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Monday, October 28, 2002

The 2002 Baseball Primer All-Stars

Our picks.


Let’s begin with the starters for the American League and see how they compare with the club that played for Team Primer in the Summer:


Pitcher - Pedro Martinez (BOS)

Catcher - Jorge Posada (NYY)

First Base - Jim Thome (CLE)

Second Base - Alfonso Soriano (NYY)

Third Base - Eric Chavez (OAK)

Short Stop - Alex Rodriguez (TEX)

Left Field - Manny Ramirez (BOS)

Center Field - Bernie Williams (NYY)

Right Field - Magglio Ordonez (CWS)

Designated Hitter - Jason Giambi (NYY)


What is immediately striking about this team is that six of the ten positions are held by Yankees and Red Sox, while none are from the AL champion Angels. The fourth Yankee, as you can see above, is DH Giambi, who lost out to Thome for the starting First Base job. (Because the Mid-Summer contest was played in an NL park, we declined to vote for a Designated Hitter in July.)


Except for Bernie Williams, who was left off of one ballot, all of the AL starters were unanimous picks to make our full-season club. However, only Posada, Soriano, and Rodriguez were unquestioned selections as starters at their positions. Thome and Ramirez were also picked by all of our voters to start, but Thome won two votes to be the DH, while Ramirez was three times picked to be our Designated Hitter.


These three American Leaguers were starters on our summer team, but are now reserves on the full-season club:


Pitcher - Derek Lowe (BOS)

Center Field - Torii Hunter (MIN)

Right Field - Ichiro Suzuki (SEA)


For comparison’s sake, here is how each player matches up in post-All Star statistics with the man who took his job:


Lowe 9-4, 2.83 ERA, 101.7 IP, 53 K, 20 BB

Martinez 9-2, 1.61 ERA, 83.7 IP, 98 K, 17 BB

Hunter .263 AVG, .315 OBP, .464 SLG, .779 OPS

Williams .358 AVG, .418 OBP, .510 SLG, .928 OPS

Suzuki .280 AVG, .336 OBP, .383 SLG, .719 OPS

Ordonez .338 AVG, .395 OBP, .662 SLG, 1.057 OPS

While we chose 21 position players and 9 pitchers for the mid-summer ballclub, the full-season ratio was 22 and 8. Hence, with 10 starters, we elected only 11 position players as reserves for this ballclub. Here they are:


Catcher - *Ivan Rodriguez (TEX)

First Base - *Rafael Palmeiro (TEX)

First Base - Mike Sweeney (KCR)

Middle Infield - Miguel Tejada (OAK)

Middle Infield - Nomar Garciaparra (BOS)

Third Base - Eric Hinske (TOR)

Outfield - *Garret Anderson (ANA)

Outfield - Torii Hunter (MIN)

Outfield - *Tim Salmon (ANA)

Outfield - *Carlos Beltran (KCR)

Outfield - Ichiro Suzuki (SEA)


The five players above with an asterisk before their names failed to make the July team. They took spots formerly held by these six:


Catcher - A.J. Pierzynski (MIN)

First Base - Paul Konerko (CWS)

First Base - John Olerud (SEA)

Middle Infield - Derek Jeter (NYY)

Middle Infield - Omar Vizquel CLE)

Outfield - Johnny Damon (BOS)


Not surprisingly, the six fallen stars were all weaker in the second half than they were leading up to the mid-summer game. Here is how the two groups compare in post-All Star stats:


Pierzynski .276 AVG, .302 OBP, .357 SLG, .659 OPS

I. Rodriguez .327 AVG, .363 OBP, .580 SLG, .943 OPS

Konerko .270 AVG, .332 OBP, .402 SLG, .734 OPS

Olerud .283 AVG, .386 OBP, .417 SLG, .803 OPS

Palmeiro .281 AVG, .401 OBP, .585 SLG, .986 OPS

Jeter .278 AVG, .358 OBP, .380 SLG, .738 OPS

Vizquel .264 AVG, .308 OBP, .365 SLG, .673 OPS

Damon .260 AVG, .336 OBP, .432 SLG, .768 OPS

Anderson .323 AVG, .354 OBP, .569 SLG, .923 OPS

Salmon .292 AVG, .392 OBP, .486 SLG, .878 OPS

Beltran .294 AVG, .366 OBP, .545 SLG, .911 OPS

As noted above, we chose one additional reserve pitcher for this team. The following is our full-season bullpen:


