Hunter Pence will be representing the Houston Astros at this year's All-Star Game in Arizona. Some may think it was the easy choice as Pence is having a career year and the Astros have been really bad.
Looking at the players currently on the team, it may not be such a cut and dry decision. I have come up with a couple of names who could of made the National League team over Pence.
Jeff Keppinger started the year on the disabled list and has only played in 39 games this season. However, when he has played, he has been one of the top players on the Astros.
He is hitting .301 with 18 runs scored and 16 RBI. He has provided some steady production from the second base position and will be a hot commodity next week when trade activity heats up.
Wilton Lopez has been a bright spot in arguably the worst bullpen in the majors right now. The righty is having a strong first full season with the Astros striking out 35 in 41.2 innings pitched.
He has been the primary set up man for closer Mark Melancon and while he is 1-4 he does have eight holds and a respectable ERA of 2.81.
Bud Norris has had a strong sophomore season for the Astros and has developed in a good strikeout pitcher. He leads the team in strikeouts with 113 through 18 starts and leads all starters with an ERA of 3.46.
He also has a K/9 of 9.08 which is good enough for sixth in all of the major leagues, which is better than the likes of Cliff Lee, Justin Verlander, and even Roy Halladay.
Wandy has been right up there as one of the Astros top pitchers to start the season. He is 6-6 and has 10 quality starts already this season.
He has a pretty good ERA of 3.52 and has consistently been going deep into games. Generally a second half pitcher, Wandy has had a good first half and this year was his best chance in his career to make the All-Star Game.
Everybody I have previously stated could make a case but Bourn has by far the strongest case of being picked in the All-Star Game over Pence.
This year he is hitting .287 with 60 runs scored and 27 RBI as the lead off hitter for the Astros. The biggest reason that Bourn should have been picked is his major league leading 35 stolen bases and the fact that he has only been caught stealing four times this year.
The answer to that question is yes. Hunter Pence leads the Astros in hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage for the regular starters.
He has been the Astros offense for the majority of the season, knocking in almost 17 percent of their total runs. If you add together his runs scored and RBI, he has been a part of almost 30 percent of the Astros total runs this season.