1B Chris Davis. Easiest choice on the ballot?
2B Jason Kipnis. Power/speed combo edges Cano.
3B Miguel Cabrera. Honourable mentions to Machado, Beltre, Donaldson and Seager.
SS Jed Lowrie. Not a great deal to choose from, but good to see Lowrie healthy.
OF Mike Trout. Enough said.
OF Adam Jones. Great year, big RBI numbers.
OF Nelson Cruz. Big HR/RBI stats plus better average than other candidates here. Almost went Alex Rios and considered a write-in for Trumbo.
DH Edwin Encarnacion. So last year wasn’t a fluke!
P Scherzer. I thought it might be a Tiger, but it’s not Verlander! King Felix, Buchholz and Moore candidates here too, as is Colon.
C. Joe Mauer. Brilliantly consistent at the plate, solid behind it.
1B. Chris Davis. A great story and an easy choice with big names like Fielder and Pujols failing to shine so far this season.
2B. Jason Kipnis. Pedroia has been a catalyst for the Red Sox and Cano has an excellent track record, but Kipnis just gets the nod from me.
3B. Miguel Cabrera. The most impressive position on the ballot (add Evan Longoria, current injury aside,Â to Markâ€™s list above too) topped by the best hitter around.
SS. Jed Lowrie. No stand-out candidate so Iâ€™ll take a slight â€˜homerâ€™ pick and go for the Aâ€™s infielder who has already proved to be a shrewd offseason signing.
OF. Mike Trout. Not a star in the making, a star right now.
OF. Jose Bautista. Hasnâ€™t put up jaw-dropping traditional stats but is having another very good season to go alongside outstanding power in 2010, 2011 and (when healthy) 2012.
OF. Jacoby Ellsbury. The All-Star Game is a showcase and Ellsbury will add excitement with his speed. Lack of power shouldnâ€™t obscure his impressive contribution to Bostonâ€™s first half.
P. Scherzer. Has come on leaps and bounds over the last year or so and knows how important a good start may be for the AL after his teammate Justin Verlander decided to light up the radar gun last year and played a part in Detroit not having home-field advantage in the World Series.
C Yadier Molina. Close between him and Posey, but that big average is impressive.
1B Paul Goldschmidt. Possible NL MVP?
2B Brandon Phillips. Matt Carpenter has been outstanding, but Phillips has been even better.
3B David Wright. This was pretty easy.
SS Jean Segura. Almost went Ian Desmond, but Segura has really impressed me when I’ve seen him play.
OF Jay Bruce. Big year with bat and glove doesn’t seem to be getting attention it deserves.
OF Carlos Gonzalez. Tough to ignore strong numbers across the board.
OF Andrew McCutchen. Could have gone Beltran, Brown, Upton, Cuddyer or Marte here, but I’ve like Cutch for a long time.
P Matt Harvey. You could make a case for Wainwright, Zimmermann, Corbin, Lee and Kershaw. I’m sure they’ll all be there.
C. Yadier Molina. Tough to choose between him and Posey but the potential battle of arm versus speed against Mike Trout (possibly Kipnis and Ellsbury) would be a treat to watch.
1B. Joey Votto. Difficult to separate him and Goldschmidt, so Iâ€™ll go with the guy with the longer track record of performing at this level.
2B. Brandon Phillips. Matt Carpenter can consider himself unlucky, but Phillips has had a good first half and has the flashy fielding and personality made for an All-Star Game.
3B. David Wright. The best third baseman in the Senior Circuit so far this season, an impressive track record and a home town hero for the Citi Field crowd.
SS. Ian Desmond. No established star to pick here so Iâ€™ll go with Desmondâ€™s power.
OF. Carlos Gonzalez. A brilliant first half and not simply a Coors Field mirage as heâ€™s marginally hit better on the road than at home.
OF. Andrew McCutchen. The Pirates deserve to be represented on the starting roster and thereâ€™s no better candidate than one of the best all-around talents in the game today.
OF. Carlos Beltran. Jay Bruce, Shin-Soo Choo and Domonic Brown were three of the other candidates I considered, but I eventually decided to go for Beltran. Another strong season in a very good career.
P. Matt Harvey. Despite Adam Wainwrightâ€™s equally impressive first half, the only way Harvey doesnâ€™t start here is if his starting rotation schedule for the Mets gets in the way. A superb talent, Citi Field will be absolutely electric if Harvey starts at home in the Mid-Summer Classic.