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The Second Annual Real All-Star Game

Publication Date: November 5, 2002

Career Decisions at 18, Oh My!

One of the more popular features I started last year was to select two major league all-star teams, one made up of players who played college baseball and one of U. S.-born players who went directly to the minors. This leaves out foreign-born players and a few odd cases like Mike Piazza, but it models pretty well the choices that a lot of players have to make upon high school graduation, so I think it's an exercise worth repeating. With the fiasco in Milwaukee this summer (insert one of the 868 Bud Selig jokes you've read since then here, please) and the continued erosion of the wall between the AL and the NL, feel free to start pressuring MLB to move to this format; I'm sure we'll get far with the idea. See last year's column for details on roster construction -- I'm going to stick with the same format, although I have better information now on a few guys like Jeter and Pujols that renders them ineligible.

College Players

Player           Position   Team           College              2002 OPS

Barry Bonds      OF         Giants         Arizona State        1.381
Lance Berkman    OF         Astros         Rice                 0.982
Pat Burrell      OF         Phillies       Miami, Florida       0.920
Luis Gonzalez    OF         Diamondbacks   South Alabama        0.896
Mark Kotsay      OF         Padres         Cal State Fullerton  0.810
Eric Hinske      3B         Blue Jays      Arkansas             0.845
N. Garciaparra   SS         Red Sox        Georgia Tech         0.880
David Eckstein   SS/2B      Angels         Florida              0.752
Jeff Kent        2B         Giants         California           0.933
Jason Giambi     1B/DH      Yankees        Long Beach State     1.034
John Olerud      1B         Mariners       Washington State     0.893
Rafael Palmeiro  1B/DH      Rangers        Mississippi State    0.962
Paul Lo Duca     C          Dodgers        Arizona State        0.731
Jason Varitek    C          Red Sox        Georgia Tech         0.724

Pitcher           Team           College             2002 ERA

Randy Johnson     Diamondbacks   Southern Cal        2.32
Barry Zito        A's            Southern Cal        2.75
Tim Hudson        A's            Auburn              2.98
Jarrod Washburn   Angels         Wisconsin-Oshkosh   3.15
Jamie Moyer       Mariners       St. Joseph's        3.32
Mark Mulder       A's            Michigan State      3.47
Randy Wolf        Phillies       Pepperdine          3.20
Paul Byrd         Royals         Louisiana State     3.90
Matt Morris       Cardinals      Seton Hall          3.42
Wade Miller       Astros         Alvernia            3.28
Kip Wells         Pirates        Baylor              3.58

Straight to the Minors

Player             Position   Team            2002 OPS

Brian Giles        OF         Pirates         1.072
Jim Edmonds        OF         Cardinals       0.981
Shawn Green        OF         Dodgers         0.944
Cliff Floyd        OF         Marlins et al   0.920
Torii Hunter       OF         Twins           0.859
Chipper Jones      3B         Braves          0.972
Alex Rodriguez     SS         Rangers         1.015
Ray Durham         2B         White Sox       0.825
Alex S. Gonzalez   SS         Cubs            0.737
Ryan Klesko        1B         Padres          0.925
Mike Sweeney       1B/DH      Royals          0.979
Richie Sexson      1B/DH      Brewers         0.867
Mike Lieberthal    C          Phillies        0.792
A. J. Pierzynski   C          Twins           0.773

Pitcher           Team           2002 ERA

Derek Lowe        Red Sox        2.58
Roy Halladay      Blue Jays      2.93
Greg Maddux       Braves         2.62
Tom Glavine       Braves         2.96
Kevin Millwood    Braves         3.24
A. J. Burnett     Marlins        3.30
Kenny Rogers      Rangers        3.84
Matt Clement      Cubs           3.60
Kerry Wood        Cubs           3.66
Jason Schmidt     Giants         3.45
Al Leiter         Mets           3.48

So, Who Wins?

Through no intent at all, I picked an odd time in history to start this last year. If you look at the offenses this year, they're almost evenly matched (Thome being ineligible due to junior college time I had missed causes that; he gets replaced by Sexton, a major dropoff), with one huge exception. Last year, I was unsure if Bonds had the greatest offensive season in history. I had assumed that I had seen a historical oddity (and I had, of course) and that I might never see another season like it. And I'll be darned if he didn't have a better year this year. If you look at the various runs-above-replacement type measures, even in this lineup, Bonds is going to be worth at least 60 games over a season more than the rest of these guys, who are the best that the world has to offer; that translates to around 5 or 6 wins. Combining that with the fair-sized edge on the pitching side, and I think the college guys win again. It's a short streak, but it's better than losing.

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Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> The Second Annual Real All-Star Game About the author, Boyd Nation