Complete Predictions for 2013 MLB All-Star Team Rosters
The 2013 MLB All-Star Game will take place on July 16 at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The rosters for each team will be announced on July 6, with fan voting for the final roster spot concluding on July 11.
Despite the fact that it now determines home-field advantage in the World Series, the All-Star Game remains an exercise mainly geared toward the fans.
Even with the rosters recently expanded to 34 players, there will always be a handful of players who wind up snubbed, and who belongs on the All-Star rosters always stirs up some good debate in the MLB community.
With that in mind, here is my best guess as to the 68 players who will be named to the roster come July 6. It should be pointed out that this is not necessarily who I feel deserves to make the team in every case, but instead, my predictions for who inevitably will.
Baltimore Orioles (4)
1B Chris Davis (.333/.409/.716, 28 HR, 72 RBI, 54 R)—STARTER
While last year's 33-home run campaign qualified as a breakout year for the previously disappointing Davis, he's taken his game to another level this season and has been the most dangerous hitter in baseball to this point. He's a worthy starter at first base and should have a great shot at 40-plus long balls this year.
SS J.J. Hardy (.264/.302/.462, 15 HR, 45 RBI, 30 R)—STARTER
A case can be made that Jhonny Peralta is more deserving of the starting nod, but Hardy is a solid choice as well given his plus power and elite defense. He was an All-Star back in 2007, but this would be his first career start.
CF Adam Jones (.301/.324/.506, 15 HR, 55 RBI, 55 R)—STARTER
A two-time All-Star, Jones has emerged as a legitimate superstar over the past year-and-a-half. He has been overshadowed by teammate Chris Davis, but he's having a great season in his own right and is a worthy starter in a fairly weak crop of AL outfielders.
3B Manny Machado (.317/.347/.476, 5 HR, 38 RBI, 49 R)
Third base is a deep position in the AL this year, but there's no ignoring what the 20-year-old Machado has done so far this season. Along with his .824 OPS and MLB-high 35 doubles, he's also playing fantastic defense at the hot corner after coming through the system as a shortstop.
Boston Red Sox (3)
DH David Ortiz (.317/.400/.617, 16 HR, 56 RBI, 38 R)—STARTER
Though his season didn't start until April 20, as he continued to rehab the Achilles injury that ended his season last year, Ortiz has been a force since returning to the Boston lineup. He's a shoo-in to start at DH and remains one of the game's most dangerous sluggers at 37 years old.
2B Dustin Pedroia (.316/.396/.424, 4 HR, 45 RBI, 50 R)
An argument can be made that Pedroia deserves the starting nod over Robinson Cano, but both guys are deserving and are locks to make the roster, so it's not a big deal. With 96 hits and 42 walks, he's third to Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto in total times on base.
SP Clay Buchholz (9-0, 1.71 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 8.6 K/9)
While he's been sidelined since June 9 with a neck strain, Buchholz still leads the MLB with his 1.71 ERA, and opponents are hitting just .195 against him. He has bounced back brilliantly from a subpar season last year, and if he can get in a couple more starts between now and the break, he could be in the running for the start.
New York Yankees (2)
2B Robinson Cano (.277/.356/.495, 16 HR, 45 RBI, 41 R)—STARTER
Cano is in a class of his own among AL second basemen from a run production standpoint, and it looks as though he'll make his fourth straight All-Star start this season. He'll also captain the AL Home Run Derby team and will have the responsibility of choosing which three sluggers from the AL participate alongside him.
RP Mariano Rivera (26 SV, 1.55 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 8.4 K/9)
In the final year of his career, Rivera looks like a sure thing to make his 13th All-Star appearance. There has even been a campaign for him to start the game for the AL. However, he told ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo that he'd prefer to pitch in his normal role, and there would be no more fitting end to his Midsummer Classic career than to nail down the save.
Tampa Bay Rays (1)
3B Evan Longoria (.299/.368/.551, 17 HR, 47 RBI, 52 R)
It looked as though starters Matt Moore and Alex Cobb were both headed for an All-Star spot early on, but Moore has struggled of late and Cobb is still recovering from the scary injury he suffered when he took a liner off the head.
