His precision and ability to pitch deep into games make Halladay one of the most feared pitchers in the league. A two-time Cy Young Award winner, Halladay led the majors in wins (21), innings pitched (250.2), shutouts (4), and complete games (9) in 2010. Last year the flamethrower proved he's not only lethal during the regular season, but also during postseason play. After pitching a perfect game against the Florida Marlins last May, the Phillies ace tossed a no-hitter during the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds--baseball's first postseason no-hitter since 1956.
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Catcher: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
He may spend most of his time behind the plate, but when Mauer is at the plate, the catcher's power hitting is evidence his talents aren't limited to signaling pitches. The slugger's smooth swing has bolstered him to a career .327 average. Mauer, the AL MVP in 2009, became the first AL catcher to win a batting title in 2006 (he also won in 2008 and 2009) and has received the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award each of the past three seasons.
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1st base: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Pujols is an offensive juggernaut and nightmare for pitchers. A three-time MVP, Pujols has been the home run king for the past two years, smashing 89 long balls during that stretch. The All-Star first baseman has hit 30 or more homers and amassed 100 RBIs each season since making his major league debut in 2001. Last year's league leader in RBIs (118) also knows how to score, as he topped the majors in runs for five seasons.
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2nd base: Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
Cano had a breakout year with the Yankees in 2010, posting career highs in home runs (29) and RBIs (109) and was second in the AL with 200 hits. The Silver Slugger recipient got his first All-Star nod last year , while his 200 hits were good for second best in the AL. A Gold Glove award winner, Cano has a defensive prowess at second base committing only three errors in 158 games last season, making the 28-year-old an all-around emerging star in the Bronx.
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3rd base: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Taking part in 46 double plays in 2010, Longoria's athleticism and diving ability puts him among the top defensive infielders in the league. He not only hustles on double plays, but also while spraying doubles around the outfield. The agile Longoria had a career high 46 doubles last year and collected 15 stolen bases. The three-time All-Star put up more than 100 RBIs for the past two seasons and has improved his on-base percentage each season since joining the majors in 2008.
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SS: Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins
Injury does not slow down Ramirez. Although he saw a slight drop in his numbers while nursing a sprained left elbow last season, the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year still turned in a solid year. He batted .300 and hit 21 homers while playing a career low 142 games. Even with a pesky injury, the shortstop was far from subpar in 2010, posting a .475 slugging average.
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LF: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
Last season the reigning AL MVP nearly tripled his home run (32) and doubled his RBI (100) totals from 2009. His .359 batting average, .633 slugging percentage, and 130 RBIs were tops in the AL last year. Hamilton finished the season with five homers in the postseason and took home the ALCS MVP award. Numbers aside, his speed around the bases and in the outfield make him a formidable threat to opposing teams.
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Center: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
McCutchen victimizes opponents with his blazing speed. His quickness helped him collect 33 stolen bases in 2010, fifth in the NL. Poised for another strong year, the all-around center fielder is also patient at the plate, walking 70 times last year. The 24-year-old's agility and ability to get on base will play a key role in sparking the lowly Pirates this season.
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RF: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners
Since first suiting up for the Mariners in 2001, Suzuki has been the franchise's premier all-around player. He's also a poster boy for consistency. The 10-time All-Star led the AL in hits for five consecutive seasons, not to mention he snagged 10 Gold Glove Awards, too. His steadiness is also displayed at the plate--Suzuki has never batted less than .300 in the majors. He is also dangerous around the bases, swiping 42 bases last season.
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RP: Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees
He's had a prolific career as a Yankee so far--559 career saves (he only needs 43 more to surpass Trevor Hoffman for most ever) and led the league in saves three seasons during his 16 years in the majors. Batters beware--his dominance on the mound doesn't stop there. Last season he stifled opponents, holding them to a .183 batting average and only allowed 39 hits. Since 2005 the former World Series MVP has posted a 1.88 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.76:1.
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