Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Grading the Fan Vote - National League

Yesterday we looked at the American League All-Star starters, so naturally, it's now time to look at the National League.

Catcher: Russell Martin
Grade: A
Explanation: Martin has easily been the best of the NL catchers this year, so it's good to see him get the start that he deserves. He's very good offensively, solid defensively, and even has 16 SB.

First Base: Prince Fielder
Grade: A
Explanation: I think Albert Pujols would be a pretty solid choice here as well, but so far Prince has been the best. The power is obvious (27 HR, over .600 SLG), but he is also getting on base at a decent clip. Once again, the voters make the right choice here.

Second Base: Chase Utley
Grade: A
Explanation: Like A-Rod in the AL, Utley is so far ahead of the competition here that I don't even need to explain.

Third Base: David Wright
Grade: C
Explanation: Wright is an OK choice because he does play very solid defense and swipes a decent number of bases, but there were better choices. Chipper Jones has been the best hitting 2B, but he has been plagued by injury troubles. Beyond him, Miguel Cabrera may be getting bigger at an alarming rate, but he can still rake. I'd probably give him the nod here.

Shortstop: Jose Reyes
Grade: B
Explanation: I think I have talked about this before, but I don't think Reyes is a bad choice, I just think Edgar Renteria and Hanley Ramirez might be a little better choices. But I really can't argue too much about Reyes, who is superb.

Outfield: Barry Bonds
Grade: A
Explanation: ESPN may calls Bonds' season lackluster, but he's been the best hitter in the National League and is an easy choice. He's older, he's bad at defense, but he has been great at the dish.

Outfield: Carlos Beltran
Grade: C-
Explanation: Beltran is still a really good player, but I don't think he deserves the nod here. I would take guys like Matt Holliday, Adam Dunn, or even Alfonso Soriano over him. Beltran still plays great defense, but he doesn't steal as many bases anymore and he's not hitting as well as he did last year.

Outfield: Ken Griffey Jr.
Grade: A
Explanation: Griffey continues to hit very well, and I do think he deserves this starting spot. He's 3rd in the NL in HR and 6th in SLG, and combine that with an OBP near .400 and solid defense, he is very deserving of his spot.

Overall, I'm impressed. I thought it was a little better than the American League voting, and pretty good overall. Only 2 starters that I would really have a problem with, and one more that is questionable.

What are your thoughts?