The National League All-Star Merit Team

The ASB is basically here, and as we know, This Time It Really Matters (No, Really, Please Watch This Game). I'd like to take to remake each team and not abide by the silly rule of having a player from each team. Today, I'll look at the NL.


There are 2 catchers I'd definitely take. Yadier Molina is going to be my starter, because he's slightly better defensively, which I'm going to take over the 21 points of wOBA that Posey has (.394 to .373). Buster Posey will be the backup. He's probably a better overall player, but I'm giving the edge to Molina's defense. Still, .317/.392/.529 is incredible from a backstop.

Yadier Molina, Cardinals
Buster Posey, Giants

First Base

I'm giving the start to Paul Goldschmidt. He's got a lot more pop in his bat (not that Joey Votto is missing any), and he's the clear better fielder (one of the best fielding 1B in the league if not the best). Votto is the world's best bench bat in this game.

Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
Joey Votto, Reds

Second Base

I've got Matt Carpenter so far. He's not a great fielder (despite what FanGraphs says), but he's been undeniably great with that bat this year. I'm half tempted to take Darwin Barney (seriously!) as a defensive MINF replacement, but his bat is just too anemic. Barney would be absolutely nifty as a bench MINF for a contending team, though. Brandon Phillips gets the nod, who is just a hair worse with the glove and many wigs better with the bat.

Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
Brandon Phillips, Reds


Troy Tulowitzki wins here. He's been banged up, but when healthy he's still absolutely incredible. Also, give me Ian Desmond. Yeah, he strikes out a ton, but he also has a SLG of .493. 

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
Ian Desmond, Nationals

Third Base

This is probably the easiest choice. David Wright is on pace for another .300/.400/.500 season, which is the sign of a clear superstar. Have 5 of those seasons, and you should be a no-doubt HOF, don't care who you are. Picking a backup is tricky; the choices are Pedro Alvarez, Todd Frazier, and Chase Headley. Alvarez has the huge bat, but plays subpar defense. Headley has the pedigree but has struggled this year. Todd Frazier has the defensive numbers and the highest OBP of the three. For that, I'm going with Frazier here. You could talk me into either of the other two pretty easily.

David Wright, Mets
Todd Frazier, Reds

Right Field

A cesspool. I'm going with the pedigree of Carlos Beltran, though he's 7th on the list in WAR. He has poor defensive metrics, but he still had a .375 wOBA, so that's enough to vault over Hunter Pence. Michael Cuddyer has had a good season too (.410 wOBA!), but his H/A split is 1.068/.871, OPS-wise. Cuddyer is probably the pick, now that I think about it, but I'm leaning on the fact that Cuddyer's had Coors help, a high BABIP (.370 to .321), and the fact that his defense is worse than even Beltran's. I could be wrong. 

Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
Michael Cuddyer, Rockies

Center Field

Can I go outside the box? I am, and nominating Andrew McCutchenCarlos Gomez has been great. I'm afraid that when he plays against great pitching, he's going to have to rely on BABIP, because he strikes out a lot more than McCutchen and never, ever walks. His defense is superb, but so is McCutchen's. Andrew also rarely strikes out (14.1%) and walks often (9.3%). 

Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
Carlos Gomez, Brewers

Left Field

I'm also breaking from tradition here. Shin-Soo Choo can't play center very well. However, he can surely play left, where his range isn't needed. He's probably good enough to sit the bench while Carlos Gonzalez starts. You can't have a slugging percentage of .623 and not start, I don't care how often you get on base. I feel bad for Starling Marte, who gets snubbed here. He'll probably make a half-dozen ASGs in his life, though. 

Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds

That's 16 players. However, there are 21 position players allowed, so I get 5 more picks. Starling Marte actually gets to play, then. I'll also take Yasiel Puig for my last outfielder. I need two infielders, a middle and a corner. The middle will be Jean Segura, who can pinch-run with the best of them. My corner infielder will be Freddie Freeman. My last catcher will be Russell Martin.

Starling Marte, Pirates
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
Jean Segura, Brewers
Freddie Freeman, Braves
Russell Martin, Pirates


My starter is going to be Matt HarveyAdam Wainwright has a slightly lower FIP, but it's negligible. Instead, give me the guy that strikes out 10.18 per 9, even if he walks a few more. After those two, you've got plenty of good ones to choose from, including Patrick Corbin, Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee, Mat Latos, Jordan Zimmerman, Homer Bailey, and Madison Bumgarner. I'll also take 4 relievers. The first two are the twin Pirates, Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon. Each has been absolutely filthy this year. I'll also take Trevor Rosenthal, and take Kenley Jansen with my last pick. Craig Kimbrel is the hard-luck loser for me. 

Matt Harvey, Mets
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks
Cliff Lee, Phillies
Mat Latos, Reds
Jordan Zimmerman, Nationals
Homer Bailey, Reds
Madison Bumgarner, Giants
Jason Grilli, Pirates
Mark Melancon, Pirates
Trevor Rosenthal, Cardinals
Kenley Jansen, Dodgers

This is the whole team. Breakdown:
Braves: 1 player
Brewers: 2 players
Cardinals: 5 players
Diamondbacks: 2 players
Dodgers: 3 players
Giants: 2 players
Mets: 2 players
Nationals: 2 players
Phillies: 1 player
Pirates: 5 players
Reds: 6 players
Rockies: 3 players

Cubs: 0 