The Real National League All Stars

Bleacher ReportContributor IIIJune 15, 2011

The Real National League All Stars

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    Jose Reyes
    Jose ReyesJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Over the next few weeks Major League Baseball will give the public updates on the voting for the All-Star teams.

    Nothing upsets me more than the rosters that the fans, players, and coaches select. The closers with the most saves and the starting pitchers with the most wins populate the rosters, while deserving set-up men are left at home. 

    Here are my picks for the 34 man National League roster. (Every team in the NL will be represented). No matter what there will always be deserving candidates left off the roster, but these are my guys.  

Catcher

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    HOUSTON - JUNE 12:  Catcher Brian McCann #16 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after Jason Michaels #4 of the Houston Astros was called safe at first base on a close call at Minute Maid Park on June 12, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Starter: Brian McCann

    McCann leads all NL catchers in wRC+ (133), and he comes into Wednesday with a .301/.372/.489 with 9 home runs. There is no doubt that McCann is the best offensive catcher in the National League, and deserves a place in the starting lineup.

    Reserves: Miguel Montero and Chris Iannetta

    Montero is the most obvious first reserve. He is third among NL catchers with a wRC of 128, and has an impressive line of .282/.362/.490 with 8 home runs. His ISO of .209 is the second best among NL catchers.

    My last catcher spot was between Iannetta and Yadier Molina. Molina is the best defensive catcher in the game and he has put together a nice season going .306/.357/.437. However, Iannetta leads NL catchers in ISO, OBP and is tied with McCann in home runs. Furthermore, I like what Iannetta's performance behind the plate this season.   

First Base

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 14:  Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds hits an RBI single to put the Reds ahead 2-1 in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 14, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Gett
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Starter: Joey Votto

    Votto is second among NL First Basemen in wRC+ (168) and first in WAR (3.4), batting average (.332), stolen bases (6) and OBP (.458). He is also an above-average defender at the position.   

    Reserves: Prince Fielder, Gaby Sanchez, Albert Pujols 

    If there wasn't a DH spot in the lineup, I would have made Fielder the starter at first base. He has posted an impressive slash line of .300/.416/.617, and he leads all NL first basemen in home runs (19) and ISO (.317).

    The last two spots were easy to decide. Sanchez's .311/.386/.504 line, 11 home runs and 144 wRC+ are too impressive to ignore, and Albert Pujols, despite his struggles, has produced 15 home runs and a .210 ISO.   

Second Base

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    ATLANTA, GA - MAY 04:  Rickie Weeks #23 of the Milwaukee Brewers against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on May 4, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Starter: Rickie Weeks

    Weeks is at the top of the class among NL second basemen. He leads in home runs (12), runs scored, (48), wRC+ (137) and wOBA (.371). He has a line of .282/.355/.487 and 7 stolen bases for the season.   

    Reserves: Brandon Phillips, Danny Espinosa 

    There really isn't a standout among the rest of the NL second basemen. I chose Phillips and Espinosa because Phillips provides the best defense and Espinosa is the Washington Nationals' lone representative. 

    Daniel Murphy hasn't played enough games at the position, and Neil Walker would have been my last pick if the Nationals had another representative. 

Third Base

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 02:  Ryan Roberts #14 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the Washington Nationals during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on June 2, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Nationals defeated the Diamondbacks 6-1.  (Photo by Ch
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Starter: Ryan Roberts

    Roberts continues to have the best overall season among National League third basemen. He leads in WAR (2.0), ISO (.210), home runs (10) and stolen bases (9). Additionally, he is an above average defender at the position.  

    Reserves: Chase Headley, Placido Polanco

    This group is the least impressive field in the National League. Headley makes the squad because the Padres need a representative and he leads all NL third basemen in wRC+ (125). He may be the best defensive third baseman in baseball. Polanco leads in batting average, and provides above average defense. 

Shortstop

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    ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 14:  Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets reacts after scoring in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 14, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Starter: Jose Reyes

    Reyes is having a career year in 2011, hitting .346/.389/.525 with 3 home runs and 22 stolen bases through the first two and half months of the season. Furthermore, he leads all NL shortstops in wOBA (.402), wRC+ (157), WAR (4.0), and runs scored (49).   

    Reserves: Troy Tulowtizki, Stephen Drew 

    Tulowitzki and Drew represent the other top shortstops in the NL. They are second and third respectively, in wOBA, wRC+ and WAR. Starlin Castro could have made the roster as the Chicago Cubs' lone representative, but I found a more appropriate spot for the Cubs later in the list. 

Outfield

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    DENVER, CO - JUNE 10:  Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers rounds the bases as he hit a solo homerun off of Matt Belisle #34 of the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning at Coors Field on June 10, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Dod
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Starters: Matt Kemp, Lance Berkman, Ryan Braun 

    Kemp is having a fantastic season hitting 20 home runs, stealing 20 bases and posting a line of .332/.417/.636.

    Berkman, the comeback player of the year, continues to amaze with 17 home runs and a line of .318/.435/.630.

    Braun takes the last starting spot with a line of .306/.393/.548, 16 home runs and 16 stolen bases. 

    Reserves: Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Hunter Pence  

    Adding the last three outfielders was one of the tougher decisions I made.

    McCutchen has had one of the better overall seasons hitting .292/.393/.490 with 10 home runs and 12 stolen bases.

    Pence had to make the roster because he is the best player the Houston Astros have on the roster. 

    The last spot was between Bruce, Mike Stanton and Matt Holiday. Holliday played in the fewest amount of games, and I felt that Bruce could provide the same power as Stanton but with better defense. 

Starting Pitchers

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    PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 10: Starting pitcher Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park on June 10, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 7-5. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty
    Hunter Martin/Getty Images

    Starter: Roy Halladay

    Halladay is the best pitcher pitcher in baseball, and he should get the start for the NL. 

    Reserves: Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Jaime Garcia, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Tommy Hanson

    There were a bunch of different pitchers who could have made this roster.

    Hamels and Lee are second and third in xFIP, and Lee leads all starters in strikeouts.  The San Francisco Giants needed a representative, and Lincecum has the best xFIP of the group. 

    I believe Hanson and Garcia are better pitchers than Jair Jurrgens and Kyle Loshe, and Kershaw deserves his spot over Marcum because of BABIP. 

Relief Pitchers

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 11:  Joel Hanrahan #52 of the Pittsburgh Pirates closes out the game against the New York Mets in the ninth inning during the game on June 11, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Pirates defeated the Mets 3-2.  (Photo
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Relief Pitchers: Joel Hanrahan, Jonny Venters, Craig Kimbrel, Mike Adams, Sean Marshall 

    These roster spots are the most subjective. Venters is the best reliever in the National League, and Hanrahan has had the season of any closer in the NL. Kimbrel has the highest strikeout rate and Mike Adams is in the top five in xFIP. The Chicago Cubs needed a representative and Sean Marshall is also in the top five in xFIP.   

Lineup

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02:  Manager Bruce Bochy #15 of the San Francisco Giants watches the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 2, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    SS- Reyes

    1B- Votto

    CF- Kemp

    DH- Fielder 

    LF- Braun 

    RF- Berkman

    C-McCann 

    2B-Weeks 

    3B- Roberts

    SP- Halladay 

    CP- Hanrahan 

     

    Number of Representatives per team: 

    Braves- 4

    Phillies- 4 

    Brewers-3

    Cardinals-3 

    Diamondbacks-3

    Reds-3 

    Dodgers-2

    Pirates- 2

    Rockies-2 

    Astros-1

    Cubs-1

    Giants-1 

    Marlins-1 

    Mets- 1

    Nationals-1

    Padres- 1