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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Seeing Stars, Part II

Here's some quick hits on why I picked some of these players. These are guys who aren't in the top two or three in voting, or in the case of pitchers, have never been All-Stars before. To see all of the Just Off-Camera All-Star picks, check out yesterday's column.

Bobby Abreu - one of two active players with a .300 career average who has never made an All-Star team, plus he's second in the NL in runs, third in walks, and fourth in steals and OBP.

Jeromy Burnitz - all-around solid hitter is batting .288 with 16 HR, 47 RBI, and 41 runs.

Royce Clayton - NL shortstop is a woefully thin position, but he's eighth in the majors with 20 doubles.

Matt Clement - fourth in the majors with 90 strikeouts behind three other All-Stars.

Carl Crawford - faster than your father running from the cops, he leads the majors with 27 steals and is third in the AL with six triples.

Jermaine Dye - 12 HR and 45 runs means he's back on track after last year's injury.

Johnny Estrada - .335 average is eighth in the NL, plus he's baseball's biggest anti-drug advocate. The Braves didn't let Millwood go for nothing.

Steve Finley - 17 HR is a bright spot on the D'backs' offense.

Carlos Guillen - 49 runs scored is fourth in the AL; seven triples is second.

Jose Guillen - 46 RBI is seventh in the AL, rounding out a potent Angel outfield.

Livan Hernandez - leads the majors in innings pitched, plus the Expos have to send somebody.

Travis Hafner - second in the AL with 21 doubles and fourth in the AL with a .420 OBP.

Matt Lawton - fifth in the majors with 50 runs scored, 10th with 80 hits.

Mark Loretta - Dave Revsine's frat brother from Northwestern is one of the most underrated players in the game.

Victor Martinez - tied with Pudge for fourth in AL RBI, but not getting the same love.

Melvin Mora - a .357 average and he's not even in the top five in balloting.

David Ortiz - 54 RBI and an AL-leading 24 doubles says he should be starting, but he's not on the ballot.

Scott Podsednik - the best rookie hitter in the NL last year leads the majors with 27 steals.

Juan Rincon - better WHIP and more strikeouts than Joe Nathan, and tied for the team lead in wins with seven as a middle reliever. One middle man should go every season.

Frank Thomas - leading the AL with 17 HR.

Jim Thome - leads the majors with 20 HR, but somehow not even in the top three in the voting, plus his .688 slugging pct. is second in the majors.

Juan Uribe - .312 average, nine HR, but not on the ballot.

Javier Vazquez - seven wins and a WHIP under 1.00 shows he didn't need much time to adjust to the AL.

Craig Wilson - eighth in the majors with a .614 slugging pct and ninth in OPS.

Jack Wilson - the other Wilson "brother" is fourth in the majors with 87 hits, and leads the NL with five triples.

Michael Young - also fourth in the majors with 87 hits, and filling in for A-Rod at short quite nicely.

Carlos Zambrano - 2.32 ERA helps Cubs through Prior and Wood's injuries.

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