As a result, Longoria winds up as Tampa Bay's lone All-Star representative. He's in the midst of the best season of his career, managing to stay healthy.
Toronto Blue Jays (4)
RF Jose Bautista (.247/.345/.476, 16 HR, 43 RBI, 48 R)—STARTER
After leading the AL in home runs in 2010 and 2011, Bautista was limited to just 92 games last season, though he still managed to hit 27 bombs in 332 at-bats. He's been healthy this season, and while his average isn't great, he walks a ton and still has elite power.
1B Edwin Encarnacion (.271/.353/.532, 22 HR, 64 RBI, 51 R)
With Bautista shelved last season, Encarnacion carried the offensive load in Toronto. He enjoyed a breakout season with 42 home runs and 110 RBI. He's been a force in the middle of the lineup once again this season, ranking second to Chris Davis in the AL with 21 home runs.
DH Adam Lind (.322/.386/.542, 11 HR, 31 RBI, 34 R)
Lind looked like a superstar in the making back in 2009 when he hit .305 with 35 home runs and 114 RBI as a 26-year-old, but he's been unable to match those number sin the three seasons since. Even demoted at one point last year, Lind has looked like a star once again this year and deserves recognition for his impressive turnaround.
RP Casey Janssen (17 SV, 2.10 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 8.4 K/9)
Forced into closing duties last season when Sergio Santos was lost for the year, Janssen went 22-of-25 on save chances and secured the job for this season. He's been even better this year, starting off the year 10-of-10 with a 0.69 ERA in his first 13 games, and he has just one blown save on the year.
Chicago White Sox (1)
SP Chris Sale (5-6, 2.75 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 9.5 K/9)
After spending his first two big league seasons in the bullpen, Sale moved to the rotation last season, going 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA to emerge as the ace of the White Sox staff. The team has struggled this year, but Sale has been a stud once again, even if his record doesn't reflect that.
Cleveland Indians (1)
C Carlos Santana (.273/.383/.470, 10 HR, 32 RBI, 37 R)
The Indians have fallen off after their hot start, and while guys like Mark Reynolds, Justin Masterson and Jason Kipnis have solid numbers, my guess is that their only All-Star will be Santana. With terrific on-base skills and solid power, he has put up the best numbers of his career so far this season.
Detroit Tigers (5)
3B Miguel Cabrera (.368/.460/.649, 21 HR, 77 RBI, 58 R)—STARTER
Coming off of a Triple Crown performance last season, Cabrera has once again proven he's the best hitter on the planet this season. He currently leads all of baseball in batting average and RBI, and if Chris Davis slumps in the second half, he'll have a real shot at becoming the first repeat Triple Crown winner.
SP Max Scherzer (11-0, 3.05 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 10.6 K/9)—STARTER
Following an up-and-down first half last season, Scherzer went 8-2 with a 2.69 ERA after the All-Star break, and he's carried that success over with a phenomenal 2013 to this point. He has some of the best strikeout stuff in all of baseball, and with Tigers manager Jim Leyland making the call on who starts the game, he has a good chance of receiving the honor.
1B Prince Fielder (.278/.376/.469, 12 HR, 59 RBI, 37 R)
His numbers aren't as eye-popping as those of teammate Miguel Cabrera or fellow AL first baseman Chris Davis, but Fielder continues to produce in the middle of the Detroit lineup. His 59 RBI rank third among AL first basemen and are even more impressive when you consider Cabrera has driven in 77 hitting ahead of him in the lineup.
SS Jhonny Peralta (.320/.378/.477, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 35 R)
After kicking around the idea of acquiring a shortstop in the offseason, the Tigers eventually picked up their $6 million option on Peralta for lack of a better option. That's proven to be a steal thus far, as the 31-year-old has bounced back from a .239/.305/.384 line last season to put up some of the best numbers of his career.
SP Anibal Sanchez (6-5, 2.76 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 11.1 K/9)
There were more than a few skeptics when the Tigers gave Sanchez a five-year, $80 million contract this offseason, but he's proven the doubters wrong so far. His 11.1 K/9 are second to Yu Darvish in the AL and rank just ahead of teammates Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.
