This is part four of a nine-part series where we look at each position in the National League for the All-Star roster. We will see how different contributors constructed their All-Star rosters, as well as which players deserve to make the team. Check the storystream in the right bar for previous entries in the series.
We've seen some strong positions so far in this series, but now we're coming to a couple of positions where the choice is tough not because of the number of good candidates, but because of a lack of good candidates. While there are still a few good choices available, their stats may not be enough to get them into the game.
Here are the top 10 candidates by fWAR:
Note: I included Luis Valbuena in yesterday's post by accident, he is listed as a third baseman on the ballot so should be covered in today's post instead.
Current All-Star Voting Results
Results as of Monday evening, from MLB.com:
The Contributors Vote
|Voter||Starter||Reserve #1||Reserve #2|
|Cheeseandcorn||Todd Frazier||Matt Carpenter||Nolan Arenado (A)|
|Derek Harvey||David Wright||Todd Frazier||Nolan Arenado|
|Fred Hofstetter||Todd Frazier||Matt Carpenter|
|Hangwithem Rach||David Wright||Todd Frazier|
|-JP-||Todd Frazier||Matt Carpenter||David Wright|
|Jordan Mader||Todd Frazier||Matt Carpenter|
|Noah Jarosh||Todd Frazier||Matt Carpenter||Nolan Arenado (A)|
|NPetrashek||Matt Carpenter||Todd Frazier|
More disagreement here about who the starter and reserves should be. The only player named on every ballot was Todd Frazier, who leads all NL players at third base in fWAR. After that, Matt Carpenter ended up on most ballots, but not all of them. David Wright appeared on a few, and Nolan Arenado also made an appearance despite being injured. Frazier, Carpenter, and Arenado lead the NL in fWAR for third basemen, so those selections make sense. However, some chose to go with the star power and talent of David Wright instead, and there's nothing wrong with going that route instead.
Here's some of what the contributors had to say:
Derek Harvey: "I really don't think Todd Frazier is anywhere close to the caliber of David Wright. Nolen Arenando is another guy that was kind of a surprise hit, until he got hurt. This is a "posthumous" election as he won't be able to play. Anthony Rendon will take his place."
Noah Jarosh: "Third base is weak, but Frazier is the clear-cut best of the class in my mind."
NPetrashek: "At 3rd, Carp probably isn't the sexy pick because of his low HR total (1), but he's scored 40 runs and his on-base skills are basically unparalleled in the NL at the position."
No one really has an idea of what to do here. Todd Frazier clearly leads the NL by stats, but he's not getting the votes to back him up. In fact, neither of the top two players by fWAR (Todd Frazier and Matt Carpenter) are in the top five, and the player in third (Nolan Arenado) is injured. As a result, player names are taking over the vote here. David Wright has the lead, and he is the most recognizable name to most fans. You could argue that is why Pablo Sandoval and Aramis Ramirez are also in the top 5 in voting at this position.
From a statistical standpoint, it should be Frazier and Carpenter representing the NL, but neither will get the top spot in the fan vote, meaning someone else will get in. This is where a fan base for one of the top 5 in votes could get a player in, since the gap between first and fifth is not insurmountable. If Brewers fans wanted to put together a push to get Aramis Ramirez into the game, it could work.
Todd Frazier will probably make the team just because his offensive numbers are impressive enough on their own to make it. After that, it will probably be one big name that makes the team. David Wright currently holds this place, but there's time for someone to overtake him.
Best scenario for the National League might be for Nolan Arenado to win the fan vote. In that case, he will have to be replaced due to his injury, and then the manager/players can name their choices (which would hopefully be the statistical leaders). Of course, there's no guarantee that will mean the two candidates that deserve to be there will get in, since neither the players or the manager has to use any criteria for naming their candidate.
Now that you've seen the case for third base, what do you think? This is your chance to voice your opinion. Below is a Google form; fill that out to submit your vote for the position. Each pick will be assigned a point value that will be used to determine the results (pick #1 gets the most, pick #3 gets the fewest). Please vote only once. The poll will remain open until noon tomorrow.
Note: Not all three of these picks would potentially make the team. There is one starter and one reserve guaranteed for third base, but the third will be for a possible bench spot in what bench spots are available. You do not have to fill in all three spots, you can fill in only two if you choose.