Who Should Make the All-Star Team for the Cincinnati Reds?


The All-Star game at Great American Ball Park is rapidly approaching, and this means we’ll know the full rosters in just two short weeks. The question everyone in Cincinnati wants to know is who will represent the Reds at their home ballpark in the biggest event of the summer.

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Todd Frazier is a given, obviously. Frazier is having a career season, hitting .292 with 23 home runs, 20 doubles, 48 RBI and an OPS of .993. If fans don’t make some kind of push to get him voted into the starting spot at third (and it’s going to take quite the push as Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter was leading by 2.5 million votes as of last Tuesday), Frazier will definitely be a reserve player. Get ready to see a lot of Frazier as he’s the ambassador for All-Star game week, he’ll probably be in the Home Run Derby and he’ll get a huge cheer when the lineups are announced on field before the game.

Aroldis Chapman will be a player selection. Chapman has not pitched as well as in his previous All-Star seasons. In 31.1 innings in 2015, he has given up seven runs on 22 hits. Most alarming is that he’s already walked 19, compared to last year when he walked 24 the entire season. But Chapman’s ERA is still really good at 2.01 and he already has 56 strikeouts.

When it comes down to it, his peers will probably still vote him in because he makes players swing and miss, even the great ones. It’s moments like Sunday when he loaded the bases, then struck out three consecutive batters to finish the game that make him an elite closer. When he’s on his game and not overly wild, he’s one of the best relievers in baseball and a pitcher that Bruce Bochy would love to have in the bullpen in a game that determines home-field advantage in the World Series.

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After Frazier and Chapman, it gets a little shaky. The Reds have a couple other players who are deserving of an All-Star berth, but there are only so many roster spots. I think that Johnny Cueto will make it. He’s twelfth in the NL with a 2.98 ERA, but is third in WHIP at 0.95 and hitters are only hitting .211 against him, good for fifth in the NL. His ERA is lower than pitchers like Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw, who both probably make the team based on reputation. Bochy will select him partly because the game is in Cincinnati and partly because Cueto had an excellent start to the season.

The one player I think is questionable is Joey Votto. Votto’s having an awesome season, his best since 2012. The problem, however, is there are four other NL first basemen who are just as deserving, if not more deserving than Votto. Paul Goldschmidt and Anthony Rizzo are both hitting over .300. Goldschmidt is hitting an insane .356 with 19 home runs and 57 RBI. Freddie Freeman, Adrian Gonzalez and Votto are all mere percentage points from .300. As much fun as it would be to see all five as all-stars, one or two of these players will be left off the roster, just because there’s not an unlimited number of spots.

Ultimately, I think Votto gets in, either as a manager selection or through the Final Vote. If Votto ends up on the Final Vote ballot, it’s still a great scenario for the Reds because we all know how Reds fans can dominate a Twitter contest when they want to. Reds fans would vote the same way Royals fans have been voting over the past couple of weeks and the Cincinnati Reds would have four all-stars at GABP on July 14.

Next: Todd Frazier on pace for historic season