My process is fairly straightforward. I take the players that I think are best at each position, and they are the starters. After that, I pick the best player from each team not represented. Whatever spots remaining are filled with the best remaining players, with some sensitivity to depth (for instance, there needs to be at least one backup catcher).
Personally, I don't like the expanded rosters at all, so I always like to challenge myself to keep to 25 players. So, individuals in italics are the ones that made it thanks to the expanded roster sizes.
Here are my all-stars:
|American League||National League|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, LF, Red Sox||Jose Reyes, SS, Mets|
|Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, Indians||Andrew McCutchen, RF, Pirates|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Red Sox||Matt Kemp, CF, Dodgers|
|Jose Bautista, RF, Blue Jays |
Miguel Cabrera, DH, Tigers
|Prince Fielder, DH, Brewers |
Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees||Ryan Braun, LF, Brewers|
|Curtis Granderson, CF, Yankees||Brian McCann, C, Braves|
|Howie Kendrick, 2B, Angels||Rickie Weeks, 2B, Brewers|
|Alex Avila, C, Tigers||Placido Polanco, 3B, Phillies|
|Justin Verlander, RHP, Tigers||Roy Halladay, RHP, Phillies|
|Matt Wieters, C, Orioles||Buster Posey, C, Giants|
|Paul Konerko, 1B, White Sox||Ryan Howard, 1B, Phillies|
|Mark Teixeira, 1B, Yankees||Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox||Brandon Phillips, 2B, Reds|
|Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, Rays||Starlin Castro, SS, Cubs|
|Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers||Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies|
|Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees||Chipper Jones, 3B, Braves|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers||Matt Holliday, LF, Cardinals|
|Alex Gordon, LF, Royals||Michael Bourn, CF, Astros|
|Josh Hamilton, CF, Rangers||Shane Victorino, CF, Phillies|
|Jim Thome, DH, Twins||Justin Upton, RF, Diamondbacks|
BULLPENS (* denotes closer)
|Gio Gonzalez, LHP, Athletics||Cole Hamels, LHP, Phillies|
|Jon Lester, LHP, Red Sox||Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers|
|David Price, LHP, Rays||Cliff Lee, LHP, Phillies|
|CC Sabathia, LHP, Yankees||Jonny Venters, LHP, Braves|
|Josh Beckett, RHP, Red Sox||Mike Adams, RHP, Padres|
|Dan Haren, RHP, Angels||Heath Bell, RHP, Padres|
|Felix Hernandez, RHP, Mariners||Joel Hanrahan, RHP, Pirates|
|Jonathan Papelbon, RHP, Red Sox||Jair Jurrjens, RHP, Braves|
|Michael Pineda, RHP, Mariners||Craig Kimbrel, RHP, Braves*|
|Mariano Rivera, RHP, Yankees*||Tim Lincecum, RHP, Giants|
|Sergio Santos, RHP, White Sox||Anibal Sanchez, RHP, Marlins|
|James Shields, RHP, Rays||Brian Wilson, RHP, Giants|
|Jered Weaver, RHP, Angels||Jordan Zimmerman, RHP, Nationals|
- Victor Martinez would replace Derek Jeter
- Miguel Montero would replace Buster Posey
- Lance Berkman would replace Albert Pujols
- Jim Thome is not the best player on the Twins, but they don't have a true All Star candidate. So, I decided to opt with a living legend, and one of the true class acts in the game.
- Derek Jeter also does not warrant selection, but he is still a fan favorite, and with the bloated rosters, it's not that hard to find space for someone on the cusp of 3,000 career hits. Granted, I still would have found room for him on a 25-man roster, but this is the luxury of treating it as an exhibition. Besides, he's injured anyway, so in the end doesn't take up a spot at all.
- I might be a bit of a homer including Michael Pineda in the All Star Game, but who doesn't want to see how hard he could throw in an inning of relief, facing some of the best bats in the game?
- Buster Posey, despite missing the past month (and the rest of the season) with the bad leg injury he suffered, is still among the most productive catchers in the National League. Given that the collision is one of the biggest stories of the season, and he is also the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, I think he is an easy choice.
- It is a down year for National League third baseman. Chipper Jones is not having an All Star year, neither are any of his hot corner compatriots in the senior circuit. I've already shown twice that career accomplishments matter when I fill out an All Star team, and they mattered a third time in this case.
- The last spot on the NL roster came down to Joel Hanrahan and Tommy Hanson. The tipping point for me (probably unfairly), was that the Braves did not seem like a good enough team to have six All Stars to me. I liked the idea of two Pirates more than six Braves.