5 Atlanta Braves Who Deserve To Play In The 2013 MLB All-Star Game
Atlanta Braves: 5 Players Who Should be on the National League All-Star Team
After a three game sweep this weekend of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Atlanta Braves are now comfortably atop the National League East with a record 48-34. Braves' General Manager Frank Wren assembled a great team this off-season, and they have not disappointed. This talented Braves team will surely be in the thick of things come October.
Led by a stacked offense and solid pitching staff, the Braves have gotten off to a great start in the first half of the season. Even though guys like Jason Heyward and B.J. Upton have under performed, Atlanta has gotten enough from other players to be successful. Manager Fredi Gonzalez has pushed all of the right buttons so far and the Braves look great.
A huge reason that Atlanta has been so successful, even with the struggles of some star hitters, is the pitching staff. There really is not a weak spot in the starting rotation that includes Tim Hudson, Paul Maholm, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Julio Teheran. Atlanta has received solid production from each of their starters, and I figure this Braves' starting rotation will be well represented at the 2013 All-Star Game.
The 84th annual All-Star game will take place at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, on July, 16th. Both leagues will get 34 roster spots to fill. I think that the Braves will be well represented on the National League team in New York. With their impressive record, it is obvious that the Braves have a ton of quality options to make the All-Star team. The being said, there are only 34 spots to fill and each team must have one player selected. So to keep it realistic, I decided to only pick five. Here are 5 Braves' players who should be All-Stars.
As long as he returns from injury in time, I think that Evan Gattis should be on the All-Star team. Gattis was the replacement for Brian McCann when he was injured at the start of the season. When McCann returned, the Braves struggled to find room for Gattis in the lineup, but the young slugger forced his way in. Gattis had 14 home runs and 37 RBI in only 163 at-bats before going down with an injury.
Craig Kimbrel is still one of the best closers in all of baseball. Kimbrel did have a few rough outings earlier this season, but he is now right on track. Kimbrel has 23 saves and a 1.48 ERA. He has an impressive 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings rate and a solid 3.0 walks per nine. Kimbrel is without a doubt one of the most dominant closers in the game and an obvious choice to be an All-Star.
Kris Medlen has been a solid piece in the impressive Braves' starting rotation. His 5-7 record is very misleading as his 3.02 ERA shows. Medlen has had some tough luck with run support, but it has not effected his pitching. I think Medlen deserves to make his first All-Star game this year.
Mike Minor has been another important piece of the Atlanta starting staff. The young left-hander has an 8-3 record with a 2.98 ERA. Minor has had a good amount of strikeouts and low number of walks as his 4.75 SO/BB rate shows. Minor is a very important piece to this Braves team, and I think he is a shoe-in to make his first All-Star appearance.
In his first season with the Braves, Justin Upton has been up-and-down. He started the season on a tear, seemingly hitting at least one home run every game. He is currently working his way out of a slump that has really brought his numbers down. Upton's triple-slash line is .245/.335/.447. He has 15 home runs, 37 RBI and six stolen bases. His numbers are not super impressive, but they are All-Star worthy and Upton is a big-name. It may cause some complaints, but I think Upton has a good chance to be an All-Star.