First Pitch Mitch: Top 2012 MLB Players By Position
The season is winding down, and it’s time for me to pick out the FirstPitchMitch All-Stars. The FPM All-Stars are like the All-Madden team of baseball – they are the best of the best. When this team steps in to the stadium the skies open up, and the baseball gods marvel at their creation.
Without further ado, I present the first ever FPM All-Stars…
Catcher – Yadier Molina
Yadier narrowly edged out Buster Posey simply because only 37 players were successful when stealing bases with Molina behind the plate in 2012. He threw out a ridiculous 47% of runners attempting to nab a base. Did I mention he put up some dynamite offensive numbers as well? He’s hitting .321, to go along with 20 HR and a .888 OPS. His WAR, for you sabermetric fans, is currently a 6.8.
First Base – Prince Fielder
Every team deserves a prince. Fielder put up very solid offensive numbers again this year hitting .304, to go along with 27 HR and 101 RBI. Any guy that swings the bat with the intensity of a kid trying to knock the candy out of a piñata will always have a spot on the FPMASs. With that monster swing, he only struck out 77 times in 537 AB this year – awesome.
Second Base – Robinson Cano
Is there any question regarding who would be the second baseman on this team? No need to go through the stats, but he’s hitting .299 with 30 HR this year. There’s always next year Aaron Hill.
Shortstop – Derek Jeter
Does this guy get old? He’s having one of the finest offensive seasons of his career, to go along with his solid defense at the all-important position of shortstop. Jeet is currently hitting .323, to go along with 30 2B and 15 HR. I love that his uniform is always dirty, and there’s always room on the FPMASs for future Hall of Famers.
Third Base – Miguel Cabrera
Can you say Triple Crown? Barring some sort of ridiculous slump we will have our first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. He is currently hitting .333, with 41 HR and 130 RBI. Triple Crown winners can play whatever position they want on FMPASs, but Miguel will be a third base.
Left Field – Josh Hamilton
Josh Hamilton is the best player in baseball – period. I don’t care if he’s listed as a center fielder, he’s playing left field for the FPMASs. Ryan Braun might be upset with me, but nobody can argue with a stat line of .287/42/123. Josh Hamilton will retire from this game as a legend, and legends are always welcome on the FPMASs.
Center Field – Mike Trout
I really had a hard time with this one. My heart was yelling Andrew McCutchen, but my brain kept whispering Trout. They both play a ridiculous center field. They both hit for average and power. It really came down to the stolen bases. Mike Trout was simply the better all-around player this year. For a rookie to put a team on his shoulders, when Albert Pujols is on the team, says enough. For you sabermetric fans, Trout leads the league with a 10.1 WAR.
Right Field – Giancarlo Stanton
The player formerly known as Mike. This guy hits moon shots. I watched him at batting practice down at Citi Field in early August, and his upper deck blasts were jaw dropping. I would love to see how many homeruns this kid could hit in a season if he could stay healthy. Only three right fielders had a higher WAR than Stanton this year, and Jay Bruce may play on a better team, but Stanton is a better player.
Designated Hitter – Edwin Encarnacion
Who can argue with 40 HR, 120 RBI, and a .280 batting average from your DH position? ‘Nuff said.
Starting Pitcher – R.A. Dickey
Come on…you knew I was getting a New York Met on this team somewhere. Dickey has been one of the very few reasons Mets fans have had to smile all year. With 18 wins, 205 Ks, 2.67 ERA, and in the discussion for a Cy Young award – Dickey is the clear choice as the FPMASs starting pitcher. Now we gotta get Molina one of those crazy big catcher’s mitts for when Dickey throws his “Dancing Destroyer.”
Closer – Fernando Rodney
This guy is lights out and wears his hat cockily tilted to the side. Love it. With 43 saves, a ridiculously minuscule 0.66 ERA, and 68K in 68 innings pitched – I will be tapping my right arm as I walk out to the mound in the ninth inning to replace Dickey.
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So there it is, the first ever FirstPitchMitch All-Star Team. The baseball gods are happy with my choices, but what about the readers? Use the comment section below if you have any conflicting player choices you would like to share.
About the Author: Mitch Petanick
Mitch is currently an Editor and Minor League Analyst for Mets Merized Online. His baseball experience includes being a former All-Conference collegiate baseball player who had numerous professional tryouts, and he is currently a hitting instructor. He has been involved with the game of baseball for over 30 years now as a player, coach, and consultant. Mitch is also a former Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @FirstPitchMitch.
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