 games, so to me it made sense to put him there.

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