Derek Lowe (BOS)

Roy Halladay (TOR)

Barry Zito (OAK)

*Tim Hudson (OAK)

*Jarrod Washburn (ANA)

JC Romero (MIN)

*Eddie Guardado (MIN)

*Troy Percival (ANA)

*Arthur Rhodes (SEA)


What stands out among this group of pitchers is how many come from the Western Division. All four of our natural relief pitchers have that distinction, as well as three of the five natural starters. The five with asterisks before their names were not mid-season Primer all-stars.


Four hurlers who made the summertime team missed out at season’s end:


SP - Jeff Weaver (DET/NYY)

SP - Jamie Moyer (SEA)

RP - Kazuhiro Sasaki (SEA)

RP - Mariano Rivera (NYY)


While the Full-Season Primer All-Stars were picked for their entire perfomances, and not just their second half numbers, it looks like the rising stars overtook their fallen counterparts in the homestretch. These are the relevant numbers achieved after the Mid-Summer Classic:


Weaver 4-3, 3.68 ERA, 71.0 IP, 52 K, 14 BB

Moyer 5-4, 3.46 ERA, 101.3 IP, 72 K, 24 BB

Hudson 9-2, 2.42 ERA, 107.7 IP, 64 K, 16 BB

Washburn 9-4, 3.08 ERA 99.3 IP, 54 K, 28 BB

Rhodes 1.95 ERA, 37.0 IP, 43 K, 6 BB

Sasaki 3.90 ERA, 27.7 IP, 16/20 Saves, 28 K, 11 BB

Rivera 5.28 ERA, 15.3 IP, 7/9 Saves, 11 K, 3 BB

Guardado 3.04 ERA, 26.7 IP, 19/22 Saves, 26 K, 8 BB

Percival 1.61 ERA, 28.0 IP, 19/21 Saves, 34 K, 10 BB

In total, 20 of the 30 American League Mid-Season Primer All-Stars made the full-season club. Only three AL organizations - Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and Detroit - went unrepresented on our team. Let’s move on to the Senior Circuit.


These nine were voted in as your 2002 NL starters by the authors of Baseball Primer:


Pitcher - Randy Johnson (ARI)

Catcher - Mike Piazza (NYM)

First Base - Todd Helton (COL)

Second Base - Jeff Kent (SFG)

Third Base - Scott Rolen (PHI/STL)

Short Stop - Edgar Renteria (STL)

Left Field - Barry Bonds (SFG)

Center Field - Jim Edmonds (STL)

Right Field - Vladimir Guerrero (MON)


While no one team dominates the NL squad like the Yankees do the AL, St. Louis and San Francisco contribute five of the nine starters on the Senior Circuit club.


In contrast with the American League, this group of starters features only one player, Jeff Kent, who received a starting vote from every Primer voter. (For no stated reason, Barry Bonds was left off of one ballot entirely!)


However, all of the other starters, save Edmonds and Bonds, were unanimous picks to be on the NL team.


Five of our summertime starters lost their spots:

Pitcher - Tom Glavine (ATL)

Second Base - Junior Spivey (ARI)

Third Base - Mike Lowell (FLA)

Shortstop - Jose Hernandez (MIL)

Right Field - Sammy Sosa (CHC)


The most dramatic descent among this group was made by Lowell, who not only lost his starting job, but failed to make the full-season Primer team entirely. Here is a comparison of how the Summer Stars fared versus the Full-Season Fellows after the All-Star game:


