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First half All-Stars

By By Matthew Nascone
I guess it is time for the most pointless use of paper if you are not a baseball fan, the Matt Nascone Fantasy Baseball All-Stars. This is the column where I pick the first-half studs in the world of fantasy baseball to commemorate the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
This is a team spanning both the American and National leagues.
And the distinction of No. 1 catcher goes to Russell Martin with his .306 average, nine home runs, 55 RBIs, 47 runs scored and 16 stolen bases. This is far and above any other catcher and he is rated as the No. 1 catcher in Yahoo! Fantasy for that reason.
Over at first base we have the slugging numbers of Prince Fielder. He has hit 27 home runs, knocked in 66 runners and scored 59 runs with a .278 average. He is leading NL first basemen in every aforementioned category besides average.
The second sacker award would have to go to Chase Utley. He has 15 home runs, 66 RBIs, 59 runs scored, six stolen bases and an average of .322.
The third baseman is a cinch, Alex Rodriguez. I picked up this guy last year hoping he would produce like he has this year and he flopped. That goes to show that I am cursed when it comes to the world of fantasy baseball. Anyways, A-Rod has posted a .322 average with 28 home runs, 80 RBIs, 74 runs scored and nine stolen bases so far this season.
Shortstop has been argued on national TV as a toss up, but I think Jose Reyes with his 57 runs scored, 34 RBIs, 40 stolen bases and .316 average locks it down without a doubt.
In the outfield we have Magglio Ordonez, Grady Sizemore and Ichiro Suzuki. I might catch a lot of heat for these selections, but Ordonez has been an RBI machine for the Detroit Tigers with 13 home runs, 68 RBIs, 65 runs scored and a .369 average.
Sizemore has combined speed with power for a good first half so far with a .283 average, 14 dingers, 45 RBIs, 68 runs scored and 23 stolen bases. And Ichiro has done his normal thing of hit for average and score runs with a .367 average, 56 runs scored and 23 stolen bases.
For the pitchers I will select the Top 3 starting pitchers and Top 3 relief pitchers. As far as starters go, Dan Haren, Jake Peavy and Johan Santana have been the Top 3 so far.
Haren has grabbed 10 wins with 98 strikeouts, a 2.20 earned run average and a 0.98 walks plus hits per innings pitched.
Peavy has struck out 119 batters and grabbed nine wins with a 2.09 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Santana is second behind only Erik Bedard with 120 Ks and he has posted a 2.76 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.
The best relievers so far are, J.J. Putz, Takashi Saito and Trevor Hoffman. Putz has posted 23 saves, a 0.92 ERA and a 0.59 WHIP with 43 Ks. Saito has nailed down 22 games with a 1.34 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and 42 Ks. And the old-timer, Hoffman, has shut the door 24 times with a 1.97 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 19 Ks.
Matthew Nascone is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.