Kansas City Royals (2)
SP Ervin Santana (5-5, 2.74 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 7.2 K/9)
Acquired from the Angels in what amounted to a cost-cutting move, Santana has bounced back in a big way after going 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA last season. He could not have picked a better time to do it either, as he's in a contract year and is still just 30 years old.
SP James Shields (2-6, 2.92 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 8.0 K/9)
His record isn't great, but Shields has been the innings-eating ace that the Royals were looking for when they gave up so much to get him this past offseason. His 111 innings rank second to Justin Masterson in the AL, and he's thrown two complete games so far this year.
Minnesota Twins (1)
C Joe Mauer (.332/.414/.504, 8 HR, 25 RBI, 47 R)—STARTER
Following an injury-plagued 2011 campaign, Mauer returned at the top of his game last year, leading the AL with a .416 on-base percentage and staying healthy to play 147 games. The 20-home run power is likely a thing of the past, but he should continue to contend for batting titles for the foreseeable future, and he's hands down the best catcher in the AL right now.
Houston Astros (1)
C Jason Castro (.272/.327/.480, 10 HR, 26 RBI, 31 R)
Taken with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2008 draft, Castro is finally healthy and has flashed the tools that made him such a highly regarded pick out of Stanford. The 26-year-old looks like a solid building block for the future in Houston, and he should continue to develop into one of the better offensive catchers in the game.
Los Angeles Angels (2)
CF Mike Trout (.307/.383/.530, 12 HR, 48 RBI, 54 R)—STARTER
After perhaps the greatest rookie season in MLB history, Trout has managed to avoid the sophomore slump and has been one of the few constants in a disappointing Angels lineup. He has 19 steals to go along with his 12 home runs, remaining one of the best power-speed threats in the game.
2B Howie Kendrick (.321/.364/.466, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 33 R)
Following a 2011 season in which he hit .285/.338/.464 with 18 home runs and 14 steals, Kendrick inked a four-year, $33.5 million extension with the Angels. His average was a solid .287 last season, but his OPS fell from .802 to .725. He's been an impact bat once again this season, though, slotted in the No. 5 spot in the Angels lineup.
Oakland Athletics (2)
3B Josh Donaldson (.308/.374/.498, 11 HR, 48 RBI, 40 R)
Sent down to the minors in mid-June last year after opening the season as the A's starting third baseman, Donaldson hit .290/.356/.489 with 26 RBI in 47 games after being recalled two months later. He's continued that strong play in 2013, and despite a deep crop of AL third basemen, he deserves a spot.
RP Grant Balfour (18 SV, 2.03 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 9.3 K/9)
Balfour also lost his job at one point last season, but upon returning to the closer's role on August 11, he converted all 17 of his save chances with a 2.08 ERA the rest of the way. He's put up nearly identical numbers to this point in 2013, at a perfect 18-of-18 on saves with a 2.03 ERA, and the 35-year-old is a deserving first-time All-Star.
Seattle Mariners (2)
SP Felix Hernandez (8-4, 2.71 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 9.2 K/9)
After signing a seven-year, $175 million extension in the offseason that briefly made him the highest-paid pitcher of all time, Hernandez has once again shown that he's among the best pitchers in the game this season. He's made the All-Star team three of the past four years, with the only exception being 2010, when he went on to win the AL Cy Young.
SP Hisashi Iwakuma (7-3, 2.26 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 8.1 K/9)
Iwakuma quietly went 8-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 16 starts after joining the Mariners rotation in the second half of last season, and the team wisely re-signed him to a two-year, $14 million deal in the offseason. His 0.89 WHIP currently leads the AL, and he's out-pitched teammate Felix Hernandez across the board to this point. That's no easy feat.
Texas Rangers (3)
RF Nelson Cruz (.268/.330/.518, 19 HR, 55 RBI, 31 R)
Cruz has been on fire of late, with seven home runs and 20 RBI over his last 30 games. That has helped propel him to a roster spot with a weak crop of AL outfielders. His 19 home runs and 55 RBI are both tops among AL outfielders so far this season.
