The votes are in and MLB All-Star starters have been chosen.  There are some surprises, some familiar names in the starting line-up and some guys starting that really may have gotten there because of what they have done in the past and not this year.  So, I decided to go through the line-ups, pitching staffs and rate on a scale of 1-10 whether those players deserve a spot in the Mid-Summer Classic.  Here’s my two cents…let’s play ball:
AL: Prince Fielder– (8) He hasn’t put up amazing numbers, but it’s Prince and you’re going to vote him in because A-Gon isn’t playing well this year.  He finds himself in a familiar place…just on the other team now.

Paul Konerko– (9) In all honesty, he should be the one starting for the AL, but Prince is a bigger name and bigger money.  He and Dunn might be the scariest 1-2 punch in baseball right now… and will be at the Mid-Summer Classic.  Thank God somebody did the right thing here.
NL: Joey Votto– (9) Votto is having a great year and deserves to start for the NL.  With Pujols gone to the AL now, he is by far the best 1B in the NL; although guys like Freddie Freeman, Allen Craig and a healthy Ryan Howard might have something to say about that before too long.

Bryan LaHair– (7) He started off on fire, but has tailed off recently.  He mainly platoons in Chicago, so his numbers might not be great, but he should represent the Cubs.  He’s put his time in and this will be a good thing for a guy like this to make it.
AL: Robinson Cano– (9) If Cano had gone to another team, he’d have been moved to 1B by now.  The power numbers this guy has been putting up over the last few years are incredible.  He definitely deserves to be the starter for the AL.
Ian Kinsler– (6) There’s really only one other choice to put as the reserve in KC and that would be Jason Kipnis who has numbers almost identical and higher in some areas, but doesn’t have the name that Kinsler has carved out for himself yet.  All in all, good choice.
NL: Dan Uggla- (3) There is no way that he needs to be starting, much less on the team.  I can give five NL 2Bs that have had a better season so far.  Aaron Hill should be starting with Jose Altuve as the back-up…at least someone got it half right.  Hill should be in the game.

Jose Altuve- (8) This rookie has come out burning up the diamond down in Houston.  He’s one of the only bright spots they have night in & night out.  I’m glad someone else saw that and added him to the team.
AL: Adrian Beltre– (8) You would be splitting hairs if you were saying who deserved the starting spot between Beltre and Miguel Cabrera.  Both have put up great numbers, both are very close in production and they are the top two options…but there’s another one making a name for himself.
Miguel Cabrera– (8) In Detroit, where the rest of the AL Central hasn’t rolled over and given up the division to the Tigers, Miguel is having another great year.  He is definitely an All-Star.
Mark Trumbo– (7) And here’s the guy making a name for himself…Trumbo has had to try to find a position to play with the arrival of Albert Pujols in LA.  Well, with his hitting, he’s found a position on the All-Star team.  He’s got great power numbers and this won’t be the last time you’ll see him on this list.
Pablo Sandoval– (6) NY should be ashamed of themselves.  You let the best player for one of your sports teams, someone that has put up crazy numbers for you and you let him get outvoted by a guy that has decent numbers?  Sandoval is not a perenial All-Star and one of, if not, the best overall at his position, Wright, is the reserve?  Sandoval probably deserves to be on the team, there’s no way he should be playing over David Wright…NO WAY!

David Wright– (10) He’s having one of the best years anyone has had…especially on a lack luster team (no offense Mets fans, but you don’t have a pretty looking team right now).  He deserves to start.
AL: Derek Jeter– (8) This guy is like fine wine…whether you hate the Yankees or love them, you have to respect DJ.  He’s hitting almost .300 and is looking like he did about 7-10 years ago.  He deserves it.
Elvis Andrus– (8) One of the best combinations of fielding and hitting at the shortstop position.  He’s one of the best overall in the league, is very deserving and probably makes Atlanta sick every year knowing that they gave him up…along with another Texas All-Star this year.
Asdrubal Cabrera– (8) All three of these guys are having great years and careers.  Cabrera who puts together highlight reel plays once a week or more, plus hits very well.  When he came into the league, he could flash the leather, but didn’t hit well.  He obviously improved on that and that’s why he’s an All-Star.
NL: Rafael Furcal– (7) He started out having a phenomenal year at the plate and has dropped off some as of late.  He’s still making great plays at the 6 position and I can see him deserving of making the team…just maybe not being the starter.
Starlin Castro– (8) He should probably be the starter.  If you want to split hairs, Castro has better numbers now…but didn’t about a month ago.  Both are excellent and Castro will be one to start the games for the next few years…unless our next guy has something to say about that.
Ian Desmond– (7) This kid is up & coming…and I like what he brings.  He can play the position, he hits well and will be a big star for the Nats for years to come.
AL: Josh Hamilton– (10) His average may have dropped a bit, but is there any more polarizing figure in baseball than Hambone right now?  I don’t think so.  His game is amazing, his skill is outstanding, his numbers are extraordinary…well done America.

