MLB

MLB's All-April Team, Position by Position

Karl BuscheckContributor IIIMay 1, 2014

MLB's All-April Team, Position by Position

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    From Troy Tulowitzki to Johnny Cueto to the record-setting Jose Abreu, there are a lot of players competing for spots on MLB's all-April team. 

    In order to fit as many standouts as possible on the squad, I had to get a little creative. First base, in particular, was a ridiculously crowded spot. The team includes one player at each position and an honorable mention, as well. In a select few cases, there was so much competition that there are actually multiple runners-up. 

    The roster is heavy on National League players and Colorado Rockies, specifically. Now, let's take a look at MLB's all-April team.

Catcher

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    The Starter

    With a .338/.370/.554 slash line, Matt Wieters is on his way to earning his third All-Star selection. The switch-hitter has also added four doubles, four home runs and 15 RBI in his first 19 contests for the Baltimore Orioles. 

     

    On the Bench

    Yadier Molina is off to a monster start for the St. Louis Cardinals. The backstop is hitting .350/.377/.540 with seven doubles. Devin Mesoraco is currently on the DL, but in 13 games he's hit a video-game-like .468/.509/.787. That works out to a 1.297 OPS.

     

First Base

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    Jason Wise/Getty Images

    The Starter

    Adrian Gonzalez leads the entire National League with eight home runs, and the veteran has also connected on nine doubles. After a month, Gonzalez has posted a slash line of .317/.377/.644.

     

    On the Bench

    Like catcher, first base is loaded with incredible hitters. Justin Morneau leads all first basemen with a .343 average and has already totaled 15 extra-base hits, including six home runs. Meanwhile, Freddie Freeman is hitting .320/.395/.570 with seven doubles and six home runs. 

Second Base

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    Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

    The Starter

    Chase Utley has been sensational in the opening month of 2014.

    The Philadelphia Phillies' star leads all second basemen in average (.355), OBP (.408), slugging percentage (.570) and OPS (.978). The 35-year-old also owns a share of the MLB lead with 11 doubles.

     

    On the Bench

    Dee Gordon has enjoyed a breakout performance in the month of April. The 26-year-old leads the big leagues with 13 steals and has posted a .344/.375/.478 slash line in his first 24 contests. 

Third Base

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    Pat Sullivan

    The Starter

    Josh Donaldson is having a big April. 

    The 28-year-old leads all third basemen in home runs (seven), RBI (22) and is second in slugging percentage (.533). The Oakland Athletics' star is also tied for second in all of baseball with 17 extra-base hits. 

     

    On the Bench

    In 27 games, Juan Uribe has clubbed eight doubles and connected on four home runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Trevor Plouffe of the Minnesota Twins can't be ignored, either. The 27-year-old leads all third basemen in doubles (11) and is second in OPS (.887). 

Shortstop

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Starter

    Troy Tulowitzki hasn't just been the best shortstop in baseball, he's been the best all-around position player. 

    The 29-year-old is hitting .366 and leads MLB in OBP (.477), slugging percentage (.727) and OPS (1.205). In the field, he's also incredibly valuable. According to Baseball Info Solutions' Defensive Runs Saved on Baseball-Reference.com, Tulowitzki has already been worth 10 runs above average.

     

    On the Bench

    With a .351/.375/.535 slash line, Alexei Ramirez is off to the best start of his career with the Chicago White Sox. The shortstop also set a new club mark with 40 hits in the month of April, per Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago.

Left Field

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    Byline Withheld/Associated Press

    The Starter

    Justin Upton is hitting for power and average in the opening month of the 2014 season. The 26-year-old owns a .326 average and leads all left fielders in home runs (eight), slugging percentage (.641) and OPS (1.041). 

     

    On the Bench

    Melky Cabrera has enjoyed a record-setting month for the Toronto Blue Jays. The left fielder is batting .342/.368/.567 with five home runs in his first 27 contests. He also leads all of baseball with 41 hits, which set a new Toronto Blue Jays record for the most hits through the end of April, per Sportsnet

Center Field

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Starter

    Charlie Blackmon is the third Colorado Rockie to land a spot on the all-April team.

