Last week I took a look at who I felt was deserving of consideration for the 2011 American League All-Star Team. This week, let’s look at National League players deserving of the honor. The same criteria will hold true. These players are evaluated upon the season they are having thus far in 2011. Past statistics will be considered but preference will be given to those players at each position who deserve to be a baseball All-Star this year.
Brian McCann (ATL) – Hits for average (.307 BA), hits for power (10 HR), he drives in runs (39 RBI) and has played in 58 of his teams first 66 games. With Joe Mauer out due to injury, McCann is the premier catcher in the game today.
Prince Fielder (MIL) – Sure it’s a contract year, but Fielder is delivering. BIG TIME. His 19 HR are tops in the NL and only 2 behind power-hitting machine Jose Bautista for the MLB lead. Fielder also has a whopping 58 RBI to go with his impressive.305 BA and a ‘Ruthian’ 1.013 OPS. This Prince is the King.
Rickie Weeks (MIL) – Funny what can happen when you remain healthy. For the second straight season, Weeks has avoided the injury bug and for the second straight season he has impressed at the plate. His 12 HR are tops at the position (in both leagues) and Weeks has shown speed with 7 SB so far, all while hitting from the leadoff spot.
Ryan Roberts (ARI) – With injuries to David Wright and Pablo Sandoval (who was a shoe-in for the All-Star Team before he got hurt), the hot corner is up for grabs. Roberts has stepped in for the Diamondbacks with power and speed hitting in multiple positions in the D-Backs order. It’s a shallow field this year, but Roberts has delivered.
Jose Reyes (NYM) – Reyes is back flashing the glove, swinging the bat and posing a threat on the base paths, with a Major League-leading.346 BA. Although he has only 3 HR, Reyes is 6th in the NL with a.921 OPS due to 19 doubles and an eye-popping 11 triples. Through in 20 SB and Reyes is a major player on the base paths in 2011.
Matt Kemp (LAD ) – After hitting only.249 with 19 SB in 2010, Kemp drew criticism in several circles. However, with 20 HR, 56 RBI and 14 SB in 2011 so far, Kemp is silencing even the staunchest disbelievers. Through in a slash line of.331/.411/.641 and Kemp sets the standard for NL outfielders in 2011.
Ryan Braun (MIL) – Not to be outdone by his All-Star-worthy teammates, Braun has clipped along at a pace of.309 BA, 14 HR and 48 RBI. His 14 SB have already matched last years total in less than half the number of games.
Lance Berkman (STL) – Don’t tell Berkman it’s not 2006. He’s hitting like he did 5 years ago. His.619 SLG and 1.05 OPS are both good for 3rd in all of MLB. Sure, he had some recent wrist soreness requiring cortisone shots but it hasn’t affected him as he has hit 5 HR in his last 8 games.
What are your thoughts? If you think there are more deserving players than these, let the baseball debates begin!