Yesterday I gave you my American League All-Star ballot. No complaints with my picks so far. Either nobody reads this blog or people actually agree. Any who here are my National League picks, feel free to blast away!
Firstbasemen-Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals-Adrian Gonzalez for the San Diego Padres and Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers are having terrific seasons but still, we are talking about Albert freaking Pujols. He is the best player in the game. MVPujols is top 5 in almost every significant batting stat in the majors. The guy is like fine wine. He's only getting better. Pujols was drafted in the 13th round(402nd overall) by the Cardinals in the 1999 draft. What a steal of a pick!
Secondbasemen-Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies-Uts is a machine. This season is perhaps his best right now as he has a career high on base percentage of .435 and again is leading the majors in hit by pitches with 11. The guy does it all and is a gritty player that every team would love to have. Utley was drafted in the 1st round(15th overall) by the Phillies in the 2000 draft out of UCLA. The Orioles had the 14th pick that year. They took Beau Hale. I would say the Phillies franchise won that pick.
Shortstop-Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins-If you had a pick to start at shortstop who would you take? I'm thinking 80% or more would pick Ramirez. Hanley is again having a terrific season and should only heat up more as the weather becomes unbearable in South Florida. Last season Ramirez had a 30/30 season at the age of 24 while winning the Silver Slugger award. This season he has become more of a team leader and is the franchise player in the Marlins organization. Ramirez was signed as an amateur free agent by the Red Sox as a 16 year old out of the Dominican Republic.
Thirdbasemen-Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves-The future Hall of Famer deserves to be starting in the All Star game in St. Louis this year. Larry again leads the majors in on base percentage and has a good shot at repeating his batting title. It's almost a crime that he has only played in 6 All Star games in his 16 years of MLB ball. I hope the voters do the right thing and put Chipper in the starting lineup. David Wright is having a fine season for the New York Mets but he still isn't close to Chipper's league. Chipper was drafted in the 1st round(1st overall) by the Braves in the 1990 draft out of high school. The Braves organization wanted to draft Todd Van Poppel but backed away because of signing issues. Thank god.
Catcher-Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves-McCann has bounced back from some eye issues this season and posted All-Star numbers batting in the 4 and 5 hole for the Bravos. In just his 4th season the 3 time All-Star is again leading all NL catchers in on base percentage and slugging percentage. McCann was drafted in the 2nd round(64th overall) in the 2002 draft by the Braves out of high school.
Rightfield-Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks-As a 21 year old Upton is just beginning to come into his own. A freak of an athlete, the younger Upton is top 10 in slugging percentage, on base percentage, total bases, triples, extra base hits and runs created. He also plays an excellent right field and has a cannon for an arm. Upton was the first pick overall in the 2005 Draft which could go down as one of the best drafts ever.
Centerfield-Carlos Beltran, New York Mets-The 4 time All-Star is having one of his best statistical seasons in 2009. He is top 5 in on base percentage (as you can see this is a very important stat to me) and batting average. He also plays gold glove defense in center. Beltran was a 2nd round draft (49th overall) pick by the Royals in the 1995 draft out of high school.
Leftfield-Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers-The Hebrew Hammer is again on pace to hit at least 30 home runs while driving in over 100. He may not be excellent in the field but his OBP is above 40% this year and he is drawing a ton of walks. Braun was drafted in the 1st round (5th overall) in the 2005 draft by the Brewers out of Miami.
Starting pitcher-Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks-Haren only has 4 wins but that isn't his fault. His stuff has been nasty again this season and his strikeout to walk ratio is nearly 8-to-1. In my opinion he is the Roy Halladay of the National League. Haren was drafted in the 2nd round(72nd overall) in the 2001 draft by the Cardinals out of Pepperdine University. For some bizarre reason Haren has already been traded twice in his young career.