The all-star voting in the National League isn’t as controversial as it is in the American League so I expect my picks to line up better with the current leaders, based on the latest results released by Major League Baseball on Tuesday. So here’s my ballot for the National League all-stars.
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
I don’t think there’s much of an argument here. Entering Sunday, Goldschmidt has a .358 average with 19 HR and 55 RBI. He’s been one of the best hitters in the majors this season — if not the best — and clearly deserves to get the start in the All-Star Game. And most voters seem to agree, as he leads the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez by nearly 1 million votes in the ballloting.
2B: Yunel Escobar, Washington Nationals
I think Escobar is having the best all-around season among the second-base candidates on the National League ballot — although he’s been playing third base this season — so I voted for him. He’s in fifth place in the balloting, though, with the Marlins’ Dee Gordon leading the pack, more than 300,000 votes ahead of the Cardinals’ Kolten Wong in second place. Gordon is hitting .352 on the season, but that is largely due to the hot start he had this season; he’s hitting just .280 over the last month. He’s known for his speed so doesn’t provide any power for his team; he’s homerless this year and has just 17 RBI on the season. Escobar, on the other hand, has been heating up as the season progresses; he’s hitting .327 in the last month, including a .362 average in his last 15 games. I think Wong is more deserving than Gordon, but I still go with Escobar on my ballot.
SS: Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals
Peralta is putting up some of the best offensive numbers of his career so far this season, with a line of .312/10/39, making him most deserving of getting the nod as the starter for the National League. He has more than a 1 million vote lead over Brandon Crawford, who’s having a breakout season for the defending champion Giants, hitting .282/9/42. It was a close call between the two, but Peralta has the slight edge for me with the better batting average.
3B: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
The Cubs’ Kris Bryant has been one of the most-talked-about players this season — and he’s having a good rookie season — but I went with Arenado at the position. Bryant famously spent the first couple weeks of the season at Triple-A, which hurts his case to be the starting third baseman in my opinion. As far as the voting goes, Arenado sits in fourth place, with Cardinal fans voting for Matt Carpenter, who has more than double the votes that Bryant, in second place has. Carpenter’s .295/8/33 line doesn’t hold up to Arenado’s .281/16/53 for me. Despite a slightly better average for Carpenter, Arenado’s home run and RBI totals give him the edge at the position.
C: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Posey leads Yadier Molina in the voting by just 400,000 votes, but he’s putting up much better offensive numbers than the St. Louis catcher. As is usually the case, Posey is one of the best offensive catchers in the game, with a .295, 10 HR and 41 RBI. Molina has the same average, but just 2 home runs and 24 RBI, so I think it’s hard to make the case for voting for him over Posey.
OF: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals; Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates; Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Harper and Stanton are no-brainers to start in the outfield, but Marte is admittedly not a common pick. My third outfielder was between him and teammate Andrew McCutchen, who currently sits in fifth place in the voting. They have similar numbers, but I gave the slight edge to Marte — who’s in 15th place according to the latest update — because McCutchen’s been there before and Marte is having a breakout year. Somehow, Stanton — who has 25 HR and 64 RBI — currently isn’t slated to start the game, currently fourth in the voting. The top three, according to the latest update, are Harper, Matt Holliday and Nori Aoki. Aoki only has about 70,000 more votes than Stanton. so he could still slip past third place. Aoki’s hitting .317 so he’s not having a bad year, but Stanton certainly deserves to start ahead of Aoki. I suspect Aoki is getting a bump in voting from the Royal fans stuffing the ballot boxes, as he is a former Royal. As for Holliday, he’s hitting .303/3/26, which isn’t exactly All-Star starter numbers, but he’s a Cardinal and Cardinal fans are voting heavily like the Royals fans are in the AL.
SP: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
While starting pitcher isn’t part of the fan ballot, I’ll include who I would vote for — the Nationals’ Scherzer. His last two games have been spectacular — a one-hit, 16 strikeout complete game followed by a no-hitter that would have been a perfect game if not for a HBP in the bottom of the ninth. But he is deserving based on all 14 starts he has made this season; he has a 1.76 ERA with a 0.80 WHIP and 123 strikeouts in 102.1 innings. If that’s not worthy of starting the All-Star Game, I don’t know what is.
So there’s my National League all-star ballot. Cardinal fans seem to be stuffing the ballot boxes a bit — but not to the extent that Roual fans are — and I’m going with one Cardinal on my ballot, as I did with the Royals on my AL ballot. Voting closes at the end of the day on July 2, and the final results are scheduled to be announced on July 5, so there’s still time to get deserving guys like Stanton in the starting lineup in Cincinnati on July 14.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.