For those that don’t know, voting is currently open for fans to pick who they want to see in the 2011 All-Star Game. This year the game will be held on July 12th out west in Arizona. After the jump I will be making my picks for who I think should represent the National League this year and tomorrow will be the American League’s turn. If you want to make your own picks, you can do so here.
The Astros unfortunately will only have one representative but in years past some players have made the game not so much as they were deserving but rather because each team is required to have a representative. This is not the case for the Astros as they have a player playing at close to MVP level, can you guess who?
Catcher: Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves- This came down to either McCann or Miguel Montero from Arizona. As much as it hurts to pick McCann considering he has hit four of his nine home runs against Astros, he is the choice here.
First Base: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds- Votto has not missed a step since his MVP year last year as he is hitting .331 with nine home runs and 43 RBI so far this season. I picked Votto over Pujols because Votto’s batting average is over 50 points higher than Pujols.
Second Base: Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers- A team generally doesn’t expect to get power from the middle infield positions and Weeks has already hit 12 home runs this season. No other real options here.
Third Base: Placido Polanco, Philadelphia Phillies- Again there isn’t much competition here as Polanco leads all third basemen in batting average and RBI. He also is playing on the first place Phillies, which doesn’t hurt.
Shortstop: Jose Reyes, New York Mets- Reyes is playing lights out right now hitting .346 and has swiped 22 bases already. Lets not forget he already has 97 hits. Troy Tulowitzki and his 13 home runs could make a case but not a very strong one considering how good Reyes has been.
Left Field: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers- Leads left fielders in hits, home runs, RBI, batting average and stolen bases. Do I need to say anymore?
Center Field: Matt Kemp, LA Dodgers- A case can be made for Michael Bourn and his 27 stolen bases but that is it when Kemp beats him in runs, hits, home runs, RBI and batting average. He also single handedly carried his team for a few weeks earlier in the season.
Right Field: Hunter Pence, Houston Astros- Leads all right fielders in hits, RBI, batting average but a strong case can be made for Lance Berkman, Justin Upton, Mike Stanton and Jay Bruce. The difference I think is the fact that Pence has already had two different hit streaks of 23 and 15 games and has been primarily been doing it alone in the Astros’ lineup.
Starting Pitcher: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies- Doc has been doing exactly what he has for years now. He has the most wins for any National League pitcher, the second lowest ERA at 2.39, 106 strikeouts (which is only one off the lead) to only 14 walks.
Closer: Joel Hanrahan, Pittsburgh Pirates- This may come as a little bit surprise to some but looking at what he has done so far this season, he is my pick. He is the only one to not have a blown save with double digit saves, a perfect 18 for 18. He has a 1.42 ERA, lowest ERA among primary closers and 28 strikeouts to only 7 walks.