If computers picked the All-Star team, Gritty Gutty Brett Gardner would be in the starting outfield.
Gardner has used his incredible speed to catch everything that lofts into left field, and his fine eye and bat control has brought him a team leading .395 OBP. Gardner's OPS+ is 125, Tex's is 115. If you had that prediction in the office poll, I suspect you'll be heading to the Caribbean for the All-Star break.
For you prospect mavens, the Future Game is a must watch (the last two years I've enjoyed it as much as the ASG). Fangraphs gives you the run down on the US team's lineup.
The Yankee highlight is, of course, Austin Romine. He's hitting like a top prospect (.281/.361/.423) with about a 2:1 K:BB ratio. Fangraphs raises a flag over Romine's CS% (18%), but the component numbers suggest to me that the defensive picture is far from cut and dry. Romine has allowed 50 SB in 60 games this season. Compared with last season, where he allowed 87 SB in 80 games, or to 2008 when it was 78 SB in 54 games.
To me, this means that the best base runners in the league continue to take advantage of Romine, but that more marginal runners are staying at first. I haven't seen Romine in person yet, but I've heard too many good things about his defense to let one number worry me.
On a related note, anybody want to go see a game in Trenton? Shoot me an email using the link at the bottom of the page.
Given a single choice from every available player in the American League, would I have chosen Swisher? No. In order, Felix, Weaver, Youkilis (I'd have played him at 3B), Alex Rios, and Ben Zobrist.
But Swisher makes 8 Yankees on the All-Star team. That's the most for the Yankees since Joe Torre picked the All-Star squad in 2004. The Yanks' stars then: Giambi, Arod and Jeter were starters; Javy Vazquez, Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera pitched; and Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield came off the bench.