SP Yu Darvish (7-3, 2.95 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 12.1 K/9)
After a solid rookie season last year that saw him go 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA and 221 strikeouts, Darvish has taken the next step this season and emerged as a bona fide staff ace. His 143 strikeouts lead all of baseball, and he has a decent chance of becoming the first 300-strikeout pitcher in a decade if he can stay healthy.
RP Joe Nathan (25 SV, 1.67 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 8.9 K/9)
The Rangers took a chance giving Nathan a two-year, $14.75 million deal prior to last season, as he missed 2010 with Tommy John surgery and returned to post a 4.84 ERA in 2011. However, he was his dominant self once again last season (37 saves and a 2.80 ERA), and he's been even better this season, continuing to dominate at the age of 38.
Complete AL Roster and Starting Lineup
1. CF Mike Trout
2. C Joe Mauer
3. 3B Miguel Cabrera
4. 1B Chris Davis
5. RF Jose Bautista
6. DH David Ortiz
7. 2B Robinson Cano
8. CF Adam Jones
9. SS J.J. Hardy
SP Max Scherzer
C Jason Castro
C Carlos Santana
1B Edwin Encarnacion
1B Prince Fielder
2B Howie Kendrick
2B Dustin Pedroia
3B Josh Donaldson
3B Evan Longoria
3B Manny Machado
SS Jhonny Peralta
OF Nelson Cruz
DH Adam Lind
SP Clay Buchholz
SP Yu Darvish
SP Felix Hernandez
SP Hisashi Iwakuma
SP Chris Sale
SP Anibal Sanchez
SP Ervin Santana
SP James Shields
RP Grant Balfour
RP Casey Janssen
RP Joe Nathan
RP Mariano Rivera
Atlanta Braves (2)
OF Justin Upton (.241/.351/.455, 15 HR, 34 RBI, 47 R)—STARTER
Much like the Braves as a team, Upton got off to a torrid start this season. He hit just 12 home runs and a posted 1.136 OPS over the first month of the season. He's hit just .209 with three home runs in 47 games since, but it looks like he'll hang on in the fan vote to earn a starting spot in the NL outfield.
RP Craig Kimbrel (22 SV, 1.53 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 13.2 K/9)
While he does have three blown saves this year and has seen his K/9 drop to 13.2, Kimbrel remains one of the elite relief arms in the game. NL manager Bruce Bochy may opt to go with Jason Grilli as the closer for the game, but Kimbrel will be a weapon in whatever role he finds himself in.
Miami Marlins (1)
SP Jose Fernandez (4-4, 2.98 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 8.9 K/9)
Had it not been for injuries to Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez in the final days of spring training, Fernandez would have no doubt begun the season in Double-A. Instead, he made his big league debut before he ever threw a pitch above High-A, and the 20-year-old has been one of the few bright spots in Miami this season.
New York Mets (2)
3B David Wright (.309/.392/.531, 12 HR, 41 RBI, 41 R)—STARTER
After trailing Pablo Sandoval early on in the voting, Wright has since taken the lead and looks like he'll get a chance to start in front of the home fans. He's gone 11-for-26 with three home runs in the past week, as he's been a consistent force in an inconsistent Mets lineup.
SP Matt Harvey (7-1, 2.05 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 9.9 K/9)—STARTER
A strong case can be made for Adam Wainwright and Patrick Corbin to get the starting nod, but with the home crown and given how dominant he's been this season, Harvey is the clear choice to start for the NL, in my opinion. The 24-year-old represents the future in New York, but he may already be one of the 10 best pitchers in the game.
Philadelphia Phillies (2)
OF Domonic Brown (.274/.320/.544, 20 HR, 54 RBI, 37 R)
It's come two years later than expected, but Brown has emerged as a star at the plate for an aging Phillies team set to rebuild. The 25-year-old entered the 2011 season as one of the favorites to win NL Rookie of the Year, and he's finally tapping into that potential as one of the league's top sluggers this year.
