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

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MLB All-Star Voting 2014: Last-Minute Predictions for NL Starting Lineup
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
Player Team Votes
Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals 3,100,939
Jonathan Lucroy Milwaukee Brewers 2,636,640
Buster Posey San Francisco Giants 1,985,621
Evan Gattis Atlanta Braves 1,364,524
Devin Mesoraco Cincinnati Reds 907,593

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
Player Team Votes
Paul Goldschmidt Arizona Diamondbacks 2,582,955
Mark Reynolds Milwaukee Brewers 1,430,395
Adrian Gonzalez Los Angeles Dodgers 1,418,148
Freddie Freeman Atlanta Braves 1,342,703
Matt Adams St. Louis Cardinals 1,323,087

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
Player Team Votes
Chase Utley Philadelphia Phillies 2,436,143
Neil Walker Pittsburgh Pirates 1,556,511
Dee Gordon Los Angeles Dodgers 1,374,523
Rickie Weeks Milwaukee Brewers 1,127,907
Brandon Phillips Cincinnati Reds 1,046,607

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
Player Team Votes
Aramis Ramirez Milwaukee Brewers 1,790,777
David Wright New York Mets 1,555,717
Pablo Sandoval San Francisco Giants 1,406,026
Matt Carpenter St. Louis Cardinals 1,323,021
Todd Frazier Cincinnati Reds 1,224,931

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
Player Team Votes
Troy Tulowitzki Colorado Rockies 3,997,477
Jean Segura Milwaukee Brewers 1,729,054
Brandon Crawford San Francisco Giants 1,263,689
Jhonny Peralta St. Louis Cardinals 1,072,023
Hanley Ramirez Los Angeles Dodgers 974,464

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
Player Team Votes
Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates 3,173,810
Carlos Gomez Milwaukee Brewers 3,169,748
Yasiel Puig Los Angeles Dodgers 3,001,907
Giancarlo Stanton Miami Marlins 2,681,019
Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers 2,509,770
Charlie Blackmon Colorado Rockies 1,859,729
Khris Davis Milwaukee Brewers 1,457,407
Michael Morse San Francisco Giants 1,444,436
Angel Pagan San Francisco Giants 1,442,188
Justin Upton Atlanta Braves 1,404,724

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.

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