MLB All-Star Voting 2013: Most Deserving Candidates in Close NL Races

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15:  David Wright #5 of the New York Mets in action against the Chicago Cubs during their game on June 15, 2013 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

With the All-Star rosters to be announced on Saturday evening at 6:30 EDT, I decided to take a look at three of the closest races in the National League and pick who I believe deserve to earn the starting spot. 

Via Major League Baseball's voting distribution maps of the online ballots only (and Mark Townsend of Big League Stew), I was able to break down three of the closest races: Buster Posey versus Yadier Molina at catcher, Matt Carpenter versus Brandon Phillips at second base and David Wright versus Pablo Sandoval at third base.

Let's see who truly deserves to win the vote. 


 Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants) vs. Yadier Molina (St. Louis Cardinals)


Buster Posey .310 .389 12 48 34
Yadier Molina .346 .388 6 45 36


I've got to give Molina the edge here.

His batting average is insane. Posey really only holds a major advantage in home runs and Molina is the more impressive defensive catcher.  Though Posey has just one error to Molina's three, the Cardinals catcher has thrown out 13 of 29 base stealers, while Posey has tossed out 11 of 54. 

Few position players are more valuable for the defense they provide than Molina. And when you add in his offense, it's tough to argue that Posey is the better choice to start at catcher in the National League. 

It's a good debate, but Molina's my man. 


Matt Carpenter (St. Louis Cardinals) vs. Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati Reds)


Matt Carpenter .320 .393 8 36 64
Brandon Phillips .265 .320 12 63 44


Well, this one comes down to preference, I suppose.

Carpenter puts himself in a better position to cross the plate with an excellent .393 on-base percentage and has scored an impressive 64 runs. Phillips, meanwhile, has been driving a lot of runs in with 12 homers and 63 RBI. 

Phillips is the better fielder, no doubt, with just six errors on the year, though Carpenter has started at five different positions for the Cardinals this season. 

When in doubt, turn to wins above replacement—according to Baseball Reference, Carpenter comes in at a 3.6, while Phillips only registers a 1.8. Thus, I give the nod to Carpenter. 


David Wright (New York Mets) vs. Pablo Sandoval (San Francisco Giants)


David Wright .305 .396 13 43 47
Pablo Sandoval .263 .302 8 37 26


This is a joke, right? You All-Star voters out there don't actually think Sandoval deserves to be the National League starter at third base, right?

I know Sandoval has missed some time due to injury, but c'mon. Wright is a better fielder, has much better offensive numbers and is producing despite being surrounded by a really poor Mets linuep. 

This one is a no-brainer—Wright deserves the start.


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Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants) vs.