6 Cardinal Players Who Should Be All-Stars in 2013
With the St. Louis Cardinals sporting the best record in baseball, you would assume they would have at least one player leading his position in voting for the 2013 All-Star Game. But everyone knows what happens when you assume, and if you don't know, Google it.
To be fair, Carlos Beltran is third in the voting for outfielders and would start if he keeps that spot or moves up.
As it stands right now, the leading Cardinal in terms of voting is Yadier Molina, and he is still more than 250,000 votes behind Giants catcher Buster Posey for the starting nod.
With such a hot start from the Cardinals, there are at least six Cardinals who are legitimately All-Star worthy and probably a few more who could be debated.
So with that, here are the six Cardinals who deserve a spot on the 2013 NL All-Star team.
There is little doubt in my mind that Carlos Beltran will be on the 2013 All-Star squad. Currently he is third in the voting for outfielders in the National League.
Beltran is tied for fifth in the league with 14 home runs, 10th in RBI and sports a healthy .305 batting average.
Beltran is also batting a blistering .479 with 27 RBI with runners in scoring position this season. So needless to say, he's been clutch for the Cardinals in 2013.
To wrap it up, it should come as a surprise to no one when Beltran finds himself along the foul line during the introductions at Citi Field in July.
Matt Carpenter is quietly having a career year for the Cardinals in 2013. Granted, he is only in his second full season in the big leagues. But when you consider he had to make a position change in the offseason to get regular at-bats, he has done a phenomenal job thus far.
Carpenter is currently third in voting for second basemen behind Brandon Phillips and Marco Scutaro.
So far in 2013, Carpenter is batting .327 with a .409 OBP and has scored 51 runs, which is good for second in the league. In addition to those gaudy numbers, Carpenter has excelled in the field.
To date, Carpenter is third among NL second basemen with a .995 fielding percentage and has committed only one error. Not bad for a guy who had to make a position change.
If Carpenter continues to hit and the Cardinals continue to win, Carpenter should hopefully find himself a spot on the All-Star team as at least a reserve.
Is there much to be said when it comes to Yadier Molina as an All-Star?
The guy is the best catcher in baseball, bar none. He is right there with Buster Posey when it comes to the plate and is miles ahead as far as defense goes.
Yet Molina finds himself far behind Posey to start the 2013 All-Star Game.
Molina is second in the league with a .351 batting average and is hitting .417 with runners on base. Now that his offense has caught up with his defense, it is scary to think of what Molina will do in the next few years, as he is in his prime.
As for the 2013 All-Star Game, expect him to get some playing time as the second catcher for the NL.
Allen Craig just drives in runs. End of story. Period.
When the Cardinals signed him to a five-year extension in spring training, they were expecting him to do just that.
Craig is currently tied for fifth in the NL with 47 RBI and is on pace to drive in 119 runs. Craig just knows how to hit when runners are on base.
In 2013, Craig is hitting .369 with runners on base, and he turns it up a notch when runners are in scoring position, batting a cool .400.
While Craig certainly deserves to be an All-Star, his lack of home runs (he has five) will most likely be his demise.
Front-runners at first base, Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt, have 11 and 15 home runs, respectively, and fans like power.
But educated Cardinals fans will take run production all day over power, and rightfully so.
So unless something changes via injury or something else, Craig could very well be left off the All-Star squad this season.
Edward Mujica has been nothing short of extraordinary for the Cardinals in 2013. When closer Jason Motte was lost for the season in spring training, the Cardinals used the trial and error method before settling on Mujica.
What a great decision by Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny. Mujica is second in the NL with 18 saves, and he has not blown a save all season. Hopefully that will not serve as a jinx to the dominant Mujica.
Mujica gets the job done quickly and effectively. He has a 0.61 WHIP and has allowed only 16 hits in his 27.2 innings of work to go along with his 1.63 ERA.
When Bruce Bochy picks his pitchers for the Midsummer Classic, Mujica deserves to be on that list.
Adam Wainwright is finally back to his 2009-10 form, when he was in the running for the Cy Young each season.
Waino has been dominant this year. He currently leads in the NL with nine victories and is second in the league with 96 innings pitched. He is sporting a stingy 2.34 ERA and has 91 strikeouts to go with a 1.02 WHIP.
In addition to all of that, Wainwright has provided some relief for a well-used bullpen. Wainwright already has three complete games, two of which were shutouts.
Barring something bizarre or unfortunate, Wainwright will be on the 2013 All-Star pitching staff and make his second career All-Star team.