The MattsBats.com Picks for the 2014 MLB All Star Game

2014_Twins_All-Star_Game_LogoThe All Star Game is being held on Tuesday, July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis, home of the Twins. The voting for the All Star Game is coming to a close today.  Make sure you cast your votes here.

Usually I am a big Washington Nationals fan.  I cast a lot of votes for my favorite Nats players. That seems to be pretty normal.  A lot of people vote for their favorite hometown players, which is how popular players who haven’t had great seasons or who are injured are still getting lots of votes.

But I also am just a fan of the game, so I filled out some ballots for the people I think most deserve to be named to the All Star Team.  Here is an unbiased list of players who got my vote for the All Star Game! (By the time you read this, some of the stats may be a little out of date, but they should be close).

 

The MattsBats.com Picks for the 2014 MLB All Star Game

National League Picks

1B- Paul Goldschmidt- Arizona

There are a lot of good first basemen in the National League.  This is a race featuring a lot of players who could be considered All Stars, especially Justin Morneau, Freddie Freeman, Adrian Gonzalez, and even Matt Adams, Anthony Rizzo,and  Adam LaRoche.  That makes this race close. But in the power stats, Paul Goldschmidt is carrying the last-place D-Backs to a hopeful way out of the hole. Paul has a .300 average with 15 homers and 53 RBIs. The lack of fan support may not get him a starting spot, but he deserves a ticket.

2B- Anthony Rendon- Washington

Because Pittsburgh 2B Neil Walker is on the DL, Anthony Rendon deserves a spot in his sophomore season. Usual beasts Rickie Weeks, Chase Utley, and Brandon Phillips haven’t been doing very well.  Phillips is a fan favorite, and since the Phillies’ fan base is so big, Utley probably has the start at 2B right now. But Anthony Rendon is flying under the radar with a .272 average with 11 homers and 42 RBIs as of 6/24 before the game. He also has the same amount of homers as Walker, and more RBIs. Walker has a better average by 8 little points, though.  He has played most of his games at third filling in for the injured Ryan Zimmerman, but Rendon started off the season on a tear.  He won’t earn the starting spot, but he may deserve it most.

SS- Troy Tulowitzki- Colorado

Stalwart candidate Tulo has been a starting shortstop for the NL for a while now, and nothing about his 18 homers or .355 average says that this year will be another year for Troy. Tulowitzki was also named the captain of the Home Run Derby NL team, which basically guarantees you a spot in the starting 9 in Minneapolis. He is slightly better than 2nd best NL shortstop, Ian Desmond. Desmond has been in a little bit of a slump recently, which probably means he was a better All Star candidate last year than this year.  But the #DesiIn13 Twitter vote last year was fun.  Hopefully we can make a miracle happen by voting Desi in the final vote, which he’s been included in the past 2 years.

3B- Todd Frazier- Cincinnati

Not to be biased on my fantasy baseball team, but Todd Frazier (yes, I came up with the idea to get him) was a great pickup for us. He has hit .280 with 17 homers and 45 runs batted in and has been a key offensive piece for the Reds. Without the success of the Brewers and Cardinals, the NL Central would be a very close race, highlighted by the Reds and homer hitter Frazier. He plays in one of the smallest ballparks in the country out in Cincy, which may be why Frazier has had so much success this year.  Other likely candidates to start are Pablo Sandoval, Pedro Alvarez, and David Wright, but I think Frazier has been the best 3B in the National League so far.

C- Evan Gattis- Atlanta

Unless you follow the NL East, Gattis may be flying under the radar. Stat-wise, Gattis is my vote for the starting catcher hands-down.  He was phenomenal last year in his rookie season, and he has added 16 homers and 39 RBIs this year.  Now, Gattis is currently on the DL with back issues, so he might not play even if he got selected.  In that case, my vote would be for Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy.  But who do I think will be named catcher?  Yadier Molina.  The Cardinals fans love him and everyone knows his name.  So even casual baseball fans will see him on the ballot and instantly click “vote” because people know his name.  My vote, though, is for Evan Gattis.

OF- Khris Davis- Milwaukee, Billy Hamilton- Cincinnati, Giancarlo Stanton- Miami

Nothing about Khris says All Star “starter,” but Milwaukee has a secret slugger in Davis. Just like the other MLB player who bears the name “Chris Davis,” he slugs longballs so frequently it’s scary. In only his second career at bat against Stephen Strasburg, he drove a center-cut first pitch fastball over the left field wall for a solo shot to put the Crew on top 5-2. He drove in 2 more as the Brewers won 9-2.

Billy Hamilton, the speedy rookie in Cincinnati, hasn’t been hitting the baseball out of the park in the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark, but has been a quality lead off guy. Most people judge their all-star ballot on the power stats, but Billy is a guy who will get on base and will steal bags constantly.

