2014 AL Central All-Star Team
Jul 5, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first basemanMiguel Cabrera
(24) throws the ball to starting pitcherAnibal Sanchez
(not pictured) to get Tampa Bay Rays first basemanJames Loney
(not pictured) out in the fourth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
• First Base: Miguel Cabrera (Tigers): He’s one of, if not the best hitter in baseball, but anyone who competes for a Triple Crown each of the past couple seasons (earning the honor in 2012) deserves to be called one of the best in all of baseball.
Cabrera this season is batting .315 with 14 home runs
Cabrera this season is batting .315 with a .376 on-base percentage and .550 slugging percentage. He’s hit 14 home runs this season but has 34 doubles to lead the league. In his 87 games, Cabrera has 73 RBIs, so it will be interesting to see if he can get to the 130-plus RBI mark for a third consecutive season.
• Second Base: Brian Dozier (Twins): Maybe the most underrated player in the AL Central. I like the way Dozier plays the game, and one day he will be an actual All-Star.
In 2014, Dozier has scored 66 runs in 89 games. He is batting just .234 but has 40 RBIs, 14 doubles and 16 home runs. He also has 16 steals and 51 walks, and he will be a big part of the Twins’ future.
• Third Base: Lonnie Chisenhall (Indians): Chisenhall is having a very productive season for the Indians. He’s batting .324 with nine home runs, 20 doubles and one triple. His on-base percentage is .387, and like I said about Dozier, he’s a big part of the Indians’ future and will be a name all fans of the AL Central will come to know on a regular basis as he continues his career.
In just his fourth season, Chisenhall is now taking that next step, as last year in 94 games played he batted. 225, and now through 76 games his average is 99 points higher. It will be fun to watch to see if he can keep up this pace through the second half of the season.
• Shortstop: Alexei Ramirez (White Sox): There is no other shortstop that has played better baseball in the entire AL this season, not just in the Central. Ramirez has played in 93 games thus far, currently batting .283 with a .318 OBP and .403 slugging percentage.
Ramirez has eight home runs this season (already surpassing his total of six all of last season), along with 41 RBIs and 16 walks. Ramirez does have 25 extra base hits, including the eight home runs, 15 doubles and two triples.
Not to forget his play in the field is some of the best glove work in all of baseball.
• Catcher: Salvador Perez (Royals): This was a very tough decision, because I also considered Minnesota’s Kurt Suzuki and Detroit’s Victor Martinez, but I didn’t add Martinez to this All-Star list as a catcher because he’s caught just two games this season.
So between Perez and Suzuki, I picked home run totals over a higher batting average for this spot. Perez is batting .282, but he does have 11 home runs and 35 RBIs.
Perez and Suzuki are the two best catchers in the AL Central, so this was the toughest decision of this team.