MLB Predictions, Part Two: My NL All-Star Team

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The NL has an embarrassment of riches. It’s tough to pick a starting nine for the All-Star game. 


Last week I presented my picks for the AL All-Star team. Now that the All-Star ballots have officially opened, it would be a sin for me to not to make All-Star predictions for the National League.

So here’s who I think will be taking the field this July for the NL.

Catcher–J.T. Realmuto, MIA–21 Games/ 2 Home runs/ 9 RBIs/ .329 AVG
Coming into this I thought that the NL catcher would be the easiest pick of all. Buster Posey has been the most dominant catcher in baseball for the past six years. But not so fast…. Considering that this year’s All-Star festivities will be taking place in Miami, I think Realmuto is the best bet–barring injury or stint in his numbers.

Courtesy: MASN.com

First Base–Ryan Zimmerman, WAS–24 Games/ 11 Home runs/ 29 RBIs/ .420 AVG
The NL First Base race is stacked with incredible talent. Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, Joey Votto, Wil Myers, and Freddie Freeman are all great players, any of whom could easily win the All-Star vote. But they all play in the same league at the same time. Having said that, it’s extremely hard to ignore Zimmerman’s fantastic start. Seeing Zimmerman in an NL All-Star uniform might be a bit of a blast from the past, but there is no question he’s the best first baseman in baseball right now. He’s leading the league in HR’s and RBIs. If Zimmerman keeps up those numbers he could walk away with the MVP trophy.

Second Base–Daniel Murphy, WAS–24 Games/ 5 Home runs/ 26 RBIs/ .343 AVG
The rise of Daniel Murphy just might be one of the weirdest phenomenons that I’ve seen in baseball. No doubt he was a solid middle infielder in New York. But since his move to DC he has become the best second baseman in the game. And what’s scary is that Murphy’s numbers show no signs of slowing down: he is currently second in the MLB in RBIs and hits, and is carrying one of the best batting averages in the league.

Courtesy: Denver Post Blogs

Third Base–Nolan Arenado, COL–26 Games/ 7 Home runs/ 16 RBIs/ .293 AVG
This one was hard, really hard–not because of the large amount of skill at the position–but because I know I’m snubbing Jake Lamb. Lamb is having a career start, batting .284 with 5 HR’s and 21 RBIs. But, unfortunately, the All-Star spot doesn’t always go to the best player at a position. Actually, Lamb would have been my third choice–behind Arenado and Kris Bryant. Arenado is seeing the ball well and provides the high-floor, high-ceiling combo that baseball fans love to watch. But, yeah, if Lamb keeps it up, he’ll get my vote … and he should get yours, too.

Shortstop–Chris Owings, ARI–25 Games/ 4 Home runs/ 19 RBIs/ .311 AVG
I couldn’t snub the Diamondbacks two picks in a row. I just couldn’t do it. Owings is having a great season, ranking first among all shortstops in RBIs and stolen bases. Corey Seager and Trea Turner pose the biggest threat for Owings and his All-Star aspirations because they’re also having good starts. And both are more popular among ‘borderline’ fans. Owings should make the team, though. His eligibility at outfield makes it easier to make the team, but I hope he gets the start at shortstop.

Outfield–Eric Thames, MIL–25 Games/ 11 Home runs/ 20 RBIs/ .341 AVG
Though he’s played the majority of his games this year at first base, Thames has six appearances in the outfield so far. I’m going to exploit that and pick him and Zimmerman as starters. After his stint in Korea, Thames has come back to see the ball like he never has before. His 11 HR’s are tied for first in the MLB, one shy of his career record, which he accomplished during his rookie season. Assuming that Thames’ numbers are real, he’s about to have a season that Milwaukee fans haven’t seen since Ryan Braun’s heyday.

Courtesy: rwbsportsco.com

Outfield–Bryce Harper, WAS–25 Games/ 9 Home runs/ 26 RBIs/ .391 AVG
The 2015 MVP is finally putting up numbers that fans expect from him. After a pretty bad 2016 season, Harper has shown his ability to play yet again at a high level, proving why he is one of the most exciting players in the Major Leagues. Perhaps his most impressive statistics is OBP, which sits currently at a whooping .508. It’s due, in part, to his high batting average and a league-leading 22 walks. The MVP alarm goes off whenever the name, ‘Bryce Harper,’ is mentioned. So keep your eye out on his numbers. I don’t them dipping.

Outfield–Marcell Ozuna, MIA–24 Games/ 7 Home runs/ 22 RBIs/ .293 AVG
This pick was surprisingly challenging, considering that my first two outfield picks were givens. The third outfield spot could open the door to some interesting player re-locations. Kris Bryant and Trea Turner (two people I’ve snubbed) have experience in the outfield. There are also veterans–Matt Kemp and Ryan Braun, come to mind–who are building cases for making the team. However, I’m going to pull the ‘Realmuto card’ and assume that Miami fans will rally and get either Ozuna or Christian Yelich into the starting lineup.

Courtesy: NY Post

Starting Pitcher–Clayton Kershaw, LAD–6 GS/ 4-2/ 44 Strikeouts/ 2.61 ERA/ 0.87 WHIP
Tell me you’re surprised. I dare you! Although he’s off to a rough start, Clayton Kershaw remains the most dominant starter in the Major Leagues … hands down. Yeah, he has a higher ERA than normal, but Kershaw has been able to keep his WHIP low. That proves he isn’t getting rocked. He’s just throwing a few pitches he’d like to take back. If he makes this year’s team, it would be Kershaw’s seventh all-star appearance in a row–yet his first-ever All-Star start. If Kershaw can manage to get his ERA down, that should be a lock. But that could chance if it still floats around the mid-2’s by the All-Star Break. A pitcher, say Max Scherzer, would creep into his rear-view mirror.

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About Frank Weber

I’m a Junior at the State University of New York College at Geneseo, majoring in Communications with a concentration in Media and Journalism. I’ve been around sports my whole life and am a die hard Jets and Yankees fan. I’m a stat freak, too, and I love all sports ranging from Premier League soccer to NASCAR. Favorite Teams: New York Yankees, New York Jets, New York Knicks, New York City FC, Chelsea FC



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