As the 2012 MLB All-Star Game approaches, the A-Train has provided you the fan some all-star picks that you can use for your ASG ballots. Some you might agree with and others you might just think I’m crazy.
But here it goes…Part 1 begins with the National League All-Stars for manager Tony LaRussa (yep, this is his last one…remember he won the World Series last year)
NOTE: This is from the catcher position all the way to the outfielders. All stats are as of 6/25/2012
Catcher – Yadier Molina (Cardinals) – Molina is on his way to a breakout season as a catcher. His .318 average, 10 HR and 39 RBI should keep Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves from getting the nod. McCann back in the 2010 game stole the show with his clutch 3-run single in the top of the 7th to help stop the American League’s string of all-star wins (since 1997) come to an end.
1st Base – Joey Votto (Reds) – Now that Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder are in a different league…Votto should be the starting 1st baseman of the NL All-Stars for a while. Another solid season for Votto (.359 average, 14 HR and 47 RBI) means that nobody couldn’t come close to getting this nod. Should be an easy pick for any NL ballot.
2nd Base – Brandon Phillips (Reds) – Here is another easy selection for this team. I mean come on…what other 2nd baseman in the National League is there…mind you…that qualifies to be on this all-star team. Maybe Aaron Hill of the Arizona Diamondbacks? Dan Uggla of the Atlanta Braves? While many people can’t stand this guy (mostly Cardinal fans), this guy is still an excellent fielder and hitter. To me, this was (like I said) an easy choice.
Shortstop – Ian Desmond (Nationals) – Yes, I am still not choosing Furcal. Desmond has the numbers which are the best of the NL shortstops (12 HR and 49 RBI)…all the other big names like Jose Reyes of the Marlins and Jimmy Rolllins…major disappointments. NOTE: Troy Tulowitzki (my first choice) is on the 15-day disabled list. So that would have made that pick irrelevant. Choose Ian Desmond.
3rd Base – David Freese – (Cardinals) – Now many people will disagree with this pick as well, but Freese, after his awesome postseason of last year is still doing a solid job (.279 average, 13 HR and 46 RBI). Don’t get me wrong, you have some good competition at 3rd like Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates (despite the .229 average), Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins, and of course David Wright of the New York Mets, who is batting .360. His defense has been much better and has provided some fielding gems that could (in my opinion) earn him a Gold Glove. This is NOT just because I’m a Cardinal fan…I’M CALLING THEM LIKE I SEE THEM!
Outfielder – Carlos Beltran (Cardinals) – STRAIGHT BEAST MODE!! I mean this is rejuvenated Beltran that we are seeing here. But if he doesn’t START the all-star game, every Cardinal fan should be ashamed of themselves. Despite his injuries, Beltran is having a wonderful offensive season, tied for the NL lead in home runs with 20 and 56 RBIs, no doubt in my mind that he should be the starter. Better yet he should be the leading vote-getter. GET IT TOGETHER FOLKS, there is still time to make that happen.
Outfielder – Ryan Braun (Brewers) – Even though I can’t stand this dude, last year’s NL MVP gets a nod from me. This “cheater” (yeah I said it) is still putting together a solid season (.319 average, 20 HR, 52 RBI) without the likes of Prince Fielder to protect him. He still has an all-star presence despite his shortcomings. I would be really surprised if he’s snubbed as a starter. I really would. But then again, cheaters never prosper.
Outfielder – Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) – This was very debatable but this 25-year old star deserves to get the chance to start in an all-star game and define his all-star status. It’s his time. His numbers compare with the others (.340 avg, 13 HR, 45 RBI, and even 14 stolen bases), I mean I can’t see why he shouldn’t start. I MEAN REALLY! This is a 5-tool player…unless you see something wrong that I don’t. Put the votes in for him, his team may not be doing the best but this a team of solid, young players. His energy to the game is what most young players should have and (by George) he’s got it.
Designated Hitter – Matt Holliday (Cardinals) – Holliday is putting up solid numbers even without Mr. Pujols (.299 avg, 12 HR, 47 RBI) . I can’t see him not being an all-star in any other capacity. He should get the nod for Tony’s team.
This team looks solid and could put together a 3-game winning streak for the National League. But those other guys in the American League might have something to say about that. Next time, I’ll provide for you my American League All-Stars.