Curtis Granderson– (6) I love me some Granderson, but the only thing he’s hitting right now are home runs.  He’s a guy that’s always been a top of the line-up guy and he’s not getting on base like a 1-2 hitter should be.  I don’t think he should be starting, but NY got him in and I can’t argue with 23 yard shots.

Jose Bautista– (7) He’s hitting .243, but he’s also got 27 homers…he’s exciting to watch and he’s got some star quality.  I think there’s other guys out there that should probably be on the team, but…he’s got 27 homers.  Nuff said.

Adam Jones– (8) He used to be the lone rep for the Orioles…meaning, “he’s the best thing we have to offer to represent us.”  He has turned into a ball player over the last three years and deserves to play.  He’s got the numbers and the game to be there.  Congrats.

Mike Trout– (10) Absolutely should be on the team! He’s 20 years old, taking the League by storm and right now is in MVP talks.  He’s playing like his teammate Albert Pujols did when he came into the League.  I’m glad he made it.
NL: Melky Cabrera– (9) Here’s another example of a guy that has had an exceptional year and definitely deserves the bid.  He might not have the name, but he’s had the game so far and I’m happy I voted for him and that he made it.

Carlos Beltran– (9) When Beltran is healthy and playing his “normal” game, he is always an All-Star.  He is one of the most talented players that I’ve ever seen.  He’s got amazing skills and we don’t always get to see them; whether because he’s injured or slumped.  He goes to Baseball Heaven, rejuvenates himself, is putting up great numbers, better than Albert did the last two, going on three, years.  Somehow, though, Cutch should still be starting in here somewhere.

Matt Kemp
– (7) The way he started, definitely, but he’s got injured and doesn’t even have enough games played to qualify, in my opinion.  It’s a nice gesture, but he doesn’t play.  So, I’m fine with him making it as long as someone plays for him.

Ryan Braun
– (8) After the Fed-Ex incident, I don’t know what to think of him.  I still think Kemp should’ve been the MVP last year, but Braun is still putting up numbers like he did last year without Prince and on a team that’s a lot worse.  He should be here.

Jay Bruce
– (6) He’s got decent numbers, he hits for power, but there’s other guys out there that I think should make it over him.

Carlos Gonzalez
– (9) He’s playing on a bad team and doing everything he can to win games while Tulo is injured.  He’s not starting because Colorado isn’t a contender.  Numbers-wise, he probably should be starting, but at least they got him on the team.  It would be a shame if he wasn’t.

Andrew McCutchen
– (10) I know he’s playing in the ‘Burgh, but c’mon people!!  He’s the best pure CF in the game, has five tools and is hitting .354 and he’s not starting?! The only thing that would be more of a crime of Cutch not starting would be that he’s not on the team.

Giancarlo Stanton
– (7) He’s had a rollercoaster year so far, but he hits the ball harder than anyone else and when he’s locked in, might be the scariest and most deadly hitter in the game.  He earned his spot on here.
AL: Mike Napoli– (5) He is a good player, but this year he shouldn’t be starting…or maybe even on the team.  I disagree with this one.

Joe Maurer
– (9) He’s making a good comeback.  He’s got good numbers and he’s still doing it without much help in the Land of Lakes.  Much respect to him…and his hair.

Matt Wieters
– (6) Wieters is a good backstop and is going to have a good career.  Pierz is having a better year and didn’t make it because he’s the type of player that you like to have on your team, but hate if he’s not…that’s why he’s not there.
NL: Buster Posey– (8) I’m glad to see him recover and putting up good numbers on a lack-luster offensive team.  He deserves to be there, but not before his counterparts on the bench.

Yadier Molina
– (10) I don’t think there’s any other catcher that’s better all-around than #4.  He hardly ever strikes out, hits the ball well for average, is getting better power numbers and no one, I mean NO ONE is better behind the plate.

Carlos Ruiz
– (10)  He should be starting.  He’s hitting the fool out of the ball and he’s one of the best defensive backstops in the game…behind #4 for StL.
AL: David Ortiz– (9) He has made it in the past because of his name…this is not one of those occasions.  He has had a good year.  Well deserving.

