We are five weeks away from the 2018 MLB All-Star game that takes place in Washington D.C. (congrats caps btw). Early this afternoon, Major League Baseball released the National League All-Star ballot voting so far. Here are the current leaders by position:
C: Buster Posey (SFG)
1B: Freddie Freeman (ATL)
2B: Ozzie Albies (ATL)
3B: Nolan Arenado (COL)
SS: Brandon Crawford (SFG)
OF: Bryce Harper (WSH)
OF: Nick Markakis (ATL)
OF: Matt Kemp: (LAD)
Now as we all know with the MLB All-Star game, fans don’t always vote for those who deserve the starting role. However, this year, it seems like the fans have gotten it right (so far). Let’s dive in.
Buster, at age 31, is having another Buster year. I mean it’s literally another year of doing exactly what everyone expects from him. From his leadership in the clubhouse to his stellar defense behind the dish to his consistency at the plate. This guy just performs year in and year out. Going into today, Posey is slashing .294/.365/.431. If you look at Posey’s stats, this is really considered a slow start for him. This?! A slow start?! Every team in baseball would DIE for this type of offensive performance from their catcher especially from at guy Posey’s age.
Freddie Freeman is having a career year. There is no other way to say it. He IS the best first baseman in the league right now. He leads all of the National League with 85 hit (tied with teammate Markakis), 19 of those coming from his league-leading doubles (also tied with Albies). To boot, his ridiculous OPS of .998 is tops in the NL also, trailing only a few players in the American League
Whoooooooo buddy did Ozzie break onto the scene this year. Even though he broke into the league last year, he has really shown his true talents as a 21-year-old this year. Albies started the season HOT. The first two months of the season, he slugged 9 home runs and added 5 more in May. He is currently sitting at 15 going into today. Sure, there may be another second baseman who may deserve the starting spot (re Javier Baez..homer vote) but you can’t deny that Albies has shown up this season and competed for that All-Star starting nod.
Even though I am the biggest Cubs homer in the entire galaxy, I can put that aside and say this is the right choice. This man is the complete baseball player and I don’t want to hear anybody crying “but Coors Field plays a part of it”. Get the fuck over that. This man can PLAY. Each and every year, Arenado shows us that he can play just as well away from Colorado as he can at home. Right now he’s not leading any statistical category but that doesn’t matter. You slot him in your 3 hole and you know he is going to perform night in and night out. Don’t forget about his defense. Arenado makes plays that 95% of the league wouldn’t even sniff. He is a wizard with the glove and proves it pretty much every game.
Brandon Crawford has really turned up his performance at the plate recently. On May 1st, his slash line was .189/.237/.300. Today? Yeah, he’s slashing .338/.385/.536. It’ll be hard for you to find another shortstop who is performing like that. He’s hit 8 home runs while knocking in 30 runs so far. To add to that, he is second in the NL with 18 doubles. Once known as a defensive first player, Crawford is showing that he can do as much with his bat as he can with his glove.
Along with Mike Trout, I don’t think we will never not see Bryce Harper starting in an All-Star game unless he tears both of his ACLs, has a concussion and is dead. He’s just that type of player. Fans want to see one of the most electric players in the Midseason Classic. He is currently sporting a batting average of .228, which is what I hit in all four years of High School baseball (nbd). That’s not the type of performance a typical player would have and get into the All-Star game but Bryce isn’t a typical player. He has one of the biggest, if not the biggest, personalities in the game and he isn’t afraid to show it. Even though he leads the league with 19 bombs, if I had a choice, he wouldn’t even sniff the roster.
What year are we in? 2007? 2009? Nope. It is 2018 and Nick Markakis is one of the leading vote gettings for the National League outfield. At 34 years old, Markakis is knocking on the door of his very first All-Star appearance. Markakis has always been a consistent force at the plate, averaging 171 hits in his 12-year career. This year is different, however, for the tied for first Atlanta Braves, Markakis is having a career year. He shares a lead in the National League with 85 hits and 19 doubles. He has knocked in 43 so far while hitting at .327 clip. If he keeps up this pace, he will shatter his career highs in all four categories. Keep it up, old man….keep it up.
What the hell? Matt Kemp?! Is this a mistake, MLB? Are you trying to distract us from all the pace of play changes you guys are proposing by sliding Matt Kemp into a starting position? No way, Josè. Not on my watch. Wait… you mean to tell me that Matt Kemp is ACTUALLY a good player again? Kemp has always been a good player, actually. He’s just gotten old and with old age comes declining skills. That’s pretty typical. But the 2018 Matt Kemp kind of looks like the early 2010’s Matt Kemp. He’s currently hitting at a. 338 clip, which would be his best since his 2011 MVP season. He has currently banged out 69 hits (nice) while providing the struggling Dodgers 10 home runs and 41 RBIs. While I don’t think this type of performance will last all season, it’s nice to see Kemp look like the player he once was.
So there you have it. My thoughts on the 2018 National League All-Star Game vote leaders. You might disagree about 99% of the stuff I wrote, but I don’t care. You read my post, so I’m the winner here.
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