The final spot?  OK, guys, let’s get real. It has to be Giancarlo Stanton!  He has a .308 average with 20 homers and 58 RBIs.  That basically says it all about this slugger.

There are other players who could also deserve a starting outfield spot, like Andrew McCutchen, Charlie Blackmon (for how he started the season), Ryan Braun, and even Yasiel Puig and just-off-the-DL Bryce Harper for how much excitement they bring.  But you heard my picks, even though maybe 2 of them might not be what you expected.

 

American League Picks

1B- Jose Abreu- Chicago

Adios pelota! is what the Chicago White Sox’ spanish radio announcer would say after another Abreu homer. The Cuban phenom has been crushing the ball to all fields. Abreu sent his 23rd homer packing against the Orioles, in a game where home run title competitor, Nelson Cruz, hit a grand slam and the O’s won on a wild pitch. But Abreu needs to be the picked for this division.  If he keeps it up, he’ll also probably be AL Rookie of the Year.

2B- Brian Dozier- Minnesota

This player from the host city doesn’t need a ticket to get to Minneapolis.  Because the Twins are in Denver before the break, he may just need to fly home on one of his home run balls. He has been a breakout player this season. Even though Dozier is only hitting .232 due to recent struggles, he has 15 longballs and 38 RBIs. Dozier would make the home crowd go nuts in Minneapolis but is losing to a guy who has a bigger name but a quieter bat this season, Robinson Cano.  Jose Altuve is another quality second baseman who may deserve your vote too.

SS- Derek Jeter- New York

And as quick as that, the Yankees’ “Core Four” has been dismantled, with Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitite, Mariano Rivera, and now Derek Jeter all retiring in recent years. Though he has posted a .272 average with only 2 home runs this season, just like Mo, he should be honored for his amazing career. I mean, shouldn’t a guy get an All-Star spot with a career .311 batting average in his final season?  There is no doubt that Jeter is no longer the best short stop in baseball.  Erick Aybar, Alcides Escobar, and Alexei Ramirez are all much, much better this year.  But this is The Captain’s last year, so you can vote for one of those other guys next year.

3B- Josh Donaldson- Oakland

Donaldson, who missed the cut in the All-Star Game last season although playing killer defense, should be rewarded for his talents. Although he had some words with another contender, Manny Machado, earlier in the season, he has been much better than every other third baseman in the American League. Josh’s 18 home runs and whopping 61 RBIs so far win him my vote.

OF- Mike Trout- LAA, Yoenis Cespedes- OAK, and Steve Pearce- BAL

Trout and Cespedes both have good home run and batting average totals, Cespedes posting a .272 average with 14 big flys, and Trout is hitting .315 with 19 home runs.  Just because of who they are and how much fun they are to watch, Trout and Cespedes will get my vote.

Now, some of my NL outfielder picks may have been a little controversial, so I will make another controversial pick for the AL.  My third vote is going to Steve Pearce.  Pearce is really heating up Baltimore. He has 10 homers and 27 RBIs. That’s 3 more homers than Jayson Werth!  He has only played in 46 games and had 150 at bats, the exact total he needs to go on the totals for the league leaders. He is a true underdog, and I know he will not be a starter.  Still, I’m picking Steve Pearce over people like Jose Bautista (although maybe you should vote for Bautista anyway.  Do you remember how annoying he was on Twitter last year asking people to vote for him?), the other more-famous Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, Jacoby Ellsbury, Melky Cabrera, Michael Brantley, and other big swingers who have had good seasons and are much more likely to win a spot.

C- Brian McCann- New York

Well, if Matt Wieters wasn’t out for the season, he would have my vote.  So I have to pick again, and I am going with Brian McCann.  Last year, McCann “stood up” to, aka was a total jerk, to guys like Jose Fernandez, Carlos Gomez and Bryce Harper. Now that Brian has shifted to the Yankees, he has been a total beast and deserves to be (man, this is hard to say) in his eighth All Star Game.  He has 10 home runs and 39 runs batted in. His .224 average isn’t very convincing, but he always seems to find that clutch hit at that clutch time to do it.

DH- Nelson Cruz- Baltimore

Cruz has always been that clutch guy, but he has been killing the ball across the AL in his inaugural season with Baltimore. A humongous factor in the O’s success, Cruz has totaled 26 homeruns and 68 RBIs. Edwin Encarnacion has also been killing the baseball too, and is also a good choice for the spot.  My vote is for Nelson Cruz as DH over Edwin Encarnacion for the starting job.

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I didn’t name starting pitchers, because the managers select pitchers, not the fans.  If I had a vote, I would say Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers for the National League, and Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees for the American League.

Make sure you go online and cast your vote for the All Star Team.  Click HERE to vote.

Did you know you also have a chance to vote for the participants in the Home Run Derby.

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Like my picks? If not or you think I should add people to my list, be sure to tweet to me @MattsBats or comment at the end of this post. Now, I’d like you to answer a question:

 

 

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