I agree with my small-ball loving friend that the AL second base position is one of the weakest, only because Robinson Cano started off so cold, but the answer clearly is not Placido Polanco. Yes, he is hitting .337 on the year, but of his 92 hits, only 19 are for extra bases. Do you really want someone starting an All-Star game who hits a single almost 80% of the time that he does actually get a hit?
The answer to this question is clearly BJ Upton. Though currently limited by injuries, in his first 56 games (vs. Polanco’s 64) Upton is batting .320, with 9 home runs and 13 stolen bases. Let me rephrase: that is 9 home runs vs. Polanco’s 1 and 13 stolen bases vs. Polanco’s 2. Though Polanco does have 28 more hits (again, playing 8 extra games), his on base percentage is still 16 points lower than Upton’s and his slugging percentage is 124 points lower as well.
Defensively, Polanco absolutely gets the edge, as Upton has been playing out of position at second base for most of the season. Nevertheless, this is the same All-Star squad that will start David Ortiz at first base, so I can’t have Upton’s clear offensive accomplishments get diminished because of poor defensive statistics.
Placido Polanco an All-Star? Please. I’d rather have Brian Roberts (who also has more home runs, stolen bases, and a higher on base percentage).