National League All-Stars
In honor of the Major League Baseball All-Star game played last week, here is my National League All-Star team. Better late than never…again. 21 position players, 13 pitchers, each team represented. (S) for starter. Comments below each position. The NL team was harder to pick than the AL squad. Lot of players close together. Though I refused to take some of the stiffs that Matheny actually took in real life.
C: Yadier Molina, StL (S), Jonathan LuCroy, Mil, Buster Posey, SF
As noted in the AL column, not a huge fan of taking 3 catchers. However, there were actually SIX NL catchers all pretty closely lumped together and worthy of consideration. SIX?! Since there is technically no DH on the NL ballot, I chose an extra C. How? Glad you asked. The others were Devin Mesoraco, Cin, Miguel Montero, AZ (both of whom made the actual team) and Evan Gattis, Atl. Montero’s average was in the .260s and Mesoraco and Gattis both missed enough time in the first half so that their at-bats wouldn’t qualify for the batting title, if they were in the mix for that, that is. That kind of reasoning worked for me. Take all six if you want.
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, AZ (S), Anthony Rizzo, CHC, Freddie Freeman, Atl
I actually thought about Matt Adams here as well…but then I thought that was funny. Justin Morneau is having a nice year. But he gets penalized for being in Colorado (more on that later). Pretty cut and dried group in my eyes.
2B: Dee Gordon, LAD (S), Chase Utley, Phi
Thin. Daniel Murphy? Neil Walker? Nope.
3B: Todd Frazier, Cin (S), Anthony Rendon, Was, Aramis Ramirez, Mil, David Wright, NYM
Frazier is a no-brainer. Taking 4 third basemen is easier because Rendon can play 2B…as he is doing again with Zimmerman back (well, he was for a bit) in Washington. Aramis is always steady and Wright pretty much has to be the Mets rep. Either he or Murphy and I’ve already laughed at Murphy as an All-Star. That leaves the Fat…er, I mean, Big Panda on the outside looking in…as he should be.
SS: Starlin Castro, CHC (S), Troy Tulowitski, Col, Hanley Ramirez, LAD
Yup, penalizing Tulo for Colorado too. And why not? His numbers are great again and he gets on the team (I suppose partly as the Rockies’ rep too). But how does .417/14/35 at home and .257/7/17 on the road this year sound? Awful. The park effect is real folks. That’s why I have a good chuckle when people think Larry Walker is a Hall of Famer. It’s laughable that he is even on the ballot…first year maybe, but going on 5 next year? If he ever gets in the HOF, may as well throw Andres Galarraga, Dante Bichette and Vinny Castilla in there too.
OF: Giancarlo Stanton, Mia (S), Andrew McCutchen, Pit (S), Carlos Gomez, Mil (S), Yasiel Puig, LAD, Billy Hamilton, Cin, Justin Upton, Atl
Thought the starters were pretty obvious. Puig may have a case based on his popularity, but the others’ numbers are better. Puigs’ numbers are pretty comparable to some of the guys left off, but it is an All-Star Game for the “stars” and for the fans and who they want to see, right? Right or wrong, that puts him in. Many thought Hamilton couldn’t hit in the majors and he got off to a slow start. But he has come on nicely. And I am definitely not rewarding Charlie Blackmon for a fantastic April…in Colorado.
P: Clayton Kershaw, LAD (S), Adam Wainwright, StL, Johnny Cueto, Cin, Zack Greinke, LAD, Julio Teheran, Atl, Madison Bumgarner, SF, Stephen Strasburg, Was, Craig Kimbrel, Atl., Rafael Soriano, Was, Aroldis Chapman, Cin, Jonathan Papelbon, Phi, Francisco Rodriguez, Mil, Huston Street, SD
Ugh…I hate being a hypocrite. But admittedly I am being one here. This is what I wrote in the AL piece, “My inclination is to take way more starting pitchers than closers and certainly middle relievers…etc…”. Then for the NL team, half the staff is closers. Well, at least the real team had 3 middle relievers and I didn’t take any of them here.
Just looking at the numbers…there are some NL starters I left off that are having decent years and merited consideration. But they didn’t wow me in the end…talking about guys like Tim Hudson, Tyson Ross, both Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija before they got dealt to the AL, Alfredo Simon and his 12-3 record, Cole Hamels, hell, even Josh Beckett. And Jake Arrieta is having a great couple of months.
But Soriano, Pap and Street have ERAs hovering around ONE. Pretty impressive. K-Rod has been great all year. Chapman is averaging 2 K’s an inning. And no one is better than Kimbrel in the NL. Felt like for these purposes, they outweighed the starters’ contributions.
Posted on July 24, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged Beckett, Bichette, Bumgarner, Castilla, Castro, Chapman, Cueto, Daniel Murphy, Dee Gordon, Freeman, Galarraga, Gattis, Goldschmidt, Gomez, Greinke, Hamilton, Hanley Ramirez, Hudson, Kershaw, Kimbrel, Larry Walker, LuCroy, McCutchen, Mesoraco, Montero, Morneau, Neil Walker, Papelbon, Posey, Ramirez, Rendon, Rizzo, Rodriguez, Ross, Soriano, Stanton, Strasburg, Street, Teheran, Todd Frazier, Tulowitski, Upton, Utley, Wainwright, Wright, Yadier Molina, Yasiel Puig. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.