Welcome to the unveiling of the first ever American and National Division All Stars, based off of ESPN’s Player Rater scoring system. The scoring system is based off of our scoring format, and I went right off of that. I simply selected the highest score for each division by position, so file any complaints with those clowns in Bristol. If someone does complain to Bristol, be sure to mention they value complete games too much. CUZ THEY SO DO. Also, 3 players had scores that would have made them All Stars, but they did not make the squad. Mike Trout and Trea Turner are DL’d and THUS forfeit their spots, and poor Josh Reddick isn’t even OWNED as of press time. So he naturally was snubbed. Stats as of 7/5. Without further adieu, your Backyard All Stars.
The Backyard All Stars
C: JT Realmuto, MIA, TRT
36 R, 14 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 32 RBI, 4 SB, .353 OBP, 5.48 PR
FOR THOSE OF YOU KEEPING SCORE, JBJ has a 5.68. Higher than JT, but the 47th ranked OF. Excellent all around first half for the man that keeps it real, especially those potent 3 triples from the slow footed position.
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, ARI, RRF
72 R, 20 2B, 2 3B, 19 HR, 66 RBI, 13 SB, .433 OBP, 16.85 PR
Goldy is indeed worth his weight in gold when you look at his numbers. Utter dominance across the board, and another 30 HR/20 SB/+.400 OBP is very much in sight. One of many ESPN PR All Star appearances to come for this man.
2B: Daniel Murphy, WAS, XYZ
55 R, 26 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 60 RBI, 1 SB, .395 OBP, 11.19 PR
Ohhh it just keeps getting better with this guy. Seemingly improving on career highs annually, Murphy has been a steady source of pop and production for the X-Rayz and Nats. The doubles really stick out in our format.
SS: Elvis Andrus, TEX, XYZ
51 R, 20 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 50 RBI, 20 SB, .347 OBP, 11.68 PR
And to think this guy was just SITTING there when I finally got on the clock in the 8th round of the 2016 draft. Maybe 9th, WHO EVEN KNOWS. But I digress, as Elvis has exceeded even my wildest dreams. The double digit homers before the break is very sexy from a shortstop that has also already reached 20 steals.
3B: Jose Ramirez, CLE, XYZ
59 R, 27 2B, 5 3B, 15 HR, 42 RBI, 9 SB, .379 OBP, 14.62 PR
Fun fact: Jose technically is the best 2B, 3B, and LF eligible in not only the American Division but allllll of The Backyard. I settled on his current 2017 position and plugged him in here at 3rd. This stat stuffing son of a gun has been the spark-plug for another X-Rayz June run of dominance, and is becoming one of the best players in our coveted fantasy format.
LF: Eric Thames, MIL, XYZ
55 R, 14 2B, 1 3B, 23 HR, 43 RBI, 2 SB, .375 OBP, 8.45 PR
And to think, this guy was just SITTING there when I finally got on the clock with the 20th pick in the 2017 Player Selection Process. While he has fallen off hard from his early season explosion, it’s pretty obvious Thames has returned to America a much different player. He was the pace car in April for ding dongs and has shown streaky pop.
CF: Charlie Blackmon, COL, T
67 R, 17 2B, 10 3B, 18 HR, 59 RBI, 6 SB, .365 OBP, 18.35 PR
Your top rated hitter folks. 10 triples will do that for ya in The Backyard, and the other 6 categories ain’t too shabby eitha. Nevermind the massive fall off in steals, Chuck Nazty is an bonafide slugger mashing away in Coors with no reason to slow down anytime soon.
RF: Aaron Judge, NYY, T
74 R, 13 2B, 3 3B, 29 HR, 65 RBI, 6 SB, .449 OBP, 17.25 PR
And your top rated rookie (second rated hitter overall) folks. The Topes lineup has been downright lethal this season, as the judge has dropped the gavel on many a victim in 2017. The face of Astoria for years to come.
2B/SS: Dee Gordon, MIA, XYZ
47 R, 13 2B, 4 3B, 18 RBI, 29 SB, .335 OBP, 10.17 PR
Meet your only ESPNPR All Star without a long ball. Ideally he never hits another one again after that Jose one. Moving on, hey speed kills still apparently. Dee’s 4 triples and 29 steals are enough to move the needle most weeks, and the OBP and runs are nothing to cough at either. Who neeeeeeeds PEDs?
