5 San Francisco Giants Who Deserve to Play in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game
5 San Francisco Giants Who Should Be NL All-Stars
Though the San Francisco Giants entered Tuesday night's game in fourth place in the NL West, they certainly have not been devoid of good performance this season. The great first-half efforts from several players, along with their manager Bruce Bochy having final say over the All-Star selections, make it likely that the Giants will be highly represented at the 2013 All-Star Game.
One noticeable change this year is that the Giants likely will not have a starting pitcher on the team for the first time since 2007, and Matt Cain figures to be left off the roster for the first time since 2010. It's within the realm of possibilities that left-hander Madison Bumgarner could find a spot, but there are many more deserving starters, and if Bochy selects him he will probably face heavy criticism for favoring his own players. On the bright side from a pitching standpoint, Sergio Romo looks to have a great chance to be an All-Star in his first full year as a closer.
As far as position players, the Giants look to have many candidates for selection. Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval have all made strong pushes for selection. Brandon Crawford has had a fantastic year as well, though his offense may not be enough in a year of great play from NL shortstops. It's still possible, however, that Crawford's status as the National League's best defensive shortstop could lift him over the top.
Here are the five Giants who are most deserving of a trip to Citi Field next month.
Buster Posey, C
Though his first half this year hasn't been as remarkable as his second half and playoff offerings last year, Posey has still been great and is unquestionably the Giants' best player. You could make an argument that even had Posey struggled immensely this year, he still would be selected due to the fact that he led his team to World Series wins in each of his first two healthy seasons. Despite the fact that his numbers have not been as good as the St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina this year and he is currently trailing him in the fan vote, Molina and Posey are far and away the top two catchers in the league and are locks to be selected to the game.
Sergio Romo, RHP
Sergio Romo would be a great candidate to join the NL bullpen. In his first full year as a closer, he has held up well and ranks sixth in the NL in saves with 19. He has pitched consistently well this year and has a 2.40 ERA. Though he could be hurt by his team's general lack of success and tendency to win games in blowouts or in walk-off fashion, he is definitely helped by having Bochy on his side. Depending on how many closers the National League carries, Romo could be in line for his first All-Star appearance.
Marco Scutaro, 2B
There is a very good argument that can be made for Marco Scutaro being the best second baseman in the National League. He leads NL second basemen with a .330 average and has only struck out 20 times in 261 at-bats. Though he isn't a dynamic leadoff hitter like Matt Carpenter and doesn't have the power of Brandon Phillips, he's remarkably consistent. Even with Scutaro and Carpenter having career years, Phillips figures to win the fan voting with his .265 batting average. With this in mind, Scutaro's chances will likely come down to whether the NL has room for three second basemen.
Hunter Pence, RF
After struggling in the latter part of 2012, Hunter Pence has rebounded in fantastic fashion in 2013. Pence leads the Giants with 12 home runs and a surprising 13 stolen bases, and has played very good defense in right field as well. Though he is hitting an unremarkable .289, he is probably the closest thing to a five-tool player that the Giants have. In addition, there's not an exceptional amount of competition in the NL outfield. Bochy has made it clear that he wants to find a spot for Pence on the team, so it's likely that Pence will be on it.
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Though Pablo Sandoval missed 17 games with a foot injury, he's had a very solid season, and he didn't lose enough time to remove him from consideration. The thing that makes Sandoval more likely to make the team than his better-performing fellow infielder, Brandon Crawford, is that there is very little competition among National League third basemen. Sandoval is second to David Wright in batting average and is followed by Michael Young, and those three are the only third base qualifiers hitting over .280. The Cardinals' David Freese, who has rebounded nicely after a dreadful start, and the Pirates' Pedro Alvarez, hitting only .237 but with 19 homers, could be possibilities, but Sandoval is pretty clearly one of the most deserving third basemen. If Sandoval ends up losing the fan vote to Wright, it still would be surprising if he was not an All-Star.