After two sub-par, injury riddled seasons, Mark Teixeira appears to finally be back.
His 17 home runs are 4th most in the American League, while his 47 RBI’s are first. He’s also top five in walks, XBH, OPS, and slugging, and top 20 in OBP, total bases, and doubles. His .259 average is also solid, and his fielding has been elite as usual. He has just one error in 494 total innings at first, and his near perfect .998 fielding percentage is second among first basemen.
At first glance, those look like All-Star worthy numbers. The issue is, first base has been a stacked position in the American League this season.
Teixeira currently sits at fourth in the All-Star Game voting standings, behind Eric Hosmer (3.5 million votes), Miguel Cabrera (2.9 million), and Prince Fielder (1.08 million). Teixeira is then fourth with 700,000 votes, followed closely by Albert Pujols who has 587,000 votes.
If the voting holds, Teixeira may be able to just squeeze in. The American League carried four first basemen for 2014 All-Star Game, but only two in the previous two contests. They may opt to carry four again this season due to just how deep the position has been this season. Here’s a breakdown of the five players who are vying for a spot. The number in parenthesis is their rank amongst first basemen.
Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals: .298 BA (3), 7 HR (12), 36 RBI (6), .370 OBP (3), .472 SLG (6), 103 TB (6)
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: .333 BA (2), 13 HR (3), 44 RBI (2), .439 OBP (1), .575 SLG (1), 126 TB (2)
Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers: .347 BA (1), 10 HR (8), 43 RBI (3), .407 OBP (2), .525 SLG (4), 127 TB (1)
Mark Teixeria, New York Yankees: .259 BA (8), 17 HR (2), 47 RBI (1), .365 OBP (5), .570 SLG (2), 114 TB (4)
Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels: .271 BA (5), 18 HR (1), 33 RBI (9), .320 OBP (9), .546 SLG (3), 125 TB (3)
Miguel Cabrera – 1.8
Prince Fielder – 3.2
Mark Teixeira – 3.5
Albert Pujols – 5
Eric Hosmer – 6
Despite Hosmer running away with the voting, he may be the weakest out of these five candidates. He’s still putting up a very good season, but he probably hasn’t been the best American League first baseman. The Kansas City fan base has been incredible in voting this year, with seven of their players currently leading their position in voting.
With Hosmer basically a lock due to his astronomical amount of votes, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder also are almost guaranteed a spot in. The two of them are top two in the American League in BA and OBP, as well as top five in TB.
That would then most likely leave Teixeira and Pujols to the “Final Vote” that determines the final play on each roster. Every year five players from each league are put into a fan vote, where one player from each league is then added to the roster. Both Teixeira and Pujols, especially Teixeira, have proven they deserve a spot on that and expect them to be on it.
Also, in the event a player gets hurt leading up to the game, Teixeira could very well be a replacement.
While Mark Teixeira will probably have a difficult time landing on the All-Star roster from the start, he very well should make the team later on, whether it be through the final vote or through an injury replacement.