1B/3B: Jake Lamb, ARI, BBS
52 R, 18 2B, 3 3B, 18 HR, 65 RBI, 4 SB, .376 OBP, 11.69 PR
A Silver Slug turned into a Golden Goose, Lamb (too many creatures to keep up here) has hit his stride in 2017. RBIs have flowed from this man, as well as the XBHs. He should be considered locked into the Dbacks and Slugs lineup for the foreseeable future.
OF: George Springer, HOU, RRF
70 R, 19 2B, 25 HR, 55 RBI, 2 SB, .374 OBP, 10.32 PR
After making his money as a Titan, Springer became a Renegade in season and the Force is now reaping the benefits. A superb slugger from the right field spot, he is one of many valuable Astros in The Backyard and is a steadying bat in the lineup for Rojo.
UTIL: Billy Hamilton, CIN, XYZ
51 R, 9 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 22 RBI, 34 SB, .295 OBP, 10.89 PR
Outside of the usual lack of homers (he hasn’t been shutout at least) and weak OBP, Billy has been a decent to spectacular producer in the other 5 categories. His lead off numbers especially (51 runs, 5 triples, 34 steals) are week altering stats.
UTIL: Carlos Correa, HOU, TRT
57 R, 17 2B, 1 3B, 17 HR, 58 RBI, .397 OBP, 9.31 PR
Correa continues to do his thing in Houston, and the arrow is still pointing up. Being in the heart of that Astros lineup is another juicy feature of this young stud.
RP: Greg Holland, COL, T
43 K, 1 W, 28 SV, 1.39 ERA, 6.78 PR
Another year, another reclamation project in the bullpen for Mikey T. This one paid off tremendously, as Holland has been basically lights out in the high altitude. His strikeouts have returned as well, making Holland a very valuable 2017 asset.
RP: Chris Devenski, HOU, RRF
72 K, 3 SV, 11 HD, 6 W, 2.09, 6.08 PR
WOW. Was stunned when I saw this, and after seeing he was a Renegade since Opening Day, there is no doubt the man earned his spot. DON’T FORGET Devenski is SP eligible with those glistening numbers. Decisions in all shapes and forms combined with that sexy 12.54 K per 9 and tidy 2.09 ERA make this Astro a SURE FIRE All Star in our format.
SP: Max Scherzer, WAS, BBS
163 K, 15 QS, 10 W, 2 CG, 1.94 ERA, 18.48 PR
Yeah Max is the man. Hard to stop, hard to top, Max has elite K levels, can go 9 any time he takes the mound, and plays in a weak division behind a strong lineup. What is there not to love?THE FACT THAT THE WEIRDO HAS 2 DIFFERENT COLORED EYES…the eyes are the window to the soul. Rememba that people.
SP: Chris Sale, BOS, TRT
166 K, 15 QS, 11 W, 1 CG, 2.61 ERA, 15.05 PR
Downright filth from Sale thus far in Boston. That K total is enough to slant any week in the Titans favor, and is usually overkill with their stellar rotation. Will his elbow ever explode?
SP: Corey Kluber, CLE, RRF
115 K, 10 QS, 7 W, 2 CG, 2.85 ERA, 12.98 PR
The KluBot continues to dominate batters, and rounds out a sensational set of aces in the American Division. 2 CGs offset the middling 7 win total, and don’t forget the filthy Ks he has racked up.
SP: Clayton Kershaw, LAD, TRT
146 K, 15 QS, 13 W, 2.19 ERA, 12.88 PR
No CGs yet from Kershaw in 2017, but everything else is falling right in line. Insane K rate to go with plenty of wins and a razor thin ERA. Same ole Clayton.
SP: Ivan Nova, PIT, BBS
65 K, 12 QS, 8 W, 2 CG, 3.24 ERA, 12.10 PR
Former Pinstripe Pharmhand turned Bucco Ball Buster Ivan Nova has enjoyed quite the career in Pittsburgh. The Slugs have owned him since 4/17, and for good reason. He’s been quality for most of the time and has mixed in 2 ever so clutch CGs, and that’s apparently enough to get him on this list.
P: Brandon Kintzler, MIN, T
24 K, 2 W, 22 SV, 2.41 ERA, 4.75 PR
ONLY FITTING the league’s biggest Twins fan owns the Twins closer. In a weak-ish American Division bullpen, Kintzler makes his way onto the squad not for his putrid K rate, but for his excellent work in the other closer categories. Also because the Player Rater rated him as the 3rd best reliever in the American Division so THERE.
