2009 NL All-Star Ballot

After covering the AL this afternoon, let’s take a look at my NL All-Star ballot.

Catcher: Brian McCann (ATL), Jesus Flores (WAS), Yadier Molina (STL)

McCann and Flores are both performing well in limited action, while Molina is the best defensive catcher in baseball and a decent hitter to boot. Lots of competition here, as you could make a case for John Baker, Carlos Ruiz, or Russell Martin, but I’m happy with the three above.

First Base: Albert Pujols (STL), Adrian Gonzalez (SD)

I went with 12 pitchers to satisfy the one player per team approach, so I had to lose a position player somewhere, and first base is where I decided to skip out on the third guy. Joey Votto’s DL stint hurt him, and there’s not much separating the group that contains Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Nick Johnson, so I went with none of the above.

Second Base: Chase Utley (PHI), Orlando Hudson (LA), Brandon Phillips (CIN)

The first two here are easy as well, while Phillips edges out guys like Freddy Sanchez due to superior defense.

Shortstop: Hanley Ramirez (FLA), Yunel Escobar (ATL), Ryan Theriot (CHC)

The Braves should be thanking their lucky stars that the Padres didn’t take Escobar and run over the winter.

Third Base: Ryan Zimmerman (WAS), David Wright (NY), Chipper Jones (ATL)

Three pretty easy picks here. Sorry, Casey Blake fans.

Outfield: Raul Ibanez (PHI), Mike Cameron (MIL), Justin Upton (ARI), Matt Kemp (LA), Carlos Beltran (NY), Ryan Braun (MIL)

Starting Pitchers: Tim Lincecum (SF), Johan Santana (NY), Wandy Rodriguez (HOU), Josh Johnson (FLA), Chad Billingsley (LA), Dan Haren (ARI), Zach Duke (PIT), Ubaldo Jimenez (COL)

Relief Pitchers: Jonathan Broxton (LA), Heath Bell (SD), Ryan Madson (PHI), Rafael Soriano (ATL),

The Just Missed guy: Scott Hairston. Finally living up to some of the hype he got as a minor league hitter, and handling himself just fine in the outfield to boot. But the NL has a lot of really good outfielders, and Hairston just can’t quite live up to the bar set by the rest of those guys.

Final team tally:

Four: Atlanta, Los Angeles
Three: New York, Philadelphia
Two: San Diego, Washington, Arizona, Florida, Milwaukee, St. Louis
One: Chicago, Houston, Cincinnati, Colorado, Pittsburgh, San Francisco

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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14 years ago

Good list overall, the only place I would differ is I think Javier Vasquez should be in. I know the Rockies need someone in there though, so I say substitute Hawpe for Kemp, then Vasquez for Jimenez.

14 years ago
Reply to  Trevor

Hawpe’s defense is putrid enough that he’s within spitting distance of replacement level despite the career year he’s having offensively.

Kevin S.
14 years ago
Reply to  BIP

Within spitting distance? He’s 0.8 WAR through two months. If league-average is 2 WAR for the year, league-average through two months would be 0.67 WAR. Hawpe’s been an above-average player, hardly “spitting distance” from replacement level.

14 years ago
Reply to  BIP

I did forget to look at their defense though, and now I see that Hawpe is dragged down considerably. Ok, substitute Iannetta for Molina, then Vasquez for Jimenez. Iannetta and Molina both sit at 0.8 WAR.