Adam Dunn
– (8) I like seeing guys make it that don’t always make it, but truly deserve it.  Dunn’s average has dropped as of late, but the guy is crushing the ball and has the second most walks of 1B in the Majors.  That’s not like him.  His plate appearances are usually a home run, double or strike out.  He’s seeing the ball better and doing more with it.  He deserves to be on the team.

Billy Butler
– (7) So far, he is the lone Royal rep in KC this year.  I think he’s deserved being put on the team…but I also think Broxton & Moustakas deserve it too.
Ryan Cook– (7) He’s on the team because Andrew Bailey & Mo are injured.  He’s not bad, but he is on a bad team. Congrats on your first and being the lone rep.
Matt Harrison– (8) Here’s a guy that pitches to contact and gets the job done…and done well.  He’s not overpowering, his K numbers aren’t impressive, but his ERA is low and his wins are high.  He’s having an All-Star year.
Felix Hernandez– (9) He’s playing on a team that can’t score runs to help his record out, but he’s one that players say is one of the hardest to hit.  If he was on a contender, he would have a ton more press.
Jim Johnson– (7) I like him.  He’s done his job and done it well.  I don’t like him as well as others, but Congrats anyway.
Joe Nathan– (9) You thought he was washed up, you thought he might not come back from injury and have his old stuff…you thought wrong.  We’re talking about Joe Nathan and he knows how to pitch.  He’s not scared at the end of the game and he knows how to close the door and turn out the lights.  Great choice.
Chris Perez– (8) The former Cardinal prospect for a closer, got dealt to Cleveland and they’re glad they got him.  His slider is sick, his control has improved and he’s now an All-Star closer.
David Price– (9) Here’s another guy that just goes out and can deal as well as anyone in the game.  He’s consistent and has turned into one of the best in the game.  He’s also having a great year, by the way.
Fernando Rodney– (9) He’s pitching like the rest of the Rays staff…tough.  He rejuvenated his career in Tampa and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be in KC.
C.C. Sabathia– (8) He’s been doing it for a while and will continue.  He’s the Yanks best pitcher by far and he is this year again.  If they’re going to win, he’s going to have to be healthy and carry the staff.
Chris Sale– (9) He’s got nasty stuff and I continue to hear players say that he’s another one that’s hard to hit.  ChiSox fans have to be ecstatic having this young star on their team.  They might have a chance to make a run at the World Series this year with this kid leading the way in the rotation.
Justin Verlander– (9) He might be the most dominant pitcher in the game now.  He doesn’t have a great record and his ERA is a little higher than normal, but he’s nasty and crazy good.  He’s a no-doubter for this team.
Jered Weaver– (10) He’s having another stellar year.  He has a great record (9-1), his ERA and WHIP are great and will continue to make this team as long as he does what he does.
C.J. Wilson– (8) He started the season out and everyone thought that LA overpaid for him…then he got on his hot streak and baseball guys think that LA has a chance to win it all with that rotation.
Matt Cain– (8) He’s a power pitcher and has stayed consistent.  You had to know that he was going to make the team after throwing the no-no a couple of weeks ago.  He deserves his spot.
Aroldis Chapman– (7) His ERA doesn’t look good, he’s blown three saves and has an 0-4 record…but he’s what everyone wants to see.  No one throws harder and everyone wants to see this guy against the big hard hitting lefties in the AL…for entertainment sake he should be here.
R.A. Dickey– (10) The best story in baseball and is controlling the most uncontrollable pitch in baseball to superior record, ERA, WHIP & K’s.  He should start the All-Star Game.
Gio Gonzalez– (8) He’s had a great first year in the NL.  Some guys have problems when they go from one league to another…this guy hasn’t.  He pitched well for Oakland last year and might be pitching better this year than last.
Cole Hamels– (8) With Philly injured everywhere, Cliffy can’t win a game and the offense can’t score runs, Hamels is bringing it every game he pitches.  He should be here and I’m glad to see him on the team.
Joel Hanrahan– (9) He’s blown two saves and converted 20 of them for a team that struggles to score runs everyday.  He’s one of the best closers in the NL.  He should be playing in this game for years to come.
Clayton Kershaw– (8) The reigning Cy Young award winner is having another fantastic year.  With all of the injuries on the offensive side of the diamond, he continues to deal and keep the score low.  He should be in KC.
Craig Kimbrel– (9) He doesn’t blow saves…he just doesn’t.  You can’t hit him and he’s got ice water in his veins.  Definitely needs to be here.