P: Jason Vargas, KC, XYZ
78 K, 12 QS, 12 W, 1 CG, 2.62 ERA, 11.81 PR
WELP. Jason Vargas has indeed maintained his early season success. Outside of a slacking strikeout total, his other numbers are ace level. The lovely synchronization involved with his 12 wins and 12 quality starts is fascinating, and we are all happy for this TJ renaissance story.
National All Stars
C: Buster Posey, SF, JF16
35 R, 17 2B, 10 HR, 35 RBI, 1 SB, .413 OBP, 5.25 PR
Another year, another quality season for Buster. Despite the Giants falling off a cliff in 2017, Posey has maintained his usual top Catcher pace thus far.
1B: Joey Votto, CIN, MOONZ
63 R, 19 2B, 1 3B, 24 HR, 61 RBI, 3 SB, .426, 13.27 PR
The Big Red Machine in Cincy is pretty big and red and machine-like so far in 2017, and the machine-like Votto is the catalyst. Another all around spectacular performance from The Walking Red.
2B: Jose Altuve, HOU, LTBS
57 R, 25 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 45 RBI, 17 SB, .405 OBP, 14.20 PR
New ownership in Lacey wisely identified Altuve as the face of the franchise, and Altuve continued on his torrid tear through major league pitching. A 5 tool stud with 7 category contributions, this should be one of many ESPNPR All Star selections for Lacey’s finest.
SS: Xander Bogaerts, BOS, RCBD
50 R, 20 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 41 RBI, 9 SB, .361 OBP, 9.97 PR
X Gon Give It To Ya, and he has been in fact doing that for much of the 2017 season. Despite the low HR total, his impressive 41 RBIs rounds out a very productive 6 category season thus far.
3B: Nolan Arenado, COL, MOONZ
52 R, 27 2B, 5 3B, 15 HR, 63 RBI, 2 SB, .349 OBP, 12.71 PR
Nolan being Nolan out there in Manchester. That XBH dinner spread has been feeding many a Moonz win so far in 2017, and there’s noooo reason to see this trend stopping any decade soon.
LF: Corey Dickerson, TB, WOOD
60 R, 22 2B, 3 3B, 17 HR, 41 RBI, 2 SB, .363 OBP, 10.29 PR
The official face of the rebuilding Morning Wood (his nickname is C-Dick for the love of christ), Dickerson has shown he wasn’t simply a Coors Baby and is flourishing in his second year under the Trop Big Top. The power and OBP are both back to quality levels.
CF: Andrew McCutchen, PIT, MOONZ
50 R, 16 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 49 RBI, 6 SB, .369 OBP, 9.34 PR
While he has clearly begin to erode already from his peak (and dreadheaded might I add) years, McCutch aka McMoonz has done his fair share in 2017. MVP he is not, but ESPN PR All Star he indeed is. LOOK AT THAT 7 CATEGORY DIVERSITY.
RF: Bryce Harper, WAS, RCBD
66 R, 20 2B, 20 HR, 64 RBI, 2 SB, .431 OBP, 11.99 PR
More Bryce being Bryce for the Bad Dudes in 2017. 40 XBHs to go along with that pristine .431 on base percentage is just another day at the office for the best Show hair in the majors.
1B/3B: Travis Shaw, MIL, LTBS
46 R, 21 2B, 1 3B, 18 HR, 61 RBI, 7 SB, .362 OBP, 9.85 PR
After a sensational first third of the season last year, Shaw came crashing down to earth in a bloody heap for Boston. He’s hit his stride as a member of the Brew Crew, and Dochney wisely scooped the man up during his first week of ownership. A very productive and diverse first half for the corner infielder.
2B/SS: Corey Seager, LAD, JF16
57 R, 22 2B, 13 HR, 42 RBI, 3 SB, .397 OBP, 8.27 PR
The younger Seager has been the most reliable member of the Fishing Club infield thus far in 2017. Plenty of XBHs and runs from this budding superstar, who is grabbing one of what should be many appearances on this list in years to come.
OF: Mookie Betts, BOS, JF16
58 R, 28 2B, 15 HR, 51 RBI, 15 SB, .357 OBP, 11.50 PR
Mookie has PLUMMETED down the rankings this year, winning the crown in 2016 only to fall to 20th in 2017. Having said that, Mookie is still an all around superb Backyard player that should dominate for years to come.
