Yesterday, I gave my thoughts on the American League All Star Roster. To summarize, overall, they got the starters right, but had some swing and misses (pun COMPLETELY intended) in the reserves. I mean how do the third place White Sox have more All Stars than the Twins who have been a top two or three team in the AL all season long? But I digress. We aren’t discussing the AL today. We are talking about the NL. The National League, by many accounts got it much better than the AL. As I pointed out yesterday, only 11 of the top 21 leaders in WAR for the AL made the team whereas 18 out of the top 21 NL players made it. Let’s hit the tape.
National League All Star Roster
C – Wilson Contreras CHC
1B – Freddie Freeman, ATL
2B – Ketel Marte, ARI
3B – Nolan Arenado, COL
SS – Javy Baez, CHC
OF – Christian Yelich, MIL
OF – Cody Bellinger, LAD
OF – Ronald Acuna Jr, ATL
Reserves: C – Yasmani Grandal MIL, C – JT Realmuto PHI, 1B – Pete Alonso NYM, 1B – Josh Bell PIT, 2B – Mike Moustakas MIL, 3B – Kris Bryant CHC, 3B – Anthony Rendon WAS, SS – Paul DeJong STL, SS – Trevor Story COL, OF – Charlie Blackmon COL, OF – David Dahl COL, OF – Jeff McNeil NYM
Pitchers: Sandy Alcantara MIA, Walker Buehler LAD, Luis Castillo CIN, Jacob deGrom NYM, Zack Greinke ARI, Josh Hader MIL, Clayton Kershaw LAD, Hyun-Jin Ryu LAD, Max Scherzer WAS, Will Smith SF, Mike Soroka ATL, Kirby Yates SD
Looking at the starters, there’s really nothing wrong there. I have to say as much as I wasn’t a fan of this new way of voting, the fans really pretty much nailed it as far as starters go. Like sure some of the “nominees” for the top 3 were a little suspect, but they got starters right on. All of the starters for the National League were no brainers in my book. I was personally most happy to see Ketel Marte get the start. He’s easily the smallest name of the group, but was overall the best second baseman in the league. Moustakas certainly has a case, but his defense at second, while surprisingly good, is not as terrible as one might think, isn’t as good as Marte’s.
Taking a look at the pitchers, again pretty good picks. I don’t know I know this isn’t as spicy as yesterday’s, but considering the rules of having each team represented, I guess everything checks out. Max Scherzer was an animal in June (and really always), Ryu has been the best pitcher on the best team in baseball on a rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. He’s also kind of a fat Asian lefty so he’s pretty fun to watch. He’s getting the start so be sure to watch him pitch. The only pitcher that kind of has no business being there is Sandy Alcantera who’s 1.40 WHIP and 4.54 FIP is really not good. However I guess he’s been the best player on a shitty team *shruggy face.*
We’ll talk snubs in a second, but the reserves are also pretty good. The guy I was happiest to see make it was Jeff McNeil. He’s leading the NL in hitting and is just a professional hitter. He’s third in on-base percentage behind Bellinger and Yelich and has been a Swiss Army Knife on the defensive side of things. Anthony Rendon is one of the guys that got kind of fucked in the nominee stage of the voting. He’s easily the second best third baseman in the NL this season which is saying something considering third base is absolutely loaded with Arenado, Bryant, Machado, you can even throw Josh Donaldson in there too. This is Rendon’s first All Star Game which is kind of hard to believe. Like Bogaerts in the AL, Rendon has been one of the most underappreciated players in baseball.
Alright and now to the snubs. I don’t really think there’s tiers here; I think there were just a bunch of really good players. The two biggest guys that everyone is saying should have made it is Max Muncy and Fernando Tatis Jr. Both guys, definitely deserving. However, let’s start with Muncy. He’s a first baseman. It’s hard to argue Muncy over Freeman, Josh Bell, or Pete Alonso. After that though Anthony Rizzo, Paul Goldschmidt, and Rhys Hoskins all have cases. This is just another example of first base being absolutely LOADED. You could say that the top seven or eight first basemen in baseball all are in the National League. It sucks, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Now what works for Muncy though is his ability to play other positions. He can play second, third, and outfield. This has been the case with other guys in recent years too; being listed as a position when they really play multiple positions, and I think down the road you could see something along the lines of what the NBA did with their All Star Game and just have front court an back court players. I could see MLB doing something like instead of having spots for specific positions, they have a few generic “Infield” spots or even “Utility” spots.
Fernando Tatis Jr is the other guy with a case. He is having a superior season to Paul DeJong, but DeJong also has played in almost double the amount of games. It’s kind of tough to give an All Star nod to a guy that’s only played in 50 games. I mean, I’d vote for him, but I get it.
So there you go. There’s the full All Star roster breakdown. I’m sure some of the snubs we discussed will make the team through injuries, but regardless, the All Star Game should be great!