All-star voting is underway as we approach the mid-point of the 2016 season, and it's the perfect time to reflect and evaluate who the studs of the year have been. I understand this is somewhat subjective, but I don't feel there aren't too many difficult decisions this year. When necessary, honorable mention will be given to those players that are deserving.
Catcher: Salvador Perez - Not that he's been elite, but just about everyone else in the AL has been terrible at catcher.
First Base: Miguel Cabrera - One of the toughest decisions i have to make. Honorable mention to Edwin Encarnacion and Eric Hosmer; an argument can be made for all three, but Cabrera's overall production across 4 categories tipped the scale for me.
Second base: Jose Altuve - Arguably the fantasy MVP. Ian Kinsler is is also having a great first half, but not on the same level as Altuve.
Third Base: Josh Donaldson - The reigning MVP has having a down year when compared to his previous years, but he is still mashing. Honorable mention to Eduardo Nunez.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts - Leading the league in hits and a strong 5-category producer. Kills me that I traded him for Chris Archer in a league before the season started (true story).
Outfield: Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, and Ian Desmond. Two of these three would have been pre-season picks, and then there is Desmond. All three are having great starts to 2016.
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz - No contest.
Starting Pitcher: Chris Sale - He's has a few bumps in the road recently, but has been dominant compared to most other AL starters.
Relief Pitcher: Zach Britton - It's amazing how tough it is to make solid contact against the O's closer.
Catcher: Wilson Ramos - The NL catcher position is a bit closer than in the AL. Honorable mention to Jonathan Lucroy and Buster Posey, but Ramos has been a little better overall both in the power and average categories
First Base: Wil Myers - I can't believe it either, but the guy has been fantastic. Honorable mention to Paul Goldschmidt who is also having a great year, just not as great as Myers.
Second base: Daniel Murphy - He really picked up in 2016 where he left off in the 2015 post-season. Not necessarily with the power, but his overall production has been outstanding.
Third Base: Nolan Arenado - Another great year from the Rockies slugger. While he provides no speed, he's close to leading the other four other standard categories in the NL.
Shortstop: Jonathan Villar - Another unexpected name on the list. While Villar doesn't give much power, his league leading SB production make him a fantasy stud in a year where it is tough to find speed.
Outfield: Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, and Marcell Ozuna. All three have produced at a very high level and above most fantasy owners expectations. Honorable mention to Melvin Upton Jr. who has quietly been a solid contributor across the board.
Starting Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw - Someone please try to argue this one. It's almost a shame there are so many other great SP's in the NL that can't even get a mention because of Kershaw's historic season... almost
Relief Pitcher: Kenley Jansen - Only a couple blips on the radar for Jansen, but he has still been extremely effective closing out games.
It will be interesting to see how many of these players are named to their actual all-star rosters. Based upon their production thus far, all of them are deserving. I'm sure I've snubbed a few people, but it wouldn't be an all-star discussion if I didn't. Leave your thought in the comments who you think should be a fantasy all-star in 2016.