The MLB All-Georgia Team
In this new series I am taking a look at different states around the country and putting together the best MLB-lineup of players from those states to ultimately determine which state could put up the BEST lineup. All the players I am using are ACTIVE players, so I am not considering anyone retired. I am also not selecting a bullpen, just the starting lineup. I have already done a North Carolina team, now let’s take a look at a state I knew would be loaded, Georgia:
Zack Wheeler (Smyrna, GA)
Several years ago this spot would belong to Adam Wainwright, but with his age, Zack Wheeler takes the wheel. He’s not a bad option, but can be a little inconsistent. Still, he’s got pretty good stuff, as you can see with his 123 strikeout total this year. When he’s on, he’s good.
Buster Posey (Leesburg, GA)
Buster has been one of the best catchers in the game for a while, so this is an easy pick and would be a very strong point for Georgia. His numbers are starting to drop a little bit this year and last, but he’s still a guy that any team would be happy to have. Don’t forget he’s got three World Series rings as well.
Matt Olson (Atlanta, GA)
Matt Olson isn’t the most well-known player over here on the East coast, since he plays in Oakland, but he’s just 25 so he’ll just get even better and more well known. Olson can hit the ball, proven with his 24 and 29-homer seasons his first two years. This year he’s on pace for 30, so it’s nice to have a power guy at the first base position, which is exactly what Team GA has here.
Michael Chavis (Marietta, GA)
Like Olson, this guy will continue to become more well known. It helps that he plays in Boston. It also helps that he’s just 23 and has hit 14 HR and 44 RBI so far this year in his rookie season. He should be around a while in the city of Boston, where he attempts to fill the big shoes left by Dustin Pedroia.
Nick Senzel (Atlanta, GA)
Another rookie, Nick Senzel is having a solid rookie season for the Reds, hitting .268 with 8 home runs and 27 RBI. He also has 8 stolen bases so far on the season. Add in the fact that he is learning to play center field as of this year and that’s even more convincing to the kind of player he is. He came up as a third baseman, but is adjusting to center field because that’s where the open position was to get his bat in the lineup. So for our purposes, he will fit in nicely at third base. He’s a tremendous athlete with a lot of speed, and teams can never have too much of that.
Dansby Swanson (Kennesaw, GA)
Continuing with the young player theme, Dansby is Team GA’s shortstop. After being drafted 1st overall by the Diamondbacks, he’s left a few question marks about his ability to hit his first couple of seasons. But this year you can tell he’s made adjustments from his learning curve and is producing a lot more at the plate. His average is up to .269, and he’s hit 15 HR with 52 RBI already. He continues to get better and better offensively and is a plus-defender at short.
Austin Meadows (Atlanta, GA)
The last of the young guys for this Georgia team is Austin Meadows. Traded from the Pirates last year in the Chris Archer deal, Meadows is really making the Pirates regret it (combined with the fact Archer isn’t performing so well). In 59 games last year he hit .287, and so far this year (his first full season) he’s hitting .286 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI. And he’s just 24 years old. He plays right field for the Rays, but will settle in at left field for this team.
Lorenzo Cain (Valdosta, GA)
This Georgia team has one of the better defensive outfielders in the game in Lorenzo. We have seen this year after year with Kansas City and Milwaukee. Other than his .245 average so far this season, he’s a high-average guy, only failing to hit .300 once in his last five seasons, when he hit .287. He would be a great leadoff hitter for this team because he gets on a lot and can steal a lot of bases.
Nick Markakis (Woodstock, GA)
Another Atlanta Brave, and one that all Braves fans love. As a matter of fact I think the entire baseball world loves Nick because he shows up every day, plays hard, is very productive, and quietly just goes about his business. He’s a gold glover who hits around .300 pretty much every season, and is clutch with runners on. Every team needs a Nick Markakis, and this GA team has the real one.
This team is full of young, talented players who are among some of the best in the majors. Combine this youth with three solid veteran guys in Nick Markakis, Lorenzo Cain, and Buster Posey and you have a really nice mix of youth and veteran leadership. This team shouldn’t have a problem scoring runs, and Zack Wheeler is good enough to help them win a lot of games. You have to think this Georgia team is one of the best teams that any of the U.S. states can put together.