For a team that didn't have many expectations coming into the 2008 season, the San Francisco Giants have quite a few players who are having seasons to remember.
Even though he can't be voted in by the fans, the effort that Tim Lincecum has put in this season is remarkable. He has established himself as one of the games best just two seasons after being drafted out of the University of Washington in 2006.
Despite recording a no decision against the Rockies on Wednesday, The Franchise, who is 8-1 on the year, lowered his ERA to 1.99 and is second in the majors behind Edison Volquez in that category. Lincecum also trails Volquez by four strikeouts (96 to 92) for the Major League lead.
It has not only been the dominating pitching that Lincecum has shown this season, but when he does it. Every time he takes the mound, it seems that it's after a Giants' loss. He has become the Giants' stopper and most consistant pitcher in his first full season in the Majors.
Lincecum's battery mate, Benjie Molina, didn't sign with the Giants before last season thinking that he would be the cleanup hitter. However, with Barry Bonds out for good, Molina has stepped in and put up numbers. All the while also guiding a young pitching staff.
Playing a position that has always been a problem for the Giants' offense, Molina is having one of the best years of his career at the age of 33. His .321 average is by far the best of his career, and he is tied for the Major League lead in RBIs (42) with Cubs' catcher Geovany Soto.
Aaron Rowand came to the Giants this winter and immediately became a leader in the clubhouse. The way he plays and the way he carries himself everyday has become the way the rest of team has become. Rowand has backed-up his $60 million contract by hitting .328, with eight home runs, 38 RBI, and playing his usual gold glove caliber defense.
However, the most unlikely person to be considered for a place on the All-Star team is closer Brian Wilson. Having a chance to win the job last spring, Wilson gave up runs every outing. This time around, he took control of the closer job in the spring and has not looked back.
After two consecutive rough outings against the White Sox and Rockies in May, Wilson has converted six straight saves and has not allowed a run in his last nine outings, seeing his ERA drop almost two runs. For the season, Wilson leads the National League lead in saves (19) on a team that is seven games under .500.
The Giants know that they will at least have one representative in the Bronx next month. His name will be Tim Lincecum. Whether he will be making the trip with anybody else is still to be determined.