MLB All-Star Game 2010: The Should-Be NL Starters
As all baseball fans know, they get to vote every year for the players they want represented to start in the Midsummer Classic.
Unfortunately, most fans get the selections wrong and many undeserving players are selected to start in the All-Star game.
My list for the 2010 NL All-Star starters is based on what these players did for their teams in the first half of the season and the stats that back up their claim.
Phillies fans might be disappointed with these selections...
Jimenez always had the mechanics and electric fastball to be a great Major League Pitcher. The results are showing.
Jimenez is leading the National League in wins with 14 and only lost one game so far in the 1st half. He is on pace to win an improbable 30 games this season.
His 1.83 earned run average is the best in all of baseball. Ubaldo has 102 strikeouts (ninth in NL) and is currently fifth in innings pitched with 113.
Ubaldo is a big reason why the Rockies have a shot at the NL West. The team is 15-1 when Jimenez takes the mound. They are a mediocre 26-36 when their other pitchers start.
Jimenez is currently having the best season for a pitcher since Pedro Martinez's incredible 2000 season.
He should be rewarded for it with a start in the midsummer classic...
Shocking, isn't it...
Olivo is having the best season of NL catchers thus far. The career backup is keeping the Rockies in the NL race with his bat and glove.
Miguel is first among NL catchers in batting average (.310), home runs (11), runs batted in (38), and slugging percentage (.540). Not even Atlanta's Brian McCann is around these numbers.
No NL catcher comes close to what numbers Olivo is putting up defensively.
He is third in the NL in fielding percentage (.993) and leads the league in caught stealing percentage (.541).
Did I mention he catches Ubaldo Jimenez?
Olivo is the Rockies most valuable player in the first half and it would be an injustice if he does not make the All-Star game.
This is one of two selections the fans will get right.
Pujols is the best player in baseball. He deserves to start at first base for the NL as long as he's producing.
And he continues to produce...
Phat Albert is second among NL first baseman in batting average at .308, which is considerably low from his career .332.
He is tied for first in the league with 19 home runs and third with 58 runs batted in.
Oh, and he's just starting to heat up...
Pujols continues to carry the Cardinals, who are at the top of the NL Central. If he hits, the Cardinals win.
Pujols is on track to be a first ballot hall of famer, so he should be an All-Star starter (and has the numbers to back his claim).
With Chase Utley out eight weeks, Prado will start.
Regardless, he should have started over Utley anyway.
Prado is a key cog in the Braves offensive machine. The leadoff man gets on base so the big boys can hit.
In other words, he gets the job done.
Prado leads the NL in batting average (.333). and hits (111). He is second in runs scored (60) and tied for first in doubles (25).
He does everything Bobby Cox requires out of a leadoff hitter. When Martin scores the Braves win.
And the Braves have been doing a lot of winning lately. The team is leading the NL East and Prado is a big reason why...
This is the other selection the fans get right.
Besides the Fredi Gonzalez debacle, Ramirez is having another stellar season.
He leads all NL shortstops in home runs (12), runs batted in (51), walks (38), and on base percentage (.382).
Ramirez is second among NL shortstops in hits (85) and stolen bases (15).
Simply put: Hanley hits and produces runs for his ball club.
The Marlins may be in the midst of a bad season, but Hanley is not the reason (at least on the field).
2010 is the renaissance of Scott Rolen.
The leader of the Cincinnati Reds might be guiding them to their first postseason appearance since 1999.
If the Reds get there, Rolen's bat and glove will be a huge factor.
Rolen is putting up MVP numbers this season. He is 12th in the NL with a .302 batting average that keeps getting higher every game. Scott is tied for sixth in the league in home runs (17) and seventh in runs batted in (54).
He is the catalyst in the 2010 Big Red Machine by providing clutch hits late in ballgames.
Scott is still the best defensive third baseman in the game and continues to prevent runs at the hot corner.
Many Reds players will be rewarded for their spectacular seasons in Anaheim, but Rolen deserves to start this game. His leadership will provide a spark in the NL clubhouse.
Corey Hart is now the heart of the Milwaukee Brewers lineup.
The 2008 All-Star is having a career year at the plate. Hart is tied for second in the NL with 18 home runs. He is third in runs batted in (60) and slugging percentage (.570).
Oh, he's playing stellar defense too...
Hart is fifth in fielding percentage among right fielders (.993) and outfield assists (4). He only has one error in right field all season.
The Brewers are not having a good season, but Hart is. He should be rewarded for it with a starting spot in the midsummer classic.
Werth every penny.
Jayson Werth is having a fantastic year at the plate for the injury-plagued Phillies. He looks to be the cream of the crop in the free-agent class of 2010.
Werth continues to tear the cover off the ball. He is ninth among NL outfielders in batting average (.292), tied for sixth in home runs (13), and tied for fifth in runs batted in (47).
Werth is consistent in every offensive aspect of the game, which is why he deserves to start in the midsummer classic. He has the ability to turn singles into doubles with his blazing speed on the base paths.
He is also a solid defensive player with the throwing ability that holds runners on the base paths every time he touches the ball.
The two-time defending NL champions need one deserving all-star starter. Werth is that guy...
Surprised by this one?
McCutchen may play for the worst franchise in baseball, but he deserves to start this game.
Andrew's base running ability cannot be overlooked. He is second in the NL in stolen bases (19) and scored 49 runs for the lowly Pirates.
McCutchen is fifth among outfielders in batting average (.301), tied for fourth in hits (87), and forth in on base percentage (.375).
There are impressive numbers for a player that plays on the Pirates.
McCutchen is one of the top young players in baseball and his team usually does not draft good young players like him. McCutchen gets my vote to start simply because no center fielder has been impressive the first half of the season.
He won't be playing first base in this year’s midsummer classic.
Howard is the best DH the National League has to offer. He is one of the most dangerous players in baseball.
The Big Bopper is hitting a surprising .295 this season, which means he can get on base without the long ball.
Howard is tenth in the NL in home runs (15) and tied for fifth in runs batted in (55).
When he steps up to the plate, manager Charlie Manuel will ask him to do one thing: hit a home run.
Howard produces when the lights are on and the cameras are flashing. There will be plenty of that in the All-Star game.