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All-Time MLB Team from 2000-2009: A Fan’s Opinion

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As Major League Baseball prepares to honor the best of the best in 2012 with the All-Star game, it's time to reflect upon the best players from a decade ago.

Try some of these players who excelled in their positions from 2000-2009:

First base: Albert Pujols (2001-2009)

This choice was a no-brainer. First baseman Albert Pujols was the most-feared hitter ever since he came into the league in 2001. His offense was deadly--Pujols' lowest on-base plus slugging percentage was .955 in 2002. Pujols won three NL MVPs from 2005 to 2009 and had a Gold Glove year in 2006.

Second base: Chase Utley (2003-2009)

Chase Utley has been with the same team since joining MLB in 2003. The Philadelphia Phillies have used his talents to consistently be one of the best teams in the NL East. Utley is a five-time All-Star whose best season was 2007. That year, Utley hit .332 and had just 10 errors, with a stellar .985 fielding percentage. He also led the league in one statistic--Utley was hit by a pitch 25 times in 2007.

Shortstop: Derek Jeter (2000-2009)

Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees has been one of the most consistent hitting shortstops since coming into the league. One of his best field years was in 2009 with just eight errors and a .986 fielding percentage. A multiple All-Star, Jeter had three straight Gold Glove years from 2004 to 2006.

Third base: Chipper Jones (2000-2009)

Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves was one of the smartest third basemen to play the game. One of his best seasons offensively was in 2008 with an on-base percentage of .470 to go along with a .364 batting average. Although he never won a Gold Glove, Jones' consistency was one reason the Braves were always playoff contenders in the 2000s.

Catcher: Mike Piazza (2000-2007)

Catcher Mike Piazza spent 16 seasons in the big leagues. The latter half of his career was mostly with the New York Mets. Piazza had just two errors in 659 chances in 2005 to go along with just five dropped pitches in 100 starts.

Left fielder: Barry Bonds (2000-2007)

Controversy aside, Barry Bonds was one of the most feared hitters in his generation. He was a Gold Glove left fielder in the 1990s. Even though his fielding tapered off later in his career, Bonds won four straight NL MVP Awards from 2001 to 2004, as he led the NL in most batting categories. In 2003, Bonds had a .993 fielding percentage and just two errors in 123 games.

Center fielder: Carlos Beltran (2000-2009)

Although not as good of a hitter as other outfielders, Carlos Beltran earned his keep with the Kansas City Royals in the late 1990s before flourishing with the New York Mets. Beltran earned three Gold Gloves in a row from 2006 to 2008. In 2008, Beltran had just three errors in 158 games.

Right fielder: Ichiro Suzuki (2001-2009)

Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners is one of the most consistent players in MLB history over the past 12 seasons. He has as stellar .323 career batting average and is a likely Hall of Fame candidate. Even more impressive, Suzuki had 10 Gold Gloves from 2001-2010. From 2003 to 2007, Suzuki's worst fielding season saw just three errors.

Designated hitter: David Ortiz (2000-2009)

David Ortiz has a respectable .284 lifetime batting average. Yet from 2004 to 2007, he was one of the most prolific hitters in the American League, helping the Boston Red Sox to postseason glory. Ortiz had no worse than a .287 season average and had 117 RBIs or more in that span.

Starting pitcher: Randy Johnson (2000-2009)

Randy Johnson was in the twilight of his career for most of the 2000s. Yet from 1999 to 2002, he won four National League Cy Young Awards with the Arizona Diamondbacks. From 2001 to 2004, the "Big Unit" led the NL in strikeouts three times and led in ERA twice. Without Johnson, the Diamondbacks probably wouldn't have won the World Series.

Starting pitcher: Roy Halladay (2000-2009)

Roy Halladay won a Cy Young Award with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003 and spent the entire 2000 decade in Canada. He led the AL in strikeout-to-walk ratio three times in those 10 years before coming to Philadelphia in 2010. Only three seasons from 2000 to 2009 saw Halladay win fewer than 10 games.

Starting pitcher: Pedro Martinez (2000-2009)

Pedro Martinez was part of a Boston Red Sox organization that won the World Series in 2004. Before that, from 2000 to 2003, Martinez had no worse than a 2.39 ERA over 106 starts. His best season was 2002 with a 20-4 record and a 2.26 ERA. Martinez won a Cy Young Award in 2000.

Starting pitcher: Roger Clemens (2000-2007)

Roger Clemens had one of the best pitching careers in Major League Baseball history despite claims of possible perjury and steroid abuse. "The Rocket" had some brilliant seasons later in his career. Only twice in his last eight seasons did Clemens win fewer than 10 games. Despite his age, Clemens won a Cy Young Award in 2001 with the New York Yankees and in 2004 with the Houston Astros.

Starting pitcher: CC Sabathia (2001-2009)

It was only a matter of time before CC Sabathia became a member of the New York Yankees. From 2001 to 2009, Sabathia lost no fewer than 11 games per season and has never had a losing season in his career. Sabathia won the Cy Young Award with the Cleveland Indians in 2007.

Lefty: Billy Wagner (2000-2009)

Billy Wagner has 422 saves over 16 seasons as a lefty. He had five All-Star selections in the 2000s decade and even came in sixth in Cy Young Award balloting in 2006 as a reliever. Wagner had a career 2.31 ERA and had a 3.99 strikeout-to-walk ratio for his career. One of his best years was 2004 in Philadelphia with a 9.83 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 45 games.

Setup pitcher: Scot Shields (2001-2009)

Over his 10-year career, Scot Shields had a decent 3.18 ERA over 491 games, all with the Los Angeles Angels. Over 697 innings pitched, Shields had 631 strikeouts to 278 walks. Shields wasn't known as a glamorous pitcher like some of his peers, but he got the job done.

Closer: Mariano Rivera (2000-2009)

Mariano Rivera is the best closer in the business, amassing the most saves of any relief pitcher over a career. Rivera's remarkable 2.21 ERA over 18 years puts him in elite company. From the 2000s decade, Rivera led the American League in saves twice and had no fewer than 28 saves in a season (2002). In 2004 and 2005, Rivera was a top-10 vote getter in both the Cy Young Award and MVP voting.

Substitute: Matt Stairs (2000-2009)

Matt Stairs is one of the best pinch hitters over the 2000s. His on-base plus slugging (OPS) percentage was .832 for his career and only dipped below .800 four times from 2000 to 2009.

Substitute: Greg Colbrunn (2000-2004)

Greg Colbrunn finished his career between Arizona and Seattle from 2000 to 2004. In every year that decade but 2004, Colbrunn had an OPS of no worse than .805. Although not as storied as other Diamondbacks players, Colbrunn did have a hand in some of their best seasons.

Substitute: Wes Helms (2000-2009)

Wes Helms had some good years in the 2000s decade. Although he had too many strikeouts, Helms' OPS was .732 for a career. His best outing was in 2006 with the Miami Marlins (then Florida Marlins) with a .965 OPS and a .329 batting average.

All statistical sources are courtesy of Baseball Reference.

William Browning was born in St. Louis and has been a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan.

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