Baseball All-Stars as Craft Beers

Eno Sarris, July 14, 2016

What if baseball's All-Stars were craft beers? What would they look like? Who would be Pliny, and who would be Sculpin? 

First we have to define the player in easy to understand terms. Then we can bring a beer comp. 

Here are Tuesday's All-Star starters, each with a possible beer comp. We're sure you can improve upon them.

American League
C: Salvador Perez, Royals
Perez is big, and perhaps a tad unrefined with the stick and with the glove. Bourbon County Brand Stout is also big, tasty, and unrefined. 

1B: Eric Hosmer, Royals
Hosmer has less power than many at his position, but yet still packs a punch. Stone Xocoveza Mocha Stout could be seen as a sweet fielding first baseman with smoky good looks, and just enough punch. 

2B: Jose Altuve, Astros
The Astros' second sacker is little -- he's listed at 5'6" and could be shorter -- but he has more power  than you'd expect. Firestone Walker Easy Jack is a top beer nationally despite being a session. 

3B: Manny Machado, Orioles
The Orioles' third baseman might also be their best shorstop defensively, so Machado is both versatile as well as powerful. Crooked Stave Surette? It's a sour, it's a saison, it's for hot days, but can go by the fire.

SS: Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
The Red Sox have a slick fielder that can rack up the singles and doubles at shorstop, and oh yeah he speaks four languages. 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze speaks at least two languages and though it's not a big ABV beer, it's never bad -- it's always a hit. 

OF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox
Betts brings power and speed with a wicked refined eye and a touch of class that pervades everything he does. Tree House King Julius brings powerful flavor with the ease of the drinking and the refined eye that's brought the future of beer into today's market without being a loud hop bomb. 

OF: Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox
Bradley was always defense first but found some additional power with some recent adjustments. Jack's Abby Hoponius Union is a beer that you buy because you just want to have a nice beer, to defend the doldrums, but you'll be surprised by what it brings to the table.

OF: Mike Trout, Angels
The best in the game by the leaderboards, which in this case means he pairs well with The Alchemist's Heady Topper. Oh and Trout has a ton of power, and the Topper is the biggest hop bomb there is.

DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox
The OG. The Original Gangster of craft beer might just be Sam Adams Amber Lager, a Boston Beer and a good fit here. Even if I doubt Ortiz drinks Sammie. 

LHP: Chris Sale, White Sox
Sale is a wicked lefty with velocity and an arm slot that makes everything harder to deal with. Prairie Bomb brings the big taste of a stout, but there's chile in there to bring a bit of heat and make the whole thing bigger and tougher. 

National League
C: Buster Posey, Giants
America's baseball star. What's America's craft beer? Lagunitas IPA? Everywhere. Chiseled. Solid. California.

1B: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
Speaking of chiseled, you can't get more square than Rizzo's jaw. He's also known for standing on the plate and absorbing contact. Founders' Kentucky Breakfast Stout can take any beating, will absorb it, remain standing, and then take you out of the park. 

2B: Ben Zobrist, Cubs
He used to be able to play anywhere on the field but now represents yesterday's new innovation in baseball. Pliny the Elder makes sense here, as he is our elder and the jack-of-all trades with a good eye seems like the innovation of the mid 2000s.

3B: Kris Bryant, Cubs
Dreamy eyes, huge power. Deschutes' Abyss is the pairing here, because if you stare into Bryant's eyes too long, that's where you'll end up. Just don't try to cellar Kris Bryant, you'll end up in jail. 

SS: Addison Russell, Cubs
Lithe, active, and athletic. Has some power, but not like the big boys. Toppling Goliath pseudo Sue because Russell is the kind of beer you want to have in the fridge every day. 

OF: Yoenis Cespedes, Mets
The Mets outfielder always takes big swings and sometimes misses the mark. He's also Cuban and smokes Cubans, so let's call him Stone's Smoked Vanilla Porter -- equal parts sweet and lovely as well as smoky and powerful.

OF: Dexter Fowler, Cubs
Fowler left the cozy confines of Coors Field and improbably got better at the plate even while becoming more of a fixture on the National scene. He marries good defense with good work at the plate to be more than the sum of his parts. Alpine Duet, now distributed more widely after a purchase by Green Flash, tells the same story of blended goodness, now reaching more mouths.

OF: Bryce Harper, Nationals
Has been the top beer and could be again. Is fresh and of the moment, but has taken a step back for the time being. Stone's Enjoy By once took the beer world by storm and is now a given. But the recipe changes all the time -- we may see an Enjoy By that wins the MVP again.

RHP: Johnny Cueto, Giants
Cueto can throw a wiggle into anything. Call him Ballast Point Sculpin -- all of them. You just don't know if you're getting the grapefruit, the pineapple, the habanero, or the Rocking Chair.