In the past, major league All-Star voting has turned out to be more of a popularity contest than a reflection of true performance. If it were based on performance, though, who deserves to represent the Red Sox at this year’s All-Star Game at Angel Stadium?
Kevin Youkilis has proved over the course of his career that he can be productive with his bat, as well as in the field. This season, he has 12 home runs and 38 RBIs while batting at a solid .320 clip.
David Ortiz, who struggled out of the gates for the second consecutive season, had a monster May and is making his case to be an AL All-Star. He is tied with Youkilis for the team lead in home runs, and has driven in 33 runs of his own.
Dustin Pedroia started off strong, but has tailed off lately, watching his average dip to .262. With a less-than-deep second-base core in the AL, though, a case can always be made for him.
Adrian Beltre has been better than advertised on offense. He ranks fifth in the AL in hitting (.333), seventh in RBIs (40) and has seven home runs. He's also been playing a solid hot corner after a rocky start.
Victor Martinez has been red-hot and could make a push to make the team as a catcher. Since May 1, he is hitting .340 (34-for-100) with 11 doubles, six home runs and 22 RBIs.
As for pitching, the Red Sox keep getting better and better and have two guys in particular to thank.
Jon Lester is 7-2 with a 2.73 ERA and has 81 strikeouts, good for a 9.23 K/9 ratio.
Clay Buchholz also has blossomed this season, starting off at 8-3 with a 2.39 ERA. Buchholz just pitched his second complete-game shutout of his career on Friday night.
So who should head to Los Angeles and represent the Red Sox at this year’s All-Star Game festivities?
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