June 29th, 2012
It’s that time of year again. It’s the time of year when schmucks like me pick there All Star Team and debate who should be on the team. Actually, it’s a pretty fun exercise.
All Star Games are like fantasy football. The draft/selection process is always more exciting than the actual event itself. So without any further adieu, here would be my National League All Star Team for this year’s All Star Game in Kansas City…
C – Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies: 4.0 WAR
1B – Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds: 4.8 WAR
2B – Aaron Hill, Arizona Diamondbacks: 2.5 WAR
SS – Jed Lowrie, Houston Astros: 2.5 WAR
3B – David Wright, New York Mets: 4.6 WAR
LF – Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers: 4.1 WAR
CF – Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates, 3.0 WAR
RF – Melky Cabrera, San Francisco Giants: 3.1 WAR
DH – Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals: 2.9 WAR
SP – Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals: 3.2 WAR
There’s no way in hell that Lowrie or Hill would ever win the fan’s vote, but both are very much deserving of a starting spot. Lowrie was one of my favorite players with the Boston Red Sox, so I am really happy that he is finally healthy and showing the world what he can do.
The starting pitcher for the NL is very much up for debate with R.A. Dickey, Matt Cain, Gio Gonzalez, Zack Greinke, and Strasburg all up for the honor. I went with Strasburg because he leads all NL starters in K/9 (11.8) and xFIP (2.43). Plus, on a non-stat note, the Nationals are having a great year and I think they should be rewarded with having at least one starter in the All Star Game.
Reserves – Position Players
C – Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
C – AJ Ellis, Los Angeles Dodgers
C – Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
2B – Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves
2B – Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
SS – Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals
SS – Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs
3B – Chase Headley, San Diego Padres
OF – Michael Bourn, Atlanta Braves
OF – Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
OF – Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves
OF – Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals
OF – Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Not too many surprises here, though Martin Prado and Bryce Harper figure to be the two biggest snubs off of this list. I have three reserve catchers making the team, but Posey can play first and since the NL first base situation is pretty weak, Posey can play first for the NL in this game.
I would have replaced Altuve with Prado, but having 10 outfielders on an All Star team seems like a bit much. The Cubs need a representative, so Castro (who is having a pretty darn good year anyway) knocks out Jose Reyes from the team. Speaking of the Miami Marlins, they need a representative as well, but Stanton has come on as of late, so he gets the nod over Reyes.
Reserves – Pitchers
SP – Zack Greinke, Milwaukee Brewers
SP – Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants
SP – Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals
SP – R.A. Dickey, New York Mets
SP – Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds
SP – James McDonald, Pittsburgh Pirates
SP – Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
SP – Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks
SP – Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
RP – Tyler Clippard, Washington Nationals
RP – Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds
RP – Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves
Much like their first base situation, the NL closer situation is pretty brutal. Only two closers deserve to be at this game and that’s Kimbrel and Chapman. I put Clippard on the team because he is just having another great season in Washington.
The starting staff is pretty solid as Dickey, Cain, Gonzalez, and Greinke make a nice foursome after Strasburg. I guess if there were some snubs on this team it would be Clayton Kershaw (2.74 ERA, 2.1 WAR), Lance Lynn (great story and an impressive 10-3 record), and Ryan Dempster (2.11 ERA).
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