The 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star break is, believe it or not, just two weeks away, so TSFJ’s resident baseball fanatics — Matt Whitener and the Rev — thought now was as a good a time as any to roll out the players who got their votes as MLB All-Star starters. While a lot can happen in the next two weeks, here’s where we stand as of right now.
Today, we kick it off with the National League. Tomorrow, we give you our American League choices.
Whitener: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals: He’s leading the NL in hitting (.345) and doubles (26), while remaining the game’s most imposing defensive presence. He has put together his finest offensive season, while guiding the league’s top rotation to an amazing first half.
Rev: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants: OK, I’m actually cheating here because on my real ballot, I voted for Molina. However, Posey is nearly every bit as worthy, posting a .931 OPS with 12 home runs and 48 RBI — both more than Yadier — while batting .319 in an order devoid of any Matt Hollidays or Carlos Beltrans to help him out.
Whitener: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks: It is close between him and Joey Votto, but Goldschmidt takes the edge. The D’Backs’ RBI machine has not only steadied the ship post-Justin Upton, he’s led the charge to take the NL West surprisingly hostage.
Rev: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks: I agree with Matt that Goldschmidt is the guy. Where I don’t agree is that it’s close between him and Votto. Sorry, it’s Goldschmidt by a mile. He leads the NL in RBI, has more home runs than any other NL first baseman and is batting over .300 for the first-place Diamondbacks.
Whitener: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds: He’s once again brought an amazing glove and presence, but he’s also become the primary run producer in Cincy as well. His 61 RBI are nearly 30 better than any other second baseman.
Rev: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds: What Matt said.
Whitener: David Wright, New York Mets: One of the game’s great ambassadors and de facto host of the ASG is also the best of NL third basemen far and away this year. He’s leading his position in hits, average, doubles, triples and stolen bases.
Rev: David Wright, New York Mets: I have to tell you, I really, really, really was tempted to put Pedro Alvarez here. After all, the guy leads all NL three-baggers in home runs and RBI, and he’s been real hot lately. But that .241 average is too much to overlook, and Wright is a better all-around player, period. Plus, he’s the hometown guy.
Whitener: Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers: Troy Tulowitzki has had the best year at the position, but he won’t be healthy in time to play. This leaves the spot open for Segura, the Brewers’ prize return for Zack Greinke a year ago, who’s leading the NL in hits and is second in steals as well.
Rev: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies: I know Tulo won’t be available for the game, but he’s the best shortstop in the NL and has steered the Rockies to within a game and a half of first thanks to his insane .347 average, 16 home runs, 51 RBI and 1.048 OPS, all of which lead the entire majors for shortstops.