MLB All-Star Voting 2014: Last-Minute Predictions for NL Starting Lineup

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIJuly 3, 2014

Arizona Diamondbacks Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig reacts after striking out to end the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York/Associated Press

The Midsummer Classic is set to take place on Tuesday, July 15, but the voting for this year's All-Star participants officially closes at 11:59 ET on Thursday night.

Just in case you haven't filled out your ballot yet, you can get it done quickly here.

With the polls set to close in short order, all we'll be able to do is speculate on which players will eventually see the field when the 2014 All-Star Game takes place.

There are several close races within the National League, so let's take a stab at predicting how the roster will shake out once voting closes.

 

Predictions

Catcher

Morry Gash/Associated Press
Catcher Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Yadier MolinaSt. Louis Cardinals3,100,939
Jonathan LucroyMilwaukee Brewers2,636,640
Buster PoseySan Francisco Giants1,985,621
Evan GattisAtlanta Braves1,364,524
Devin MesoracoCincinnati Reds907,593
MLB.com

This position features a two-horse race—and rightfully so.

Yadier Molina has been the best defensive catcher so far this season. He's boasting a .997 fielding percentage and has only allowed an impressive 17 stolen bases while picking off 17 base-runners.

Although, Jonathan Lucroy has been incredible on offense. With a .331 batting average, eight home runs and 43 RBI, along with his .399 on base percentage and .511 slugging percentage, he's the most dangerous hitter at the catcher position.

Lucroy also has a fielding percentage of .995, making him the biggest all-around threat. Expect the voting to resemble that notion.

Prediction: Lucroy

 

First Base

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
First Base Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Paul GoldschmidtArizona Diamondbacks2,582,955
Mark ReynoldsMilwaukee Brewers1,430,395
Adrian GonzalezLos Angeles Dodgers1,418,148
Freddie FreemanAtlanta Braves1,342,703
Matt AdamsSt. Louis Cardinals1,323,087
MLB.com

The last time the votes were tallied, Paul Goldschmidt was running away with the competition at first base.

Power at the plate is key at this position, and Goldschmidt has plenty of it. He's batting .305 this season along with 15 home runs and 29 doubles. His slugging percentage is also off the charts—it's currently an impressive .536.

Solid on defense as well, Goldschmidt has a fielding percentage of .993 over 85 games.

Don't expect anything to change here.

Prediction: Goldschmidt

 

Second Base

Matt Slocum/Associated Press
Second Base Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Chase UtleyPhiladelphia Phillies2,436,143
Neil WalkerPittsburgh Pirates1,556,511
Dee GordonLos Angeles Dodgers1,374,523
Rickie WeeksMilwaukee Brewers1,127,907
Brandon PhillipsCincinnati Reds1,046,607
MLB.com

Chase Utley remains one of the league's most recognizable players, and that has to do with his great combination of stellar defense and a compact, powerful swing at the plate.

A double-play machine on defense, Utley has recorded 46 this season to go along with his .985 fielding percentage. He brings that reliability to the plate as well, batting .286 this season with six home runs, 24 doubles and 38 RBI.

No one's catching Utley in the race for second base.

Prediction: Utley

 

Third Base

Eric Risberg/Associated Press
Third Base Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Aramis RamirezMilwaukee Brewers1,790,777
David WrightNew York Mets1,555,717
Pablo SandovalSan Francisco Giants1,406,026
Matt CarpenterSt. Louis Cardinals1,323,021
Todd FrazierCincinnati Reds1,224,931
MLB.com

We have a very tight race for third place this year.

David Wright unfortunately isn't helping his cause right now due to missing time with a shoulder injury. Aramis Ramirez has cooled off at the plate recently as well. This leaves room for Pablo Sandoval to take the top spot. 

Sandoval has looked good at the plate lately, bringing his season totals to 81 hits, 10 home runs, 14 doubles, two triples and 36 RBI for a batting average of .265. He's been solid on defense as well, with a .971 fielding percentage on the year.

Prediction: Sandoval

 

Shortstop

David Zalubowski/Associated Press
Shortstop Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Troy TulowitzkiColorado Rockies3,997,477
Jean SeguraMilwaukee Brewers1,729,054
Brandon CrawfordSan Francisco Giants1,263,689
Jhonny PeraltaSt. Louis Cardinals1,072,023
Hanley RamirezLos Angeles Dodgers974,464
MLB.com

Not much needs to be said here. Troy Tulowitzki is just killing it this year.

Tulowitzki has been great on the field, holding a .989 fielding percentage this season; however, the brunt of his damage has come at the plate.

He leads all shortstops with 18 home runs and a .351 batting average. Factor in his 98 hits, 17 doubles and 47 RBI and you have your starting shortstop for the NL.

Prediction: Tulowitzki

 

Outfield

Chris O'Meara/Associated Press
Outfield Vote Leaders
PlayerTeamVotes
Andrew McCutchenPittsburgh Pirates3,173,810
Carlos GomezMilwaukee Brewers3,169,748
Yasiel PuigLos Angeles Dodgers3,001,907
Giancarlo StantonMiami Marlins2,681,019
Ryan BraunMilwaukee Brewers2,509,770
Charlie BlackmonColorado Rockies1,859,729
Khris DavisMilwaukee Brewers1,457,407
Michael MorseSan Francisco Giants1,444,436
Angel PaganSan Francisco Giants1,442,188
Justin UptonAtlanta Braves1,404,724
MLB.com

More than likely, we'll end up seeing some power from the outfield positions at the All-Star Game, and there's plenty of it in the NL.

In a tight race for the three outfield spots, the ability to get it done on offense as well as defense will earn Yasiel Puig the top spot. A perfect fielding percentage and .314 batting average—along with 11 home runs—will give him the majority of the votes.

After Puig, we must ask one question: Can a player with 21 home runs be denied a spot in the starting lineup? Nope.

Giancarlo Stanton has simply lit it up this season. Not only is he demolishing the ball, but he's doing it efficiently as well. His 99 hits and .312 batting average will help him earn this spot.

Rounding out the outfield will be Andrew McCutchen. He's batting .313 this season, with 97 hits, 12 home runs and 24 doubles. His mix of speed and strength will make him very fun to watch during the Midsummer Classic.

Prediction: Puig, Stanton and McCutchen

 

All vote totals updated as of 7/1/2014 at MLB.com.