Lance Lynn– (7) He was looked at as being the set-up man earlier in the pre-season, but when Chris Carpenter went down, the Cards needed someone to step up and start.  He hopped into the rotation and was the only bright spot toward the beginning and has continued to deal throughout the season.
Wade Miley– (7) This rookie has burst onto the scene and done his best to carry his team in the NL West.  He’s one of the only bright spots in Phoenix right now.  He’s a great candidate to represent Arizona.
Jonathan Papelbon– (6) Because of his experience, you need him, but I don’t think he’s the best option for the All-Star Game…and I love this guy, but I’m not sugar-coating it.  No way Jonny Pap.
Stephen Strasburg– (9) The best power pitcher in the NL should be in KC without a doubt.  It’s not just because he’s highly publicized, but it’s for good reason.  He’s nasty and is an All-Star.
Huston Street– (8) Street is deserving of being here.  He’s on a bad team and he’s one of the best closers out there.  Don’t worry Huston…you won’t be wearing that SD jersey much longer after the Break.
AL: Encarnacion– Granted, this guy hasn’t done much in his career, but this is a career year for him and somebody needs to recognize it.  He’s batting .289/22 HR/55 RBI.  He should get in if someone gets injured, for sure.
Josh Reddick– Since being traded to Oakland, Reddick has been able to play everyday and show what he’s got.  He might not be putting up normal All-Star numbers, but his numbers are better than some of the guys that made it.  He’ll be there soon.
Mike Moustakas– This rookie has been under the radar, but has been the fire for this offense.  He has produced this season and it would be nice to see another Royal playing in KC this year.
Jason Hammel– He has great numbers and has done dealt since coming to Baltimore via Colorado.  I’m not saying that he deserves to be there over some of the other starters, but he should be in consideration if one can’t go.
Jake Peavy– I shouldn’t have to explain myself with this one.  This former Cy Young award winner has pitched brilliantly in Chicago this season and I DO think he should be there in front of a couple of these guys.
Jonathan Broxton– Remember this guy?  Yeah, he’s closing games in KC since Soria is out for the season and he’s only slamming the door every chance he gets…except one.  He should be in KC and hope someone does the right thing.
Jose Valverde– Really?  He’s not one of the closers?  He didn’t blow one save last year and has only blown one this year and that was the first game of the season.  It might be an adventure every time he goes out, but he takes care of business.  He should be there.
Chipper Jones– It’s Larry’s swan song, not to mention he’s also had a great year, and he doesn’t make it?  Come on, Kemp can’t play and a couple others might not make it.  Put Chipper on the team.
Bryce Harper– The most exciting young player in the NL and one of the most exciting in the game has put up good numbers and done everything right so far.  Yeah, he’ll make All-Star Games for the next decade, but he should start in KC.
David Freese– He’s come through for StL this season so far and his numbers show it.  It shouldn’t be just because of a Missouri thing, but he should be there before Sandoval.
Michael Bourne– He might be the best lead-off man in baseball.  He’s batting over .300 so far this season, has a little pop, he steals bases, plays a good CF and should be on the team.
Martin Prado– He is back to hitting well and setting the table for the big sticks in ATL.  He and Bourne may be the best 1-2 hitters in the NL.  Prado can play 2B, 3B & LF.  He should be considered.
Matt Holliday– He’s had a quietly productive year.  That’s probably why he didn’t make the team, but his numbers are better than other All-Stars and should’ve got the nod.
A.J. Burnett– My vote for Comeback Player of the Year, this guy has come back home to the NL and regained his old Florida Marlins form.  He’s 9-2/ 3.31 ERA/ 1.24 WHIP & 69 Ks.  I think he should be pitching in the All-Star game.
James McDonald– As much as Burnett has improved and brought to the Pirates, he may not be the best pitcher on his team.  McDonald looks brilliant when he’s on the hill.  He’s 7-3/2.44 ERA/ 0.98 WHIP/ 86 Ks.  One of these Pirates should be accompanying Cutch to KC.
    Honorable Mentions that I could put on the list: Johnny Cueto, Allen Craig, Ryan Dempster, Ryan Vogelsong, Johan Santana
    Some may agree with my assessment of the All-Star Teams, some may not.  That’s fine.  I just hope that you will at least see my point in not just voting, but voting for guys that deserve it.  Some guys may never have a chance to get there again, and we shouldn’t be the reason why they never make it.  Do the right thing and look at the numbers before you vote.  They’ll be glad you did.