After going over stats and arguing with myself as to who deserves to be on the team, I have finally finished completing my 36-man teams. I think I can say with confidence that the players who made my All-Star Teams were worthy of inclusion, not just because many of them are major superstars, but because their statistics were high enough above their peers that made them stand out from the rest. And believe me, it was tough to choose. Certain players were left off (I'll list them at the bottom for honorable mentions...and a possible twist.
So, without further ado, here are the players who made my 2014 MLB End of Year All-Star Teams (in alphabetical order by position):
In previous years, I tended to show a little more bias to Chicago players (on both sides) in cases where if I thought I could choose them over another person, I would (hey, I'm from Chicago, what can I say). But since I'm now announcing these publicly (compared to doing this privately in my mind), I thought I'd try to be as open minded as I can and pick the proper deserving players. Although both Chicago teams didn't fare very well this season (heck, even the priest of our church said prayers couldn't help them win the division this year, and this was before Opening Day). But all five Cubs or White Sox players who were selected to participate in the game (save the guy who was traded to Oakland) made it onto the teams this year. Sole player reps on teams this year include the Astros (Altuve), Rangers (Beltre), Rays (Longoria), Red Sox (Cespedes), Twins (Dozier), Diamondbacks (Montero), Padres (S. Smith), Phillies (Utley), and Rockies (Morneau). The Tigers send a league-high five players to the AL squad. The Nationals again have five players to the team, most in the NL. The Orioles and Cardinals each send four players onto the All-Star Teams.
There are 22 players on both rosters making my All-Star Teams for the very first time, eleven on each side.
Are there snubs? You bet. On the AL, as mentioned before, the DH spot was an issue, only because I only allow one spot on the roster for it. It was a three-man race between the Astros' Chris Carter, the Red Sox' David Ortiz, and the Tigers' Victor Martinez. Although MLB makes the AL add two DH's to their team (a starter voted by the fans, and then a backup voted by the players), with all of the great hitters already on the team, I see no need to add more than one DH to the teams, especially when I actually run simulations. Second base was also very contentious. Because I picked Brian Dozier of the Twins during my "every team needs a rep" portion in selecting the teams, it knocked out the Tigers' Ian Kinsler. It was a toss-up either way between Kinsler and Cano, for the last second base position.
On the NL side, I decided to place NL batting champion Justin Morneau as the DH. That left one first baseman spot open. It was also a tossup between the Braves' Freddie Freeman and the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez, with Gonzalez eventually being my pick. Second base was a tough call between Dee Gordon of the Dodgers and the Pirates' Neil Walker. Because I'm taking into consideration that I am actually simulating games, I decided to add the speedy Gordon rather than the Walker as there are enough sluggers on the NL side. The NL outfield started with Stanton, Smith, and Gomez. I actually wound up picking two more RF's (Pence/Werth), CF's (McCutchen/Span), and LF's (Holliday/Upton). But those picks left out players like Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, and Marcell Ozuna of the Marlins.
Now it's time to add a poll to this website, something I haven't done in quite a while, and will leave it up and running for a while. This is also the first time I'm going to let the readers (if I have any out there) have a say on who makes these teams, so if this works (meaning I get enough people voting), it may be something I'll do every year.
Just like MLB's Final Man Vote, I am going to list five players for each league. Tell me which snub should have been added to the team. The players are:
So ends the presentation for my 2014 End of Year MLB All-Star Teams. Please feel free to comment, debate, tell me that I did a good job, or that I don't know what I'm talking about and should have put in this person for another.
I promise I will get to running the simulations (thanks to SBS baseball) once the stats are uploaded onto the website next year. This way, we can see which of the above squads would win if they faced each other. I will also make sure images of all the cards of the players (if I have to, I'll try and make some) once the Cyber Museum uploads images of the 2014 Update Series cards on their site.