The AL Central is composed of the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and Minnesota Twins. If I was going to build a line-up consisting of AL Central players ONLY, here is my starting 9, DH, set-up man, and closer. Consider this the AL Central fantasy draft. I take in consideration the ability to play this year and only this year and I am not trying to build for the future.
Leading off and playing Center Field: Austin Jackson (Detroit)– He batted .294 with 34 doubles his rookie season and is off to a scorching start this year.
Batting 2nd and playing Right Field: Brennan Boesch (Detroit)– His power is up there with Miguel and Prince and batting in front of those two, he will see his fair share of fastballs.
Playing 3B and batting 3rd: Miguel Cabrera (Detroit)– This year shapes up for him to win the AL MVP giving the fact Prince is protecting him (in real life, not just this lineup). Strong arguments support he IS the best hitter in baseball.
Batting clean-up and playing 1B: Prince Fielder (Detroit)– Couple options at 1B but Prince needs to be the everyday guy. Butler and Morneau are possibilities, but Prince will out-homer them. Grand Slams? Yes please.
The DH and batting 5th: Billy Butler (Kansas City)– Tough to choose between Billy and Morneau but taking in consideration age and current health (Justin’s injury last year), Billy is the guy I want hitting everyday.
Batting 6th and catching: Joe Mauer (Minnesota)– Joe’s track record is better than recent AL All-Star, Alex Avila. I have to take the experience here and also not be such a homer.
Playing Shortstop and batting 7th: Asdrubal Cabrera (Cleveland)– He rakes and makes at least one ridiculous play a week. I would take him purely because of his glove, he also happens to be a stellar hitter.
Batting 8th and playing Left Field: Alex Gordon (Kansas City)– Alex shows pop in the bat, speed on the bases, and a strong arm from the outfield.
Playing 2B and batting 9th: Gordon Beckham (Chicago)– Good young player that shows life on his bat from time to time and a consistent glove. Also not much to choose from at this position so he wins by default.
Starting Pitcher: Justin Verlander (Detroit)– AL MVP. CY Young. Need I say more?
RP: Vinnie Pestano (Cleveland)– Bullpen mafia O.G.. Lights out and is a trusty arm in the 8th inning.
Closer: Jose Valverde (Detroit)– Papa Grande didn’t blow a save all year in 2011, but blew his first chance in 2012. Due to injury to Soria, he is the only real candidate. At least he’s consistent.
Honorable mention: Ricky Vaughn (Cleveland) and Jack Parkman (Chicago)
How did I do? What are your thoughts? Who would you plug in where?
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