    The 27-year-old has been enjoying all sorts of success at the plate, as he leads all center fielders with a .374 average, a .616 slugging percentage, a 1.034 OPS and 23 runs. In the field, Blackmon has also been incredibly productive for the Rockies. While splitting time between all three outfield spots, Blackmon has saved the club seven runs, per Baseball Info Solutions.

     

    On the Bench

    In the first month of 2014, Carlos Gomez has been racking up extra-base hits. The Milwaukee Brewers' leadoff man has collected seven doubles, two triples and seven home runs. Gomez is also 4-of-5 on stolen base attempts. 

Right Field

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    Abelimages/Getty Images

    The Starter

    Jose Bautista has reached base safely in all 27 games that the Toronto Blue Jays have played in the month of April. That's thanks in part to Bautista drawing 30 walks, which is the most in the big leagues. The slugger also tops all right fielders in OBP (.467), OPS (1.065) and has a share of the lead with eight home runs. 

     

    On the Bench

    In 27 contests for the Miami Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton has swatted eight doubles and eight home runs. The right fielder has also collected 31 RBI, which is the second most in baseball.

Designated Hitter

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    Chris Schneider/Associated Press

    The Starter

    Jose Abreu has only played one game in the designated hitter's spot, but he's simply been way too good not to include on this team.

    The Chicago White Sox's slugger has been smashing records in his first month in the big leagues. His 10 home runs and 32 RBI are the most for any rookie ever through the end of April, per the MLB Stat of the Day Twitter account. The Cuban also leads all of baseball in both of those categories. 

     

    On the Bench

    Albert Pujols also spends nearly all his time at first base, but his start also can't be ignored. In 27 contests, the 34-year-old has totaled nine home runs, which is the second most in MLB. The veteran has also added seven doubles and posted a .586 slugging percentage. 

Right-Handed Reliever

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Reliever

    With a 0.68 ERA in 12 appearances, Hector Rondon has been a highly effective reliever for the Chicago Cubs. The right-hander has allowed just a single earned run on the year and has held opponents to a .184 average. 

     

    On the Bench

    In his first 14 appearances for the San Francisco Giants, Jean Machi has posted a 0.66 ERA in 13.2 innings. The right-hander has actually recorded more strikeouts (10) than hits allowed (9). 

Left-Handed Reliever

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    Michael Perez/Associated Press

    The Reliever

    Will Smith has been an excellent pickup for the Milwaukee Brewers.The 6'5" left-hander ripped off 14 straight scoreless outings to start the year and has struck out 18 batters in 12.1 frames.

     

    On the Bench

    In 11 innings of work, Fernando Abad has yet to allow a single run and has only given up two hits. The 28-year-old, who the Oakland Athletics landed in an offseason trade with the Washington Nationals, has punched out 12 batters and has held the opposition to a .057 average. 

Closer

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    The Closer

    Francisco Rodriguez has been remarkably effective in his return to Milwaukee.

    The closer has locked down an MLB-best 13 saves for the Milwaukee Brewers in the first month of the season. Through 16 innings, Rodriguez has struck out 23 batters while allowing just seven hits. In 16 appearances, the 32-year-old has produced a 1.2 WAR, per Baseball-Reference.com.

     

    On the Bench

    Huston Street has been nearly as impressive as Rodriguez. The San Diego Padres' closer is second in all of baseball with 10 saves. In 11 innings, the 30-year-old has collected 14 strikeouts and limited opponents to a .154 average. 

Starting Pitcher

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    The Starter

    In all six of his starts in 2014, Johnny Cueto has allowed two runs or fewer and worked at least seven frames. The right-hander has held his opponents to just 22 hits in 47 innings of work and ranks fourth in baseball with 50 strikeouts.

     

    On the Bench

    Jose Fernandez is one of those pitchers who lands ahead of Cueto on the strikeout leaderboard. The second-year starter has recorded an MLB-best 55 punchouts, while producing a 1.59 ERA in six outings.

    Sonny Gray of the Oakland Athletics is another talented young starter off to a tremendous start. The 24-year-old is second in the entire AL with a 1.76 ERA after throwing a three-hit shutout in his most recent start on April 28. 

     

    Note: Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and MLB.com. 

    If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.

     

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