SP Cliff Lee (9-2, 2.51 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 8.0 K/9)
The once-vaunted Phillies pitching staff is a shell of what it once was, but Lee remains one of the top arms in baseball. He's bounced back from a strange 2012 season in which he didn't get his first win until July 4 and finished just 6-9 despite posting a 3.16 ERA over 30 starts.
It will be interesting to see if the Phillies shop him at the deadline, as there would no doubt be a number of contenders interested despite his remaining salary.
Washington Nationals (2+1)
OF Bryce Harper (.287/.386/.587, 12 HR, 23 RBI, 29 R)—STARTER
Currently rehabbing a knee injury, Harper should be back in time to play in the MLB All-Star Game, provided he doesn't suffer any setbacks. Voting is close right now for the third outfield spot, and Carlos Gonzalez has a chance of passing Harper, but my guess is the 20-year-old will hold on to make his second All-Star appearance.
SP Jordan Zimmermann (10-3, 2.26 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 6.4 K/9)
Overshadowed by teammates Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez last season, Zimmermann quietly went 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA in what was his first full year back from Tommy John surgery. There's been no overshadowing him this year, as he's been far and away the team's best starter, and he's just entering his prime at the age of 27.
SS Ian Desmond (.277/.314/.486, 12 HR, 41 RBI, 31 R)
With Troy Tulowitzki likely to miss the 2013 All-Star Game after suffering a broken rib but running away with the vote at shortstop, he'll likely need to be replaced on the NL roster. My guess is that Jean Segura will replace Tulowitzki and Desmond will replace him on the roster. Desmond made his first All-Star appearance last season, and he has continued to flash plus power at the shortstop position.
Chicago Cubs (1)
SP Jeff Samardzija (5-7, 3.39 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 9.7 K/9)
The Cubs' All-Star spot is a toss-up between Samardzija and fellow starter Travis Wood (5-6, 2.85 ERA), but the nod goes to the team's Opening Day starter, Samardzija. After a breakout season last year, the big right-hander has proven he has the stuff to lead the rotation long-term, and the Cubs will likely look to lock him up at some point in the next year.
Cincinnati Reds (3)
1B Joey Votto (.325/.439/.522, 14 HR, 38 RBI, 55 R)—STARTER
Had it not been for a knee injury costing him nearly two months last year, Votto very well may have won his second NL MVP Award. He's not your prototypical masher at first base, and he's been criticized by some for being too patient at the plate, but he's led the NL in on-base percentage in two of the past three seasons. With guys behind him capable of driving in runs, why not work the count?
2B Brandon Phillips (.265/.318/.425, 11 HR, 60 RBI, 41 R)—STARTER
Phillips was slotted in the cleanup spot following an Opening Day injury to Ryan Ludwick, and he has done a brilliant job assuming the role of run producer in the Cincinnati lineup. He's never topped the 100-RBI mark and has also never started an MLB All-Star Game, but it looks like he'll be checking both of those off the career accomplishments list this year.
OF Jay Bruce (.278/.324/.528, 18 HR, 55 RBI, 44 R)
An All-Star the past two seasons, Bruce has improved his home run total every year since entering the league, with 34 bombs to finish 10th in NL MVP voting last year. The 26-year-old signed a six-year, $51 million deal prior to the 2011 season, which looks like an absolute steal now as he enters his prime as one of the game's top power hitters.
Milwaukee Brewers (2)
SS Jean Segura (.334/.367/.528, 11 HR, 32 RBI, 43 R)
Acquired from the Angels last July in the Zack Greinke deal, Segura has been one of the biggest surprise breakout stars of the 2013. The 23-year-old has been a top prospect for a while, but most expected it to take a few seasons for him to reach his offensive potential. He became the first NL player to 100 hits with an RBI single on Tuesday.
CF Carlos Gomez (.313/.355/.570, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 43 R)
Gomez finally broke out last season with 19 home runs and 37 steals, earning a three-year, $24 million extension as a result. He's been even better this season, flashing improved power, raising his average 53 points and continuing to play Gold Glove-caliber defense in center field.