Glavine 7-7, 3.93 ERA, 94.0 IP, 52 K, 43 BB

Johnson 12-2, 2.15 ERA, 121.3 IP, 163 K, 36 BB

Spivey .274 AVG, .363 OBP, .400 SLG, .763 OPS

Kent .304 AVG, .363 OBP, .626 SLG, .989 OPS

Lowell .232 AVG, .308 OBP, .398 SLG, .706 OPS

Rolen .279 AVG, .366 OBP, .555 SLG, .921 OPS

Hernandez .289 AVG, .346 OBP, .473 SLG, .819 OPS, 1/3 SB

Renteria .327 AVG, .382 OBP, .468 SLG, .850 OPS, 12/14 SB

Sosa .264 AVG, .375 OBP, .536 SLG, .911 OPS

Guerrero .349 AVG, .431 OBP, .641 SLG, 1.072 OPS

In the summer, we selected 14 position players and 7 pitchers as reserves. However, for the full-season, our composition was 12 and 9 respectively. These are our 12 NL position player back-ups:


Catcher - *Mike Lieberthal (PHI)

First Base - *Jeff Bagwell (HOU)

1B/3B/LF - *Albert Pujols (STL)

Middle Infield - Jose Vidro (MON)

Middle Infield - Jose Hernandez (MIL)

Middle Infield - Junior Spivey (ARI)

Third Base - *Edgardo Alfonzo (NYM)

Outfield - Brian Giles (PIT)

Outfield - Lance Berkman (HOU)

Outfield - Sammy Sosa (CHC)

Outfield - *Chipper Jones (ATL)

Outfield - Shawn Green (LAD)


Each of the five players above with an asterisk before his name failed to make the summertime squad. Because there were two more position players on the July bench than the full-season bench, those five knocked seven players off the team:


Catcher - Paul Lo Duca (LAD)

First Base - Ryan Klesko (SDP)

First Base - Richie Sexson (MIL)

Middle Infield - Luis Castillo (FLA)

Middle Infield - Jimmy Rollins (PHI)

Outfield - Adam Dunn (CIN)

Outfield - Cliff Floyd (FLA/MON/BOS)


While changing teams twice and leagues once seems to have impaired the all-star foundation of Floyd, the others were comparitively hurt by their second half numbers. Here is how the 7 fallen stars compared after the break with the men who took the Primer spotlight:


Lo Duca .233 AVG, .268 OBP, .341 SLG, .609 OPS

Lieberthal .300 AVG, .377 OBP, .491 SLG, .868 OPS

Klesko .298 AVG, .382 OBP, .539 SLG, .921 OPS

Sexson .275 AVG, .377 OBP, .470 SLG, .847 OPS

Bagwell .314 AVG, .428 OBP, .549 SLG, .977 OPS

Pujols .335 AVG, .395 OBP, .541 SLG, .936 OPS

Castillo .260 AVG, .321 OBP, .316 SLG, .637 OPS

Rollins .225 AVG, .297 OBP, .332 SLG, .629 OPS

Alfonzo .314 AVG, .369 OBP, .552 SLG, .921 OPS

Dunn .190 AVG, .339 OBP, .353 SLG, .692 OPS

Floyd .290 AVG, .348 OBP, .527 SLG, .875 OPS

Jones .353 AVG, .483 OBP, .647 SLG, 1.130 OPS

As noted before, we have eight reserve pitchers instead of six on our full-season Primer bench:


*Roy Oswalt (HOU)

Curt Schilling (ARI)

Tom Glavine (ATL)

*Greg Maddux (ATL)

Odalis Perez (LAD)

Eric Gagne (LAD)

*Octavio Dotel (HOU)

*John Smoltz (ATL)

*Mike Remlinger (ATL)


It’s hard not to notice the dominant position of the Braves among the Primer pitchers. Not only do they make up half of the back-ups, but three more Atlanta hurlers - Kevin Millwood, Chris Hammond, and Darren Holmes - received votes. Beyond that, Dodger All-Star Odalis Perez was a Brave until the 2002 season.


The five pitchers above with asterisks before their names are full-season Primer all-stars who were not selected back in July. They replace these three pitchers who fell from our graces after the summer game:


SP - Vicente Padilla (PHI)

RP - Robb Nen (SFG)

RP - Scott Stewart (MON)


Here is a comparison of their respective post-All Star stats:

