Commentary: My Midseason 2019 All-MLB squad

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by - Staff Writer -
Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports

The American League captured their seventh straight victory over the National League with a 4-3 win on Tuesday night in Cleveland. The all-star game is the coming together of the league’s top talent in the middle of the marathon that is a baseball season, which got us thinking: what would the line up be if there were no leagues?

In other words, we are taking a look at all of the stars in baseball and trying to come up with a lineup of the ten best players.

After analyzing batting averages, home runs, on-base percentages, and WAR along with wins, strikeouts, earned run averages and saves this is the team we came up with.

MY 2019 ALL MLB TEAM:

LEFT FIELD: Christian Yelich
CENTER FIELD: Mike Trout
RIGHT FIELD: Cody Bellinger
THIRD BASE: Nolan Arenado
SHORTSTOP: Javier Baez
SECOND BASE: DJ Lemahieu
FIRST BASE: Freddie Freeman
CATCHER: Willson Contreras
DESIGNATED HITTER: Josh Bell
PITCHER: Max Scherzer
CLOSER: Aroldis Chapman

This team features nine players who started the all-star game, seven from the NL and two from the AL.

The AL boasts the best player in the world in Mike Trout, who sits in the top five in homers, RBI, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and WAR across all of baseball and near the top one or two in his league, ON A BELOW AVERAGE TEAM. Trout is everything great about the game of baseball and more and stands as the front runner to capture his third MVP at the end of this season.

The corner outfielders feature the two front runners in the MVP race of the National League in Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich. Both of these two quick, left-handed sluggers bring all five tools to their game, and rank one and two in the NL or the MLB in homers, average, OPS and pretty much every other stat. The pair of stars have also embraced their race for the league’s most prestigious individual honor, the MVP

The AL’s other offensive representative features the reason the Yankees are the best team in the AL: DJ Lemahieu. DJ is on pace to win a batting title, which would be his second overall and first in the AL - making him one of the only players ever to win a batting title in both leagues. Lemahieu also plays versatile Gold-Glove caliber defense at three different positions in the infield. The tall middle infielder’s situational hitting has also been through the roof, making him a no brainer to play second base in the all MLB team.

His middle infield partner is Javier Baez. The magical shortstop for the Cubs is having another great season. With an average near .300, 20 plus home runs and 60 plus RBIs, mixed with the gold-glove type plays, the incredible tags, entertaining slides, phenomenal base running and of course the ever so present flair and swag, Baez encompasses everything the MLB wants out of its players. Baez leads all shortstops in home runs and slugging and ranks in the top 5 in categories such as RBIs, hits, runs, and WAR.

Next to Baez on the field will be the same player who was next to him in the all-star game, Nolan Arenado. Arenado has been the epitome of consistency, near the tops in the league in home runs, RBIs and batting average and usually receiving a gold glove along the way. Arenado sits toward the top of the league in statistical categories for third basemen in homers, average, RBIs, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS, WAR and plays arguably the best defense in the league. In a league loaded with corner infield talent, Arenado emerged the clear choice for the hot corner.

Across from Nolan, we have Freddie Freeman, the NL’s starting first basemen and a constant producer for the Braves. With a .309 average Freeman leads all first basemen, and his 23 homers and 68 RBIs rank near the top as well. Typically flying under the radar with an all-star offense and gold-glove defense, Freeman has had a bit of a coming out party as the Braves emerge as a powerhouse. Freeman plays at the most stacked position talent wise in the league, but edges out them all and earns the spot here.

Catching will be Willson Contreras despite some of the defensive issues because he makes up for it with his rocket of an arm and his superb ability to call games. Contreras has been a force offensively, leading NL catchers in average and OPS and ranking near the top in homers and runs batted in as well.

The designated hitter is going to be Josh Bell, who has been an absolute wrecking ball offensively this year. Bell leads the entire league in RBIs with 84 and has nearly 30 home runs and an above .300 average. Since Freeman plays better defense at first, Bell gets the start at DH but earned his spot in both the NL MVP race and our ALL MLB TEAM.

On the mound for this team is going to be Max Scherzer, who leads all pitchers in intimidation and colors of eyes. Aside from a brown and blue eye, we have seen Scherzer pitcher with a black and then purple eye this season. No matter what color his eyes are the guy pitches well. Hyun Jin Ryu has a slight ERA lead over Scherzer, but Scherzer ranks third in all of baseball in wins with 9, second in innings and WAR, and leads all of baseball in strikeouts as Scherzer has been truly dominant this season.

Should the game need a closer, we decided to name Aroldis Chapman, that guy. Chapman, the flame-throwing Cuban, recorded the save in the Midsummer Classic and has 24 this year and experience pitching in many huge games in his career. The fastball that tops 100 MPH mixed with the deadly slider makes Chapman nearly unhittable and without a doubt the closer for the ALL MLB TEAM.

Here is the batting order:

1. Christian Yelich LF
2. Mike Trout CF
3. Cody Bellinger RF
4. Josh Bell DH
5. Nolan Arenado 3B
6. Freddie Freeman 1B
7. Javier Baez SS
8. Willson Contreras C
9. DJ Lemahieu 2B

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