NL All-Star Team: BRM’s Staff Choices

All-Star Game voting ends on June 30 and Blog Red Machine conducted a vote of the staff for its choices to represent the NL in the All-Star Game. As allowed by voting rules, 25 ballots will be cast according to BRM’s voting. A couple of housekeeping tidbits to get out of the way…

This was strictly a majority vote. In the event that there would have been a tie at any position, we would have taken the vote to the readers for their input on our ballot. Yes, this was a pretty simple process.

So, we are ready to unveil our NL All-Star ballot to you…

Catcher: Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves

Pretty hard not to argue with McCann going here, but he was not a unanimous selection. There was a All-Star vote cast for the Reds Ramon Hernandez and Kerry considered Monie for the honor. Justin has a view on why he selected McCann.

Ho hum…what else is new? At this point offensive production from a catcher in the NL is measured by Brian McCann.

McCann has been a member of 5 All-Star teams including receiving the MVP honors in last year’s game. He’s sure to be the fans choice.

First Base: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

To many, this is not a “homer vote” in any way. Look at Votto’s numbers: .325/.451/.510, 9 HR, 43 RBI, 56 BB). He leads the NL in walks and OBP and leads all 1B in batting average. Last season, it took a major push from the fans on the final vote to get the eventual MVP into last season’s midsummer classic.

Of note is the recent surge of Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder. Longtime BRM reader Scott Shrewsberry lends a hand at why he went with Prince.

Showing this season why he is deserving of the big contract.

Prince leads all 1b in HR (19) and RBI (60). With Albert Pujols surely to receive the fan All-Star vote, first base will once again be a position to watch when the alternates are selected. There’s is a chance all three will be attending the All-Star Game, but will we see another final vote for either Votto or Fielder…or both? Oh, and just when you thought it was only Votto and Fielder, there’s also Marlin Gaby Sanchez.

Second Base: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds

I have seen on Twitter where Cardinals fans were voting for BP. That tells you how much of an impact he has on the entire baseball planet. While his offensive numbers could be viewed as a little lacking (.280/.338/.387, 5 HR, 36 RBI), it’s his knack for the spectacular defensive play that has wowed the fans. If selected by the fans, it would be back-to-back All-Star Games for BP. Here’s Kerry and why he chose BP.

No one comes close to Phillips defensively. He is a fixture on the nightly highlight reels. He ranks 2nd among NL second-basemen in runs and 3rd in RBI. He serves as the Reds’ 2-hole hitter when needed, but can also bat clean-up. He’s a beast.

Another Brewer will most likely be the backup in Rickie Weeks. It’s a point that cannot be argued. You also can’t argue the impact of rookie Darwin Barney in Chicago even though he’s currently on the DL. Both could receive strong All-Star Game consideration.

Third Base: Placido Polanco, Philadelphia Phillies

About a month ago, you could have really had a debate on selecting Ryan Roberts of Arizona. While Roberts has fallen off as of late, Polanco remains as steady as he’s ever been. That’s just how he plays. Considering the inactivity of David Wright, a perennial choice for the last couple of years, third base is glaringly weak according to some within the staff. I’ll let Alex explain…

Placido Polanco gets my vote over the rest of the weak NL 3B field. David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman have been injured while Polanco has hit well in multiple spots throughout the Phillies lineup.

Polanco and Roberts were the only ones to receive votes.

Shortstop: Jose Reyes, New York Mets

Does anything really need to be said about Reyes? Really? A consensus for the BRM staff and an All-Star Game appearance is on the way for the soon-to-be free agent. The rumor mill has him going to either the Reds or the Giants. Well, since he recently met with Scott Boras, that might clamp some of those rumblings.

I’ll say something else. If you haven’t voted for Reyes (rather you like him or not), you should now. There’s no other option at the position. It does give the appearance that short is a bit lacking in depth this year…and you’d be right. John looks at it this way, too, as he’d been going elsewhere with his vote.

I have been voting for Tulowitzki but Reyes is really playing for a contract right now and at this rate will score a monster one.

No worries, John. Tulo will most likely land the backup role, but there is this guy named Castro in Chicago that might have a say yet on that.

Outfield: Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

The same for Reyes (except the talk of Boras) can be said of Kemp. You simply cannot leave this guy off you ballot. Another unanimous selection among the staff. Here’s Justin on why he chose Kemp on his All-Star ballot.

Kemp may honestly be my pick for first half NL MVP. He has put on a show hitting .331 with 20 HR and 57 RBI with 16 SB. Kemp’s first month of the season laid the ground work for this awesome season as he started the season hitting .362 through the first 28 games.

Outfield: Lance Berkman, St. Louis Cardinals

Did you think a Cardinal would make our ballot? Berkman is very deserving of an All-Star nod. He’s been revived since going to St. Louis via free ageny. The bat has arisen from the depths and NL pitchers grimace when The Puma approaches the plate.

I was one that saw the Berkman signing and kind of laughed considering his 2010 season. The last laugh is on me for that one as Berkman had proven me wrong with a slash line of .310/.426/.611 with 17 HR and 51 RBI. Those are numbers we saw from Berkman while he was in Houston. And like in Houston, it will propel him to another All-Star Game appearance

Outfield: Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds

With the month of May Bruce had in being named Player of the Month, it was not hard to justify Bruce’s inclusion here. While he has fallen off a bit in June, the BRM staff still supports Bruuuuuuuce! If selected, it would br Bruce’s first All-Star Game showing.

The outfield can provide so many other choices worthy of All-Star mention: Andre Ethier of the Dodgers, Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, Ryan Braun of the Brewers, Hunter Pence of the Astros, Justin Upton of the Diamondbacks, and even though he doesn’t start every game, Michael Morse of the Nationals. That’s a small list, too.

Well, we know there will be an argument or two over our All-Star selections. That’s why we have a comment section…and a poll! Agree or disagree? We’ll read and respond. You know we will.