Padilla 4-6, 3.60 ERA, 85.0 IP, 43 K, 20 BB

Oswalt 10-4, 2.63 ERA, 109.3 IP, 95 K, 30 BB

Maddux 8-4, 2.42 ERA, 96.7 IP, 63 K, 19 BB

Nen 2.94 ERA, 33.7 IP, 19/24 Saves, 41 K, 14 BB

Smoltz 1.42 ERA, 31.7 IP, 24/25 Saves, 31 K, 8 BB

Stewart 5.91 ERA, 21.3 IP, 21 K, 10 BB

Dotel 1.05 ERA, 43.0 IP, 51 K, 9 BB

Remlinger 2.84 ERA, 25.3 IP, 23 K, 13 BB

Out of the 30 NL players selected as full-season Primer All-Stars, 19 were picked for the summer squad. And of the 16 teams that compete in the National League, only three - Cincinnati, Florida, and San Diego - failed to field a full-season Primer All-Star.


The following players received votes as full-seaon Primer All-Stars. The first number listed after each name is how many votes the player received; the second number (if any) represents votes as a starter.



Pedro Martinez 10-7

Derek Lowe 10-1

Roy Halladay 10

Barry Zito 9-2

Tim Hudson 8

Eddie Guardado 5

Troy Percival 5

Arthur Rhodes 5

JC Romero 5

Jarrod Washburn 5

Johan Santana 3

Tim Wakefield 3

Chad Bradford 2

Buddy Groom 2

Billy Koch 2

Mark Mulder 2

Mark Buehrle 1

Bartolo Colon 1

Tony Fiore 1

Casey Fossum 1

LaTroy Hawkins 1

Jorge Julio 1

Steve Karsay 1

Jamie Moyer 1

Ben Weber 1


Jorge Posada 10-10

Ivan Rodriguez 9

AJ Pierzynski 2

First Base

Jim Thome 10-10(a)

Jason Giambi 10-4(b)

Rafael Palmeiro 7

Mike Sweeney 6

John Olerud 4

Carlos Delgado 2

Paul Konerko 1

(a) Eight votes for Thome were to start at First Base; two votes were to start at Designated Hitter.

(b) Two votes for Giambi were to start at DH; two others were to start at First Base.

Second Base

Alfonso Soriano 10-10

Adam Kennedy 3

Ray Durham 3

Bret Boone 1

Third Base

Eric Chavez 10-9

Eric Hinske 8-1

Troy Glaus 2

Robin Ventura 1


Alex Rodriguez 10-10

Miguel Tejada 9

Nomar Garciaparra 9

Derek Jeter 3

Left Field

Manny Ramirez 10-10(c)

(c) Six votes for Ramirez were to start in Left Field; three votes were to start at DH; and one vote was to start in

Right Field

Magglio Ordonez 10-8

Center Field

Bernie Williams 9-8


Garret Anderson 9-4(d)

Torii Hunter 7-1(e)

Tim Salmon 6

Ichiro Suzuki 5

Cliff Floyd 3-2(f)

Jacque Jones 1

Carlos Lee 1

Randy Winn 1

(d) Two votes for Anderson were to start in Left Field; one vote was to start in Right Field; one vote was to start in Center Field.

(e) Hunter won one vote to start in Center Field.

(f) Floyd received two votes to start in Left Field.

Designated Hitter

Ellis Burks 3-2

Aubrey Huff 1

Edgar Martinez 1-1



Randy Johnson 10-9

Roy Oswalt 10

Eric Gagne 10

Curt Schilling 9-1

Octavio Dotel 7

Tom Glavine 7

Greg Maddux 6

Odalis Perez 6

Chris Hammond 5

Mike Remlinger 5

John Smoltz 5

Bartolo Colon 3

Kevin Millwood 3

Matt Morris 3

Robb Nen 3

Jason Isringhausen 2

Mike Williams 2

AJ Burnett 1

Darren Holmes 1

B-H Kim 1

Scott Williamson 1


Mike Piazza 10-9

Mike Lieberthal 6

Paul Lo Duca 3-1

Benito Santiago 2

Mike Redmond 1

First Base

Todd Helton 10-7

Jeff Bagwell 8-1

Albert Pujols 7-2(g)

Ryan Klesko 2-1

Derrek Lee 1

Richie Sexson 1

(g) Pujols drew 1 vote to start at First Base; and one other vote to start at Third Base.

