If you're wondering how to vote for this year's MLB All Stars, here's how you should do it
This year, we're going to take all the guesswork out of it and tell you exactly who the most deserving players are for each position.
If you vote this way, you'll be able to sleep like a baby, knowing that you did the right thing. The voting ends on Thursday, so now is the time to get your ballots in. Click here to vote.
Here are the guys who truly deserve your vote:
1B: Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox
Konerko is having an incredible season so far. Right now, he's 2nd in the AL with a .337 batting average, and has been an MVP-caliber player for the White Sox up to this point. At age 36, he's surprising quite a few people. He currently leads all AL 1B in OPS by a full 100 points.
Honorable mention: Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers
2B: Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
Cano's name shouldn't surprise anyone in this slot. He's been one of the top 3 second basemen in baseball for a few years now, and he's having yet another fantastic year for the Yankees. He's hitting just over .300 and leads all AL 2B with 17 HR.
Honorable mention: Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
SS: Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers
He's slick with the glove, he's quick on the bases, and he fills the stat sheet in nearly every category. Andrus is the spark plug for a Rangers lineup that is one of the best we've seen in years.
Honorable mention: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
3B: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
He's trailing Adrian Beltre by 20 points in batting average, but the rest of his numbers put him over the top. He has a slight edge in OPS, and he also leads all AL 3B in doubles, HR and RBI.
Honorable mention: Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
C: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
He's not even having a great year by Joe Mauer standards, but he's still the best hitting catcher in the AL by a pretty solid margin. His .323 average is a whopping 40 points better than any other qualifying catcher in the AL.
Honorable mention: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Boston Red Sox
OF: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
Hamilton is having a season for the ages, and is in the top 5 in every Triple Crown category. If there's someone who can pull it off, it might be Hamilton.
OF: Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
You can't argue with the kind of season that Jones is having right now. He has 19 HR and 40 RBI, leading an Orioles team that has been sneaky good.
OF: Mike Trout, LA Angels of Anaheim
He's young, but he's showing the kind of promise that we haven't seen from anyone in a long time. He can hit for average, and is currently leading the AL in batting average. He also has the league lead in stolen bases, with 21. Throw in 7 HR, 29 RBI and a .931 OPS, and you're talking about a kid who can flat out rake. He'll be fun to watch for years.
Honorable mention: Alejandro De Aza, Chicago White Sox
Honorable mention: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
Honorable mention: JJ Reddick, Oakland Athletics
DH: David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
Ortiz is one of two players in the AL (along with Hamilton) with an OPS over 1. He's hitting almost as well as he was back in the mid-2000s, when he and Manny Ramirez (cough, cough) were one of the most lethal duos in the game.
Honorable mention: Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
1B: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Votto is once again having an MVP caliber year. He leads all of baseball with a ridiculous 1.126 OPS, leads the league in doubles with 30, is second to David Wright with a .355 batting average, and has 3 stolen bases to boot. This guy is an absolute beast.
Honorable mention: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
2B: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
Altuve has come out of nowhere and been one of the best 2B in baseball. He's one of the top 2 second basemen in the NL in: doubles, triples, OPS, hits, steals, and runs.
Honorable mention: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds
SS: Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs
The Cubs may be terrible, but Castro can absolutely rake. He's the only NL shortstop with an average of .300 or better, he has stolen 16 bases, and he's 2nd in all of baseball with 7 triples thus far.
Honorable mention: Jed Lowrie, Houston Astros
3B: David Wright, New York Mets
After a down year in 2011, Wright is back with a vengeance. His OPS is 1.012, and his .358 average leads all of baseball. His 34 extra base hits are tied with Aramis Ramirez for the most among NL 3B.
Honorable mention: David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals
C: Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies
Ruiz is hitting .354 right now, and his .983 OPS is the best in all of baseball, 100 points higher than Mauer, who is the closest to him. Ruiz also has 17 doubles, 9 HR and 39 RBI.
Honorable mention: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
Disclaimer: The National League outfielders are the most stacked out of any position in baseball. There are at least 3 or 4 more guys who could be honorable mentions, and would be starters in the AL.
OF: Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
Once again, CarGo is having a hell of a season. He's on pace for 38 HR, 119 RBI, and almost 200 hits. And he's doing it all in a lineup that has been missing fellow superstar Troy Tulowitzki.
OF: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
As I mentioned in my Power Rankings yesterday, McCutchen leads the Pirates in every significant offensive statistic imaginable. Even with no real protection around him in the Pittsburgh lineup, he's having a ridiculous year, and is absolutely worthy of All Star recognition.
OF: Melky Cabrera, San Francisco Giants
The Melkman is one of the best bargains in baseball this year. He's the only player in baseball with more than 100 hits right now, and he's showing off some speed with 7 triples and 10 steals.
Honorable mention: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
Honorable mention: Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
Honorable mention: Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals
Those are my picks for the 2012 All Star starters. Feel free to let me know if you disagree, and who you think got snubbed.