Pittsburgh Pirates (3)
3B Pedro Alvarez (.240/.306/.512, 19 HR, 51 RBI, 32 R)
There is a steep drop-off after David Wright among NL third basemen. While Pablo Sandoval and Ryan Zimmerman are both solid, Alvarez has slugged his way to an All-Star spot. The 26-year-old earned NL Player of the Week honors last week, going 12-for-29 with four home runs and 10 RBI to boost his already impressive numbers.
OF Andrew McCutchen (.289/.356/.453, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 49 R)
McCutchen has not put up the juggernaut numbers he did in the first half last season, but he hasn't needed to thanks to a more balanced Pirates offense. He has 23 doubles and 15 steals to go along with his eight home runs, and he remains the most important player in the Pirates lineup moving forward.
RP Jason Grilli (26 SV, 1.82 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 15.1 K/9)
The Pirates have been an improved team across the board this year, but perhaps the biggest reason for their success has been the dominance of their bullpen, led by Grilli. After dominating as a setup man last year, the 36-year-old moved to the closer's role following the trade of Joel Hanrahan. He finally blew his first save of the year last Wednesday after converting his first 25 chances.
St. Louis Cardinals (7)
C Yadier Molina (.355/.399/.505, 5 HR, 42 RBI, 34 R)—STARTER
If the season ended today, Molina would likely walk away with NL MVP honors. Once a defensive-minded catcher, he has taken his offensive game to another level the past two years, and he currently leads the NL in batting average.
OF Carlos Beltran (.307/.347/.548, 18 HR, 48 RBI, 41 R)—STARTER
After slumping badly in the second half last season, Beltran has rebounded to once again be a force out of the No. 2 spot in the Cardinals lineup. He tied with teammate Allen Craig for the lead among NL qualifiers with a .455 batting average with runners in scoring position.
1B Allen Craig (.321/.361/.466, 7 HR, 61 RBI, 41 R)
Despite the fact that he's hit just seven home runs, Craig currently ranks second in the NL with 61 RBI. The 28-year-old had 22 home runs and 92 RBI in 119 games last season, and he should have no trouble topping the 100-RBI mark in his first full season in the majors.
2B Matt Carpenter (.318/.399/.473, 6 HR, 30 RBI, 57 R)
A utility man last season who primarily played corner infield, Carpenter was moved to second base in the offseason in an effort to get his bat into the lineup everyday. He then took on the added role of hitting leadoff when Rafael Furcal was lost for the season, and he's done better than anyone could have hoped so far.
SP Shelby Miller (8-5, 2.35 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9.9 K/9)
The Cardinals' top pitching prospect since the day they took him No. 19 overall in the 2009 draft, Miller was a big reason why the Cardinals were confident letting Kyle Lohse walk in free agency. That said, it's safe to say they didn't expect the 22-year-old to be quite this good, and he has to be viewed as the NL Rookie of the Year front-runner right now (sorry Yasiel Puig, but not yet).
SP Adam Wainwright (10-5, 2.31 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 8.2 K/9)
After a rocky first half last season in his return from Tommy John surgery, Wainwright began to look like the ace of old in the second half, and that was enough for the Cardinals to lock him up with a five-year, $97.5 million extension. He's back to elite form this season and would have a strong case to start if it weren't for Matt Harvey pitching in front of the home crowd.
RP Edward Mujica (21 SV, 2.20 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 7.7 K/9)
The Cardinals bullpen was a disaster early in the season, with Jason Motte sidelined and Mitchell Boggs not up to the task of closing. However, Mujica has been a stabilizing force since assuming closing duties. He's a perfect 21-of-21 on saves and has walked just two batters in 32.2 innings of work.
Arizona Diamondbacks (2)
1B Paul Goldschmidt (.311/.387/.572, 19 HR, 66 RBI, 51 R)
After impressing in a 48-game audition in 2011, Goldschmidt took over as the Diamondbacks' everyday first baseman last season and hit .286 with 20 home runs and 18 steals. In 231 fewer at-bats this season, he already has 19 home runs and leads the NL with 66 RBI. He should push Joey Votto for the title of top first baseman in the NL.