Second Base

Jeff Kent 10-10

Jose Vidro 10

Junior Spivey 7

Mark Bellhorn 3


Edgar Renteria 10-7

Jose Hernandez 7-3

Alex Cora 2

Rich Aurilia 1

Rafael Furcal 1

Third Base

Scott Rolen 10-8

Edgardo Alfonzo 5-1

Mike Lowell 4

Left Field

Barry Bonds 9-9

Center Field

Jim Edmonds 9-5 (h)

Right Field

Vladimir Guerrero 10-9


Brian Giles 10-4(h)

Lance Berkman 9-2

Sammy Sosa 9-1

Chipper Jones 8

Shawn Green 5

Bobby Abreu 4

Larry Walker 2

Andruw Jones 1

(h) Edmonds received 5 votes to start in Center Field, while Giles took 4. For that reason, Edmonds is the starting CF, and Giles is on the bench.


Rich Rifkin Posted: October 28, 2002 at 05:00 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: October 29, 2002 at 12:59 AM (#606963)
I'm trying to figure out how a corner outfielder who slugged .425 and was 31/46 in stolen base tries (and led the league in CS!) merited a vote, much less made the reserve squad.

I speak of course of the Kasugai Clouter, Ichiro Suzuki.

Harder for me to argue with the rest, though.
   2. Greg Luzinski's #1 fan (Chris M.) Posted: October 29, 2002 at 12:59 AM (#606964)
How in the world does Randy Wolf not even get a vote for the second half of the season? Just on his numbers alone he should merit consideration (2.10 ERA and allowed just 78 hits over 111.7 innings. Beyond the numbers, he was the only reliable starter the Phillies had after June and consistently delivered quality starts. Otherwise, I have no major disagreement with either team.
   3. Greg Luzinski's #1 fan (Chris M.) Posted: October 29, 2002 at 12:59 AM (#606965)
How in the world does Randy Wolf not even get a vote for the second half of the season? Just on his numbers alone he should merit consideration (2.10 ERA and allowed just 78 hits over 111.7 innings. Beyond the numbers, he was the only reliable starter the Phillies had after June and consistently delivered quality starts. Otherwise, I have no major disagreement with either team.
   4. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 29, 2002 at 12:59 AM (#606967)
This vote was based on *full-season* performance, not 1st half/2nd half performance. Randy Wolf performed very well in the second half, to be sure, but his full-season performance landed him just eighth in the NL in ERA, behind Elmer Dessens and Tomo Ohka (who didn't get votes either) as well as five guys who did make the team, and he wasn't all that far ahead of Schilling and Burnett, both of whom probably jump ahead of him on DIPS ERA. I find it difficult to justify a vote for Wolf under those circumstances.

As for Torii - he's been declining defensively as his offense has picked up, and right now I'd rank him as just a good defensive CF. There are also some termites in his offensive foundation; his road OPS was just .761, and his second-half performance (.263/.316/.464) was almost right in line with his career totals (.271/.317/.478). Right now, if I had to make a judgment, my judgment would be that this season was a fluke, and that he'll revert to a high-700s OPS next year. (He also just turned 27, for what that's worth.)

-- MWE
   5. MattB Posted: October 29, 2002 at 12:59 AM (#606970)
I don't think Randy Wolf's numbers shout first "half/second half split" as much as the shout "outlier April."

Now, I understand that you can't just throw out a full month of stats, but there is extrinsic evidence here. Wolf had missed the first few weeks of the season with tendinitis and was not throwing 100% his first few games. Once he hit his stride, his ERA (excluding April) was 2.82, good enough for third in the NL.

Uninterrupted consistency has value, one would think, over players like Ohka and Dessens who were consistently not as good as Wolf for the majority of the year.
   6. Marc Posted: October 30, 2002 at 12:59 AM (#606977)
As a Twins fan, I love Torii Hunter. But his offensive performance in the second half was not All-Star caliber. The hitter you saw in the post-season is indeed the real Torii Hunter until he proves otherwise. Yes, his entire 2002 season has to be accounted for in these all-star picks, and they were. He made the team as a reserve. Based on the second half alone, he doesn't even do that.

Thx for the recognition for Every Day Eddie and especially J.C. They and the rest of the bullpen were as responsible for the Twins' success collectively at least as Hunter was.

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