On-Base Perception

Newsday's new all-encompassing baseball blog on the Yankees, Mets, MLB and more from around the sport.

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These guys should be All-Stars

Mariano Rivera of the Yankees pitches in the

Mariano Rivera of the Yankees pitches in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (April 4, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Each week leading up to the All-Star Game at Citi Field we’ll compile our list of who SHOULD start the game based on current performance (click the player's name to see their full stats). Feel free to leave a comment and tell us what you think:

American League

1B – Chris Davis, Orioles

Davis is no one-week wonder. After a torrid start to the season, he’s kept up the hot hitting, leading the league in home runs.

2B – Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox

“The laser show” is at it again, batting .330 with a .417 on-base percentage.

SS – Jhonny Peralta, Tigers

Peralta leads all qualified shortstops in Wins Above Replacement, home runs, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He’s batting .323 with four home runs.

3B – Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

The reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown winner is giving one heck of an encore, batting a league-high .391 with a league-best 55 RBIs and 14 home runs. No one has won the Triple Crown in back-to-back years. Could Cabrera do it?

C – Carlos Santana, Indians

With his team in first place, Santana is putting up the best numbers of his career, hitting .299 with a .420 OBP and eight home runs.

LF – Mike Trout, Angels

The 2012 Rookie of the Year and MVP-runner up, Trout started slow but is back to elite production, hitting .302 with a .378 OBP, 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

CF – Lorenzo Cain, Royals

The Royals got Cain in the trade that sent Zack Greinke to the Brewers, and he’s finally paying dividends. Cain is batting .303 with a .373 OBP and has six stolen bases.

RF – Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

A healthy Bautista is a dangerous Bautista. He has a .394 OBP with 11 home runs for a squad that’s mostly struggled to click as a lineup.

SP – Clay Buchholz, Red Sox

Buchholz leads all AL starters in WAR, ERA and is tied for second with seven wins – against no losses. And he’s done it all while pitching in the fearsome AL East.

CL – Mariano Rivera, Yankees

Because…well…honestly, who else? The greatest closer in the history of the game is going out on top. Rivera is 17-for-17 in save attempts and has a 1.47 ERA at the age of 43.

National League

1B – Joey Votto, Reds

Nearly half the time Votto steps to the plate, he’s going to end up on base. He has an outrageous .484 OBP and is leading all NLers with a 2.7 WAR.

2B – Matt Carpenter, Cardinals

Carpenter is hitting .300 with a .387 OBP and is playing a solid second base. Not bad for a guy who learned the position just this offseason.

SS – Jean Segura, Brewers

Segura was acquired in the trade that sent Zack Greinke to the Angels – the second player traded for Greinke to make this list – and is looking like a steal, batting .351 with seven home runs and 14 stolen bases.

3B - David Wright, Mets

Not only is the game being played at his house, Wright is, of course, one of the top offensive third baseman in the league.

C – Buster Posey, Giants

The reigning NL MVP is leading a strong-hitting San Francisco squad with a .302 average, .395 OBP and six home runs.

LF – Justin Upton, Braves

Upton’s 14 home runs are the most in the league and his .387 OBP is fifth among outfielders.

CF – Carlos Gomez, Brewers

The ex-Met (at least there’ll be one more at the game) turned Milwaukee star is hitting .325 with six home runs, nine stolen bases and has the second-highest WAR in the NL, 2.6.

RF – Shin-Soo Choo, Reds

Choo has always been an on-base machine, but he’s taken it to new levels this season, with a .449 OBP. Nine home runs and a .300 average to boot are pretty good numbers, too.

SP – Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

Kershaw leads baseball with a 1.35 ERA and 73.1 innings for the disappointing Dodgers. He’s thrown two complete games, one of which was a shutout.

CL – Jason Grilli, Pirates

Grilli got the closer job when Pittsburgh traded Joel Hanrahan to Boston during the offseason. Two months into the season, Hanrahan is hurt and Grilli leads all relievers with 19 saves. He has a 1.25 ERA and has struck out 34 hitters in 21.2 innings, walking only five.

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