Baseball in 2010 is a young man's game. Jermaine Dye, age 36, stayed home, Ken Griffey Jr., 41, went home, and Chipper Jones, 38, is thinking about home, all emblematic of a changing of the guard as the sport places greater value on youth. Of the top 70 OPS marks at week's end, only three belonged to players 35 or older. Of the 10 pitchers to win 10 games, only one has turned 30.
SI's All-Star team reflects this youth movement. Eighteen of our 20 All-Stars are between the ages of 23 and 31, which traditionally had been the sweet spot of a player's career, at least before performance-enhancing drugs changed baseball's actuarial tables. The toughest calls to make involved first base in each league. In the AL, the Twins' Justin Morneau and the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera are contending for an MVP award and a Central Division title, just as the Reds' Joey Votto and the Cardinals' Albert Pujols are doing in the NL.
C: Joe Mauer, 27,
The power of Mauer is missing at home (.392 slugging, no homers), but he's still the best backstop.
1B: Miguel Cabrera, 27,
The AL's most complete hitter is even better post--alcohol rehab.
2B: Robinson Cano, 27,
With power (16 homers) and production (55 RBIs), the always-smooth hitter goes next level.
SS: Derek Jeter, 36,