Top Position Players In The National League In 2010
The Major League Baseball season is coming to an end, with only two weeks left. With that, it's time to take a look at who the best players in the game have been in 2010.
This slideshow will focus on the top players at each position in the National League for this season. Stay updated for other slideshows concerning the American League, including the top pitchers of the year.
First Base: Albert Pujols
At one point earlier in the season, there may have been a Triple Crown winner in the National League for the first time since 1937.
One of the candidates for that was Cardinals slugging first baseman Albert Pujols.
Although that won't quite happen, Pujols has been the best at his position once again.
The Cardinals aren't making the playoffs in all likelihood, and Joey Votto's Reds are, but Pujols has the better numbers and is still the big guy on the block.
Pujols leads the league in both home runs and runs batted in, and is not the reason St. Louis will shockingly miss the postseason.
He is in the running for a third straight NL MVP Award, and even if he doesn't get it, he'll win one or two of the triple crown categories.
He started out slow, and was even hitting under .300 as recent as Aug. 1, but has clearly become the league's best first baseman again in 2010.
Runner-up: Joey Votto (Reds)
Second Base: Dan Uggla
You want to know who's underrated in the National League? How about Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla?
This guy has quietly hit 30 home runs for a fourth straight season in Miami, and has had the best offensive year of any second baseman in the NL.
Usually, Chase Utley would be the easy candidate, but injuries and lack of production coming back has taken his top status away for the year.
Uggla is not a great defensive player, but can burn you with his power any time, and he's clutch.
Uggla has even picked up the batting average pace, hitting .283 this season, which is 40 points higher than last season. He would be my pick for Silver Slugger at second base.
Runner-up: Omar Infante (Braves)
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki
Let's just erase what every other shortstop did from April through August. It's what Troy Tulowitzki has done in September for the surging Rockies.
In his past 15 games, he has hit 14 home runs and has driven in 33 runs this month. With his ridiculous surge, the Rockies are within striking distance for a playoff spot with two weeks to go.
Tulowitzki missed some time at the end of June and in July, but has now put himself right into the MVP discussion, especially if the Rockies make the playoffs.
He's simply putting together one of the greatest offensive months in Major League history.
So, apologies to guys like Hanley Ramirez, Starlin Castro, and Alex Gonzalez, but Tulowitzki has surpassed you all in 18 days.
Runner-up: Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)
Third Base: Ryan Zimmerman
Nobody ever talks about the Washington Nationals. Now, that's partly because they've never been good other than their first 81 games of existence.
It's not the fault of Ryan Zimmerman though, as he's as good as there is at third base. He not only can hit, but he won his first Gold Glove in 2009 and should win it again this season.
On an awful Nationals team, Zimmerman has hit 25 home runs and driven in 84 runs, while hitting over .300.
If the team can ever become a contender, then Zimmerman would get recognized as much as guys like David Wright and Scott Rolen. He's the best at third base and may be for a while.
Runner-up: David Wright (Mets)
Left Field: Carlos Gonzalez
Carlos Gonzalez is probably the lone clear-cut favorite of any position, and that's because he's been in a word—awesome.
He won't win the triple crown, but he does lead in a couple of categories, plus he's been great all across the board.
The duo of Tulowitzki and Gonzalez has pushed the Rockies to the edge of first place in the NL West.
Gonzalez leads the NL in batting average at .341, and in hits with 183. He has hit a career-high 32 home runs and has driven in a career-high 106 runs in his first full big league season.
If it weren't for Gonzalez's hefty batting average, Pujols and Votto may have had a final two-week push for the Triple Crown.
Pujols would've trailed Votto by 12 points in the batting race. So Gonzalez has helped put pressure on the NL West teams in front of Colorado and has ended all Triple Crown talk.
Runner-up: Matt Holliday (Cardinals)
Center Field: Chris Young
By picking Chris Young as the best center fielder in the NL this season, that just shows you how weak the crop was.
Young, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, fell off the face of the earth last season, but has come back strong in 2010.
He was embarrassed in the Home Run Derby by only hitting one shot, but he has been a decent outfielder for a team that has a bunch of young talent.
Other guys that could've gotten the honors for center field are Matt Kemp and Shane Victorino, but Kemp doesn't hustle enough and Victorino's numbers aren't so great.
Young has hit 25 home runs and has driven in 85 runs.
Runner-up: Matt Kemp (Dodgers)
Right Field: Andre Ethier
Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers is having a pretty good season in right field, but was hitting nearly .400 early on.
Before breaking his pinkie in batting practice back on May 14, Ethier was batting .392, and some people were wondering whether he'd bat .400 for the first time since Ted Williams did so in 1941.
The injury slowed him down, but he's still having one of the best seasons for a right fielder, hitting 22 home runs and driving in 75 runs. He's also Mr. Clutch, as he's hit more than his share of walk-off home runs, and that alone takes him past runner-up Jayson Werth.
Werth has had a very similar season to Ethier, but take a look at the numbers and you'll see one major difference that hands Either the honors.
Andre Ethier: .290 BA, 22 HR, 75 RBI, .289 w/RISP
Jayson Werth: .289 BA, 22 HR, 72 RBI, .172 w/RISP
As you can see, Ethier and Werth are split by one point in batting average and three runs batted in, but Werth is hitting a dreadful .172 with runners in scoring position.
So therefore, Ethier has been the better player in right field.
Runner-up: Jayson Werth
Catcher: Buster Posey
He's only played in 94 games, and already Buster Posey has made an impact in the playoff race. With the Giants fighting to stay in first place and in the Wild Card race in the NL, Posey has had a great season.
He's a Rookie of the Year candidate, and is batting .322 with 14 home runs for San Francisco. He's also a pretty good defensive catcher, only committing five errors, and he can only play first base.
There have been a ton of great rookies come through the NL in 2010, and only Jason Heyward of the Braves would beat Posey out for the rookie award.
Runner-up: Brian McCann (Braves)