Predicting 2013 NL All-Star Team's Biggest Snubs After Initial Voting Results

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2013

Predicting 2013 NL All-Star Team's Biggest Snubs After Initial Voting Results

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    The 2013 MLB All-Star Game is still a month and a half away, but voting is already underway and the first voting update for the National League was released by MLB.com on Tuesday.

    The biggest discussion surrounding All-Star rosters is always the players who wind up being snubbed, and there are inevitably always at least a few deserving candidates who spend the three-day break at home.

    Now, with our first look at how voting is shaping up this year, here is a look at the biggest potential snub at each position here in early June.

Catcher

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    Current Top 5 Vote-Getters

    1. Buster Posey, Giants: 1,275,956
    2. Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 938,911
    3. John Buck, Mets: 523,843
    4. Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers: 313,574
    5. Brian McCann, Braves: 285,600

     

    Biggest Potential Snub: Evan Gattis (Braves)

    Posey (.308/.391/.514) and Molina (.350/.389/.480) are head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd here, and both will no doubt earn a spot on the team.

    However, if the NL opts to go with three catchers, the next most deserving candidate is not even on the ballot. Rookie Evan Gattis leads all NL catchers with 12 home runs and is second with 32 RBI, and while he has moved into a utility role with the return of Brian McCann, the bulk of his games will have come at catcher.

    On top of his numbers, Gattis is just a terrific all-around story, and an All-Star nomination would mean as much to him as anybody in the league.

First Base

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    Current Top 5 Vote-Getters

    1. Joey Votto, Reds: 1,044,742
    2. Brandon Belt, Giants: 513,371
    3. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks: 473,513
    4. Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers: 464,845
    5. Freddie Freeman, Braves: 438,868

     

    Biggest Potential Snub: Allen Craig (Cardinals)

    Joey Votto looks like the runaway favorite to start, and both Paul Goldschmidt (.330 BA, 13 HR, 47 RBI) and Adrian Gonzalez (.326 BA, 8 HR, 42 RBI) will be hard to leave off the roster, so that could make for a handful of snubs at this point.

    Youngsters Anthony Rizzo (Cubs) and Yonder Alonso (Padres) have both taken a step forward this season, but the biggest potential snub would have to be RBI machine Allen Craig (Cardinals).

    After hitting 22 home runs with 92 RBI in just 119 games last season, Craig is currently hitting .318, and, while he has just three home runs, he ranks right behind Goldschmidt and Gonzalez with 39 RBI for the first-place Cardinals.

Second Base

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    Current Top 5 Vote-Getters

    1. Brandon Phillips, Reds: 1,019,240
    2. Marco Scutaro, Giants: 801,754
    3. Chase Utley, Phillies: 524,219
    4. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals: 439,239
    5. Dan Uggla, Braves: 384,462

     

    Biggest Potential Snub: Matt Carpenter (Cardinals)

    I was very surprised to learn that Brandon Phillips had never started an All-Star Game in his career, and had in fact only been named to two All-Star rosters. He currently ranks second in the NL with 45 RBI and is rightfully leading the voting as a result, so this could be the year he finally starts.

    As far as snubs go, the roster will probably only feature two second baseman, so whoever doesn't make it between Marco Scutaro (.329/.380/.429) and Matt Carpenter (.319/.398/.460) would qualify as the biggest snub here.

    Given what Scutaro accomplished in the postseason last year and the fact that Carpenter is a relative unknown outside of St. Louis, my guess is Carpenter is the one who winds up on the outside looking in. The 27-year-old has a 2.7 WAR (FanGraphs) to this point, which is tied for ninth among all position players and tops among second basemen.

Shortstop

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    Current Top 5 Vote-Getters

    1. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: 1,025,844
    2. Brandon Crawford, Giants: 668,140
    3. Jean Segura, Brewers: 554,403
    4. Andrelton Simmons, Braves: 372,844
    5. Pete Kozma, Cardinals: 311,852

     

    Biggest Potential Snub: Didi Gregorius (Diamondbacks)

    A healthy Troy Tulowitzki (.333 BA, 12 HR, 43 RBI) is once again the best offensive shortstop in the game, and he should be a lock to start here.

    After him, Brewers' breakout star Jean Segura (.344/.382/.541) is a shoe-in to earn a nod as well as long as he keeps hitting like he has.

    The third shortstop spot, provided there is one, would then likely come down to Brandon Crawford (Giants), Didi Gregorius (Diamondbacks) and Everth Cabrera (Padres). The rookie Gregorius has the best numbers of that group with a .313/.367/.500 line, but he would likely take a back seat to Crawford.

Third Base

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    Current Top 5 Vote-Getters

    1. Pablo Sandoval, Giants: 1,094,475
    2. David Wright, Mets: 967,299
    3. Chris Johnson, Braves: 386,811
    4. David Freese, Cardinals: 375,428
    5. Todd Frazier, Reds: 343,201

     

    Biggest Potential Snub: Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals)

    Third base in the National League is once again a fairly weak position, and there have not been many surprises here, unlike the American League where Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson have broken out alongside Miguel Cabrera.

    Pablo Sandoval earned the start last season, with David Wright and David Freese being named as backups, and Sandoval and Wright look to be the two most deserving candidates this time around.

    As far as a third choice, Ryan Zimmerman (.280 BA, 6 HR, 28 RBI) looks like the next best candidate. He stumbled to a .226 average in April and missed some time with an injury, but since he returned May 3 he's hitting .308/.385/.500, so his numbers should continue to improve in the weeks ahead.

Outfield

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    Current Top 15 Vote-Getters

    1. Justin Upton, Braves: 1,184,249
    2. Bryce Harper, Nationals: 1,182,532
    3. Ryan Braun, Brewers: 945,665
    4. Carlos Beltran, Cardinals: 847,924
    5. Shin-Soo Choo, Reds: 743,755
    6. Hunter Pence, Giants: 624,972
    7. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates: 576,201
    8. Angel Pagan, Giants: 572,400
    9. Matt Holliday, Cardinals: 491,629
    10. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies: 482,719
    11. Gregor Blanco, Giants: 475,662
    12. Carlos Gomez, Brewers: 472,272
    13. B.J. Upton, Braves: 420,104
    14. Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 389,372
    15. Jay Bruce, Reds: 374,852

     

    Biggest Potential Snubs: Domonic Brown (Phillies) and Michael Cuddyer (Rockies)

    There are a number of candidates here, and Carlos Gomez sitting at No. 12 in the voting stands out as a potential snub, but I've decided to go with two guys who didn't even crack the Top 15 here.

    Brown, who was viewed as a possible rookie of the year two years ago, has struggled to establish himself at the big league level. That is until now, as he currently leads the NL with 17 home runs while hitting .291 with a .921 OPS.

    Cuddyer, who signed a three-year, $31.5 million deal with the Rockies prior to last season and was somewhat of a disappointment in his first season in Colorado, has been great so far this year. He's currently hitting .344 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI for a 1.021 OPS.