by Jordan Adams - 07/03/2006
With the beginning July upon us and less than two weeks away from the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, this week's weekly review takes a look at the players participating in the game for home-field advantage. Every year the biggest issue with this game is the league allowing its fans to vote in the starters. And every year they fail miserably. Not only are the best players not voted in, but fans always choose the same players that we see every year, even if they are injured!
The following list is the starting lineup that should be used based on statistics and success throughout the first half the '06 season.
National League Starters
Tom Glavine | SP| New York Mets
At 11-2 with a 3.35 ERA, the 40-year-old is the best pitcher in the NL for the best team in the league.
Johnny Estrada | C | Arizona Diamondbacks
Hitting .317 along with six homers and 44 RBIs, Estrada continues to prove he is not just a one-year wonder after his impressive season with Atlanta in 2004.
Ryan Howard | 1B | Philadelphia Phillies
In his first full year, Howard is exploding as one of the best power hitters in the majors. He trails no one with 27 home runs. He also shows his ability to hit for average, swinging the bat at a .286 clip while driving in 68.
Dan Uggla | 2B | Florida Marlins
One of the bright young stars for the extremely young Marlins, Uggla has already hit 13 long balls and drove in 44 while hitting .309.
David Wright | 3B | New York Mets
Wright has shown he is the premier third baseman in the majors. With 18 homers and 64 RBI, he has been one of the key fixtures in the Mets' offense.
Jose Reyes | SS | New York Mets
Arguably the best leadoff man in the NL, Reyes has done well to get on base and get in scoring position. Hitting for a .291 clip and swiping 34 bases already, he's the catalyst at the top of the Mets' lineup. Reyes already has 69 runs scored.
Carlos Lee | LF | Milwaukee Brewers
A proven power hitter since he came over from the White Sox, Lee has already compiled 25 homers with 66 RBI, while showing his versatility with 11 stolen bases.
Carlos Beltran | CF | New York Mets
Slowly regaining his form after time with the miserable Royals, Beltran has been a force in the middle of the Mets' batting order. He has 22 long balls with 62 RBI and 12 stolen bases.
J.D. Drew | RF | Los Angeles Dodgers
Helping to lead his team into the thick of the NL West race, the former Phils draft pick has hit nine home runs while driving in 47 and hitting .281 in the middle of the lineup.
American League Starters
Francisco Liriano | SP | Minnesota Twins
Despite not starting the whole year and pitching behind Johan Santana, this wunderkid has been unbelievable at a level where a learning curve usually is necessary. Posting an 8-1 record with 2.21 and an outing where he out dueled the legendary Roger Clemens.
Joe Mauer | C | Minnesota Twins
I guess he made the right decision instead of quarterbacking Florida State out of high school. Hitting .392 with 40 RBI, he continues to make a standout impression this year.
David Ortiz | 1B | Boston Red Sox
Despite his lack of fielding skills and minimal time at this position, his bat makes up for it. With 25 home runs and 74 RBI, he continues to be one of the most feared and clutch hitters in the league.
Jose Lopez | 2B | Seattle Mariners
One of the few bright spots on a struggling Seattle team, Lopez has flourished his year with nine homers and 57 RBI.
Joe Crede | 3B | Chicago White Sox
As consistent as any at the hot corner, Crede has been one of the Sox's best hitters with 15 homers and 55 RBI while hitting over .300.
Derek Jeter | SS | New York Yankees
One of the key reasons why the offense continues to maintain with Sheffield and Matsui out, the Yankees' captain has scored 52 runs while hitting .334 and driving in 46.
Carl Crawford | LF | Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Probably the most athletic player in the majors and a true speedster, not many knew that out of high school he had a basketball scholarship to UCLA as a point guard, a football scholarship to Nebraska to run the option, but opted for baseball and we have seen why. 26 stolen bases and hitting .311, he continues to succeed on an improving young roster.
Vernon Well | CF | Toronto Blue Jays
The best player on a flourishing Toronto team, Wells has hit 20 long balls with 62 driven in and hitting .315. The Blue Jays and their center fielder continue to push to beat out the Red Sox and Yankees in the division.
Magglio Ordonez | RF | Detroit Tigers
This spot was in line for Alex Rios, but his indefinite injury made room for a key fixture from the Tigers' offensive success. With 15 home runs and 58 RBI, Magglio has got past the injury bug and started off the '06 season on a great note.