SP Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.19 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 6.9 K/9)
Entering spring training, Corbin was the underdog in competing with top prospect Tyler Skaggs for the No. 5 starter spot. But he seized the opportunity and has not looked back since. He made 22 appearances (17 starts) last season, going 6-8 with a 4.54 ERA, making the 23-year-old perhaps the biggest surprise of 2013 to this point.
Colorado Rockies (3)
OF Carlos Gonzalez (.303/.372/.617, 21 HR, 58 RBI, 62 R)—STARTER
Criticized by some as a result of his environment in past seasons, Gonzalez has hit markedly better on the road this season, proving he's among the game's top run producers regardless of where he's playing. He's added 14 steals to go along with 21 home runs, as he'll have a shot at the first 30/30 season of his career after three straight 20/20 campaigns.
RP Rex Brothers (4 SV, 0.28 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 8.9 K/9)
Non-closer relievers don't often make the All-Star team, but it's impossible to ignore the numbers that Brothers has put up this season. In 32.1 innings spanning 35 appearances, he's allowed only one earned run. The 25-year-old has been a sure thing every time he takes the ball.
Injured, Unlikely to Play
SS Troy Tulowitzki (.347/.413/.635, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 41 R)—STARTER
After missing all but 47 games due to a groin injury last season, Tulowitzki finds himself on the shelf once again, this time for a broken rib. This injury shouldn't keep him sidelined nearly as long, though he's likely to miss the festivities. At any rate, he remains the top all-around shortstop in baseball when healthy and an offensive force regardless of position.
Los Angeles Dodgers (1)
SP Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 2.06 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 8.8 K/9)
It's fair to assume that most expected the Dodgers to have multiple All-Star representatives entering the season, but they have been a tremendous disappointment so far. Kershaw remains arguably the best pitcher in baseball, though, and he's headed for a huge payday whenever the Dodgers decide to lock him up.
San Diego Padres (1)
SS Everth Cabrera (.305/.382/.418, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 37 R)
The Padres have had a surprise run of success over the past couple weeks, climbing over .500 for the first time in over a year. It's been a team effort, as they lack a true superstar, but Cabrera has been great in the role of table-setter. He currently leads the NL with 31 steals, and as long as he's recovered from a strained hamstring, he's the Padres' most deserving representative.
San Francisco Giants (2)
C Buster Posey (.308/.386/.500, 9 HR, 43 RBI, 31 R)
Locked in a battle with Yadier Molina for starting catcher honors, Posey will no doubt make the NL roster either way, as he's been the Giants' top run producer once again this season. It remains to be seen how the nine-year, $167 million extension he signed in the offseason will play out for its duration, but right now, it looks like a smart move by the Giants' front office.
2B Marco Scutaro (.323/.376/.425, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 33 R)
After hitting .362 in 61 games with the Giants after coming over at the deadline, Scutaro was one of the team's postseason heroes. That earned him a three-year, $20 million extension in the offseason. Many questioned whether the Giants overpaid, but Scutaro has once again hit for a terrific average out of the No. 2 spot in the order.
Complete NL Roster and Starting Lineup
1. 2B Brandon Phillips
2. RF Carlos Beltran
3. 3B David Wright
4. 1B Joey Votto
5. DH Carlos Gonzalez
6. LF Justin Upton
7. CF Bryce Harper
8. C Yadier Molina
9. SS Jean Segura (replaces injured Troy Tulowitzki in starting lineup)
SP Matt Harvey
C Buster Posey
1B Allen Craig
1B Paul Goldschmidt
2B Matt Carpenter
2B Marco Scutaro
3B Pedro Alvarez
SS Everth Cabrera
SS Ian Desmond (replaces injured Troy Tulowitzki on roster)
OF Domonic Brown
OF Jay Bruce
OF Carlos Gomez
OF Andrew McCutchen
SP Patrick Corbin
SP Jose Fernandez
SP Clayton Kershaw
SP Cliff Lee
SP Shelby Miller
SP Jeff Samardzija
SP Adam Wainwright
SP Jordan Zimmermann
RP Rex Brothers
RP Jason Grilli
RP Craig Kimbrel
RP Edward Mujica
Injured, Unlikely to Play
SS Troy Tulowitzki