The Los Angeles Dodgers have not one but two players in the final vote for the 2013 MLB All Star Game. Of the five fans’ choice finalists, only one can be chosen, and I do not think it will be Adrian Gonzalez.
I am not willing to guarantee that breakout star Yasiel Puig will win the final spot. I do believe Puig will beat out Gonzalez and has a strong chance at being in this year’s All Star Game.
I strongly believe that Adrian Gonzalez has been the team’s offensive MVP thus far. I still hold to this opinion, but the meaning of what it is to be an “All Star” must be taken into consideration. Gonzalez has been a solid, consistent performer from Opening Day for the Dodgers, but Puig has burst on to the scene with the brilliance of a literal star.
Batting over .400, almost hitting for the cycle twice and having multi-hit games in 15 out of his 30 games, Puig has certainly made a strong impression on the country. As so often happens, his offensive explosion and a few highlight reel-worthy defensive plays have overshadowed a strong season for Gonzalez, who has played in almost three times as many games. Gonzalez has hit .300 on the season and has fielded at a very high level, committing only eight errors in over 700 defensive chances. But Puig’s first and only 30 games will earn him a spot ahead of Gonzalez, and likely the other finalists in the voting.
Also in the running for the fans’ choice spot is the Washington Nationals‘ Ian Desmond. The 27-year-old shortstop out of Florida has put together a solid year, hitting .286 with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs. But with numbers like Puig’s, Desmond stands little chance for the upset.
Another finalist is San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence. Pence has had a slightly worse season than Desmond, batting .272 with only 13 home runs and 43 RBIs. Although his .318 on-base percentage is great, it looks merely cute next to Puig’s .449 in the same category. Again, Puig will beat out Pence.
Finally, there is Freddie Freeman, the first baseman for the Atlanta Braves. Freeman too has put up fantastic numbers, plating 56 runners and getting on base at a rate of .385. The 6-foot-5 power hitter has knocked nine balls out of the park and has managed to hit for average as well. Nevertheless, Puig’s numbers are too strong again and his true “All Star” performance will gain him the final spot for this year’s All-Star team.