The National League's best players are now set to take the field during the Midsummer Classic after a long period of voting by MLB fans—or are they?
While the All-Star Game always features a bevy of talent each year, it can certainly be considered a popularity contest that has more to do with name recognition rather than on-field performances.
With the starting lineups finally revealed, we can now ask ourselves one question: Did the voters get it right?
Well, here's a look at the NL's starting lineup, courtesy of MLB:
Here's a look at potential starters to take the mound for the NL, but we'll have to wait to see who will ultimately be selected:
NL pitchers: Bumgarner, Chapman, Cueto, Greinke, K-Rod, Kershaw, Kimbrel, Neshek, Ross, Samardzija, Teheran, Waino, Watson, Zimmermann. #ASG— MLB (@MLB) July 6, 2014
Although, not every pitcher on the list will be eligible to play, according to MLB:
Jeff Samardzija will be inactive for the All-Star Game in Minneapolis. (2/2)— MLB (@MLB) July 6, 2014
Before we dive into the game's biggest potential snubs, let's take a look at the team's entire roster:
|Catcher||Yadier Molina||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Catcher||Jonathan Lucroy||Milwaukee Brewers|
|Catcher||Devin Mesoraco||Cincinnati Reds|
|First Base||Paul Goldschmidt||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|First Base||Freddie Freeman||Atlanta Braves|
|Second Base||Chase Utley||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Second Base||Dee Gordon||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Second Base||Daniel Murphy||New York Mets|
|Shortstop||Troy Tulowitzki||Colorado Rockies|
|Shortstop||Starlin Castro||Chicago Cubs|
|Third Base||Aramis Ramirez||Milwaukee Brewers|
|Third Base||Todd Frazier||Cincinnati Reds|
|Third Base||Matt Carpenter||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Outfield||Andrew McCutchen||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Outfield||Carlos Gomez||Milwaukee Brewers|
|Outfield||Yasiel Puig||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|IF/OF||Josh Harrison||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Outfield||Charlie Blackmon||Colorado Rockies|
|Outfield||Hunter Pence||San Francisco Giants|
|Outfield||Giancarlo Stanton||Miami Marlins|
|RHP||Johnny Cueto||Cincinnati Reds|
|LHP||Clayton Kershaw||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|RHP||Zack Greinke||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|LHP||Madison Bumgarner||San Francisco Giants|
|RHP||Adam Wainwright||St. Louis Cardinals|
|RHP||Tyson Ross||San Diego Padres|
|RHP||Jordan Zimmermann||Washington Nationals|
|RHP||Julio Teheran||Atlanta Braves|
|RHP||Craig Kimbrel||Atlanta Braves|
|LHP||Aroldis Chapman||Cincinnati Reds|
|RHP||Francisco Rodriguez||Milwaukee Brewers|
|LHP||Tony Watson||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|RHP||Pat Neshek||St. Louis Cardinals|
So, now with the roster intact, which players have been unreasonably left on the outside looking in?
Every year we see plenty of roster snubs, but it never fails to surprise. Here's a look at a handful of this year's biggest NL roster snubs.
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals
Anthony Rendon's exclusion from the NL's roster just doesn't make much sense at all. He's completely upped his game at the plate this year, batting .286 with 94 hits, 21 doubles, five triples, 12 home runs and 50 RBI.
Even his fielding percentage increased at third base from .868 in 2013 to .956 this season.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports summed it up nicely with this tweet:
For those wondering how Josh Harrison is an All-Star and Anthony Rendon or Anthony Rizzo or a whole lot of others aren't ... I got nothing.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 6, 2014
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs
Since Passan mentioned him in the previous tweet, we may as well get right to the snub of Anthony Rizzo.
He's been a great bat on a lackluster team this year, with a batting average of .274 including 84 hits, 13 doubles, one triple, 17 home runs and 45 RBI. He's holding his own defensively as well, with a fielding percentage of .992.
Those numbers may not warrant a start, but certainly deserve a place on the roster.
Casey McGehee, 3B, Miami Marlins
Casey McGehee may not be a power hitter, but he can sure manufacture runs.
Always steady at the plate, McGehee boasts a .317 batting average this season, including 106 hits, 20 doubles, one triple and one home run for 52 RBI. No slouch on defense, he's holding a fielding percentage of .983 and has only committed three errors this season.
"I'm pretty mad. It still doesn't make any sense. I know people get gypped every year from it. But this is my first case of being together and seeing the dominance that [McGehee] has been."
Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Even though Ryan Braun has been dealing with a bout of back spasms recently, he's played well enough to warrant a spot on the NL's roster.
Batting .288 for the season with 79 hits, 17 doubles, five triples, 11 home runs and 49 RBI—not to mention a perfect fielding percentage—makes him the epitome of a snub. His numbers may be slightly down this season, but he's still one of the NL's top threats at the plate.
Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
This is a rather close one due to the great play of Devin Mesoraco this season.
Buster Posey has been stellar on both offense and defense this season. He's batting .286 with 81 hits, 15 doubles, nine home runs and 41 RBI. Defensively, he boasts a .994 fielding percentage, has caught 14 baserunners and has only allowed three passed balls.
Those numbers just simply look All-Star worthy.