Here’s a look at the National League with the most updated voting from yesterday (Tuesday, June 29) and statistics as of Saturday, July 4.
2B Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins (.343 BA, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 29 SB)
3B Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals (.278 BA, 8 HR, 39 RBI)
1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks (.349 BA, 20 HR, 66 RBI, 15 SB)
CF Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals (.344 BA, 25 HR, 60 RBI)
RF Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins (.265 BA, 27 HR, 67 RBI)*
DH Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds (.289 BA, 25 HR, 54 RBI, 8 SB)
LF Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals (.303 BA, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 2 SB)
C Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants (.304 BA, 14 HR, 57 RBI)
SS Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals (.301 BA, 11 HR, 42 RBI)
SP: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals (8-5, 1.76 ERA)
*Injured – will be replaced
This is a pretty stacked lineup this year for the National League. Goldschmidt and Harper form one of the most exciting middle-of-the-orders that we’ve seen in recent All-Star games. Scherzer should be the obvious pick to start this game for the National League. Scherzer trails only Zack Greinke in Major League Baseball starting pitchers with a 1.82 ERA.
The Reserves (includes injury replacement for Stanton)
C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals (.287 BA, 2 HR, 27 RBI)
C: Yasmani Grandal, Los Angeles Dodgers (.276 BA, 10 HR, 26 RBI, 0 SB)
Molina continues to lead the Cardinals to one of the MLB’s top records. He anchors their pitching staff year after year, and is not too bad at the plate either. The second reserve catching spot could be a toss-up, but I have to go with Grandal here. He has had a very nice season after coming over from San Diego in the Matt Kemp trade last offseason. Other candidates for his spot include San Diego’s Derek Norris, Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cervelli, Chicago’s Miguel Montero, and Washington’s Wilson Ramos.
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (.292 BA, 15 HR, 45 RBI, 12 SB)
1B: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (.277 BA, 14 HR, 39 RBI)
Rizzo is having an MVP-caliber year for the Cubs, who look to ride his bat to a possible post-season berth. I’ll give the final nod at first base to Votto, since the game is being played in Cincinnati, although Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers, Adam Lind of the Brewers, and Freddie Freeman of the Braves are also deserving of an All-Star nod.
2B: Joe Panik, San Francisco Giants (.308 BA, 6 HR, 30 RBI)
2B: D.J. LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies (.300 BA, 4 HR, 34 RBI, 10 SB)
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies (.320 BA, 8 HR, 41 RBI)
SS: Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants (.265 BA, 11 HR, 48 RBI)
The double play duos for the Rockies and the Giants get my nod for the reserve second basemen and shortstops of the National League. Crawford may be one of the most underrated players in all of baseball. All four of these players excel offensively and defensively. Also worthy of All-Star consideration include Miami SS Adeiny Hechavarria, St. Louis 2B Kolten Wong, Los Angeles 2B Howie Kendrick and Cincinnati 2B Brandon Phillips.
3B: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies (.283 BA, 24 HR, 68 RBI)
3B: Yunel Escobar, Washington Nationals (.318 BA, 4 HR, 27 RBI)
Third base is one of the most stacked positions in the National League this year, so why bother excluding any that are deserving? I gave the starting DH nod to the Cincinnati player in Frazier above. Arenado has won the Gold Glove Award each of the past two seasons, and figures to win it again in 2015. He is also coming into his own offensively, as he’s RAKING. Escobar has been a journeyman shortstop throughout his career. The Nationals have battled injuries to Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon in 2015, which has allowed the Nationals to use Escobar at third base. He has certainly responded, as he currently sits fourth in the Natinoal League in batting average. San Francisco’s Matt Duffy and Chicago’s Kris Bryant deserve a look here as well.
OF: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates (.297 BA, 10 HR, 49 RBI)
OF: Justin Upton, San Diego Padres (.262 BA, 14 HR, 46 RBI, 16 SB)
OF: Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers (.236 BA, 20 HR, 38 RBI)
OF: Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates (.281 BA, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 16 SB)
OF: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers (.277 BA, 15 HR, 55 RBI, 12 SB)
There are lots of options here, but McCutchen, Upton, and Pederson are all having special seasons. The former MVP, McCutchen, isn’t having his greatest season ever, but figures to heat up soon; he is the heart and soul of the Pirates. His teammate, Starling Marte, is having an excellent season for the Pirates as well. Upton has been one of the bright spots for San Diego this year, a team that had lofty expectations going into the season. Pederson, a rookie, has really surprised many throughout baseball this season. Braun will likely be the lone Brewers All-Star. Other considerations for outfield in the National League include St. Louis’s Jason Heyward and Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon.
SP Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals (9-6, 1.82 ERA)
SP Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates (11-3, 2.20 ERA)
SP Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers (7-2, 1.48 ERA)
SP Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants (8-5, 3.34 ERA)
SP Jacob deGrom, New York Mets (8-6, 2.30 ERA)
SP Shelby Miller, Atlanta Braves (5-4, 2.20 ERA)
All of the above starters are having phenomenal years. Some common names are missing from this list, however, which figures to increase due to injury and the Sunday rule, as mentioned above. Other starters that are well deserving of an All-Star berth include Pittsburgh’s A.J. Burnett, St. Louis’s Michael Wacha, Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels, Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto, and of course reigning Cy Young/MVP Clayton Kershaw.
RP Mark Melancon, Pittsburgh Pirates (1-1, 1.62 ERA, 26 Saves)
RP Jeurys Familia, New York Mets (2-0, 1.16 ERA, 22 Saves)
RP Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals (1-1, 0.70 ERA, 24 Saves)
RP Drew Storen, Washington Nationals (1-0, 2.03 ERA, 24 Saves)
RP Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia Phillies (1-1, 1.71 ERA, 14 Saves)
Papelbon figures to make the team as the sole All-Star for the Phillies. Familia has been a big part of the Mets success early in the season. Rosenthal and Melancon are about as automatic as it gets in the 9th inning.