2013 MLB All-Star Game: Top 10 Players On The NL Roster
2013 MLB All Star Game: Ranking the Top 10 Players on the NL Roster
The 2013 MLB All-Star Game is just about one week away as the players get prepped to battle it out for home-field advantage in the World Series. Thus far, there have been plenty of outstanding performances worthy of making into the Midsummer Classic, but of course only a select few get the honor to do so.
At the moment, the final rosters haven’t been made yet as the fan voting continues on in a heated competition. Fans only have until Thursday, July 11 to submit their final votes for their favorite players.
One of the biggest questions -- and controversies -- of the event so far is whether or not Los Angeles Dodgers breakout star Yasiel Puig will make the team. At the moment, it looks like a strong possibility as he is not far off from taking over the top spot in the final votes.
One of the more interesting questions when it comes to the All-Star Game is to ask just who are the most valuable players in the game, regardless of position. Who has had the most impressive season so far and could wind up being the sole difference in the outcome of the game?
Well, look no further as that is exactly what I've done here. In a National League full of more-than-worthy candidates, I have compiled a list of 10 guys who might end up being the most important player to the team.
These guys are the top 10 overall players to make the National League roster, regardless of position. It was incredibly tough to piece together such a list, but check it out and comment with your opinion on why I am oh so right or so wrong that you’d like to make fun of my mother.
Either way, I welcome the opinion and enjoy the list!
10. Paul Goldschmidt: First Baseman, St. Louis Cardinals
Being the first Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman to get selected to the All-Star Game, Paul Goldschmidt knows this is quite an achievement. Going into Saturday, he was hitting .304 with 20 home runs. He also leads the NL in RBIs with an astonishing 71. Goldschmidt is a guy who is going to do an excellent job without boasting much of an ego, and that alone could be the reason he finishes out this list. But, his stats just so happen to be worthy.
9. David Wright: Third Baseman, New York Mets
This year hasn’t been too bad for New York Mets third baseman David Wright. Seven-year, $138 million extension: check. Team captain: check. Seventh All-Star Game appearance: check. Fifth All-Star Game start: check. Home Run Derby appearance: check. Wright is enjoying 2013 probably more than any other year in recent memory, and deservedly so. He is hitting .304 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs as of Sunday and is among the NL’s top All-Stars, thus his placement on the list.
8. Carlos Beltran: Right Field, St. Louis Cardinals
The 16-year MLB veteran Carlos Beltran is set to make his eighth All-Star Game appearance with now with the St. Louis Cardinals. He has hit quite a bit better this season than in 2012 when he was a sure-fire selection. Beltran ranks fifth in the NL in home runs with 19 and could top the 20 mark before the event next week.
7. Cliff Lee: Pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies
Cliff Lee is making his fourth All-Star appearance in six years as he has done nothing but win games this year. With a record of 10-2, Lee has shown that he is still one of the best there is even though he missed out on last year’s game. Lee holds an ERA of 2.73 at the moment with 119 strikeouts on the year and because of his contract, he is earning an extra $50,000 for making it to the game.
6. Adam Wainwright: Pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals
Unfortunately for the NL roster, Adam Wainwright will not pitch in the Midsummer Classic due to being scheduled to start twice before the game, including Sunday. Wainwright was likely Matt Harvey’s biggest competition to earn a starting spot, and this news will pretty much seal that race. This season so far has been an impressive one for Wainwright, holding a record of 11-5 with an ERA of 2.36 and 117 strikeouts over 133.2 innings pitched.
5. Carlos Gonzalez: Left Field, Colorado Rockies
27-year old Carlos Gonzalez joins Troy Tulowitzki as the first pair of Colorado Rockies players selected to the All-Star Game in the same season by the fans. Gonzalez is on pace to shatter his home run total from last year (22) as he already has more at the break than he did all of 2012, totaling 24 so far through 86 games. Gonzalez also boasts an impressive RBI total with 63 at the break.
4. Yadier Molina: Catcher, St. Louis Cardinals
The National League’s leading vote-getter, Yadier Molina will make his fifth consecutive All-Star appearance. The fan favorite with the St. Louis Cardinals received nearly seven million votes. Molina leads the NL in batting average with .346 and also tops the league in doubles with 26. The status for Molina in the game is uncertain at the moment with the catcher experiencing soreness in the knee, but if he indeed plays, he should contribute. Molina is at the top of the MVP conversation for the first half of the season.
3. Joey Votto: First Base, Cincinnati Reds
Joey Votto is set to appear in his fourth straight All-Star game, starting for only the second time. He has been hitting consistently (105 hits as of Saturday) with a fantastic on-base percentage (.433 as of Saturday) as he ranks among the league’s best in both categories. Votto is now the first Cincinnati Reds player to start back-to-back All Star Games since Barry Larkin did it in 1999-2000. Votto has also chipped in 15 home runs and 40 RBIs on the year.
2. Troy Tulowitzki: Shortstop, Colorado Rockies
It is not clear yet whether Troy Tulowitzki will play in the All-Star game due to his rib injury, but he hasn’t been ruled out yet. The two-time Gold Glove winner was named a starter and has had quite the efficient season thus far, only committing one error in 58 games. He is also batting .347 with 16 home runs and a .413 on-base percentage in 2013.
1. Clayton Kershaw: Pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw has had one of the best – if not the best – seasons out of any NL pitcher so far. Boasting the NL’s top ERA of 1.83, his stuff has been as good as it gets. Kershaw also ranks first in the NL in both opponent batting average and complete game shutouts. Where he’s not first, he ranks second. Kershaw is good for second in the NL with 126 strikeouts and has a WHIP of 0.93. For these impressive numbers alone, Kershaw tops the list.
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