UTIL: Anthony Rizzo, CHI, JF16
51 R, 16 2B, 1 3B, 19 HR, 54 RBI, 5 SB, .394 OBP, 10.16 PR
Nice little utility slot for Rizzo this season, who continues to slug while in Chicago. The steals are always an added caveat for a 1B that has 40 home run power.
UTIL: Kris Bryant, CHI, JF16
53 R, 17 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 33 RBI, 6 SB, .394 OBP, 9.69 PR
After last year’s MVP season, 2017 has been considered a disappointment for the ALL STAR-less Bryant. LOOK AT THAT RBI TOTAL. With that in mind, his 3B/LF eligibility and all around talent still makes him one of the better players in the National Division. APPARENTLY.
RP: Kenley Jansen, LAD, MOONZ
4 W, 20 SV, 1 HD, 56 K, 1.01 ERA, 6.86 PR
YES Kenley managed to snake a hold in this magical season of his. I do believe they trotted him out in a tight spot in the 8th and ran his pitch count up. But enough about that, LOOK AT THAT 56:2 ratio. Which reached an eye popping and lovely 50:0 at one point.
RP: Corey Knebel, MIL, LTBS
71 K, 13 SV, 11 HD, 1.11 ERA, 6.60 PR
FILTHY. Downright filthy. Knebel was an effective setup guy early in the season for Milwaukee (and nobody in The Backyard). Knebel was then scooped up in the infamous 4/20 Columbine Shooting OH I mean player add/drop in Lacey, that netted 2 ESPNPR All Stars. As a BDSlide, Knebel has 13 saves and 7 holds to go with 61 Ks in 33.1 IP.
SP: Ervin Santana, MIN, WOOD
91 K, 12 QS, 10 W, 4 CG, 2.99 ERA, 19.97 PR
The ESPN Player Rater LOVES triples and complete games. Which is why Ervin surpassed Max Scherzer on 7/5 to lead the league in PR score following his CG L. While his ERA slowly continues to rise, there is no denying his value in The Backyard scoring format. Too bad he’s playing for a 2-10-1 team.
SP: Marcus Stroman, TOR, RCBD
87 K, 11 QS, 8 W, 2 CG, 3.42 ERA, 12.29 PR
Who saw this coming?Likely Lobman, who has been high on Stroman for quite some time. While a touch below his usual K rate, the ERA is down and he entered the season with 1 career CG, only to see him drop 2 thus far in 2017.
SP: Zack Grienke, ARI, WOOD
124 K, 9 QS, 10 W, 1 CG, 3.05 ERA, 11.16 PR
The Dbacks get a nice return on their investment (I guess?), seeing Grienke return back to a K thrower with a near sub-3 ERA. His arrow is as hard to project as any other player in baseball at this point, but there is no denying his 2017 filth so far.
SP: Carlos Martinez, STL, WOOD
124 K, 12 QS, 6 W, 1 CG, 3.15 ERA, 10.39 PR
The crown jewel of a once ace laden rotation in Q-Tip City, C-Mart has filthy stuff (evidenced by his 124 Ks in 111.1 IP). But a limited 2017 Cardinals squad and his own inconsistencies have hurt his win total.
SP: Jacob deGrom, NYM, LTBS
125 K, 11 QS, 8 W, 1 CG, 3.55 ERA, 10.30 PR
The official hair of the Lackey Backdoorz, deGrom is back to dominance after a brief hiccup. The ERA is up a bit from his previous years, but the Ks have spiked as well. With his Mets tie-in, Jake has to be one of the more coveted players by Lacey ownership.
P: Andrew Miller, CLE, JF16
65 K, 3 W, 2 SV, 17 HD, 1.49 ERA, 6.03 PR
JF16 paid a pretty penny for this hybrid bullpen arm, and while one can wonder if there were cheaper guys available, no one can deny the man’s dominance. The elite K total and ERA means the mix and match style of his usage isn’ttttt really an issue.
P: Alex Wood, LAD, MOONZ
97 K, 7 QS, 10 W, 1 HD, 1.67 ERA, 8.22 PR
Another season, another tantalizing performance by Alex Wood. HOWEVER, this one hasn’t been decimated by injuries yet. And look at those numbas, that ERA is downright sexy. Not to mention that 10.82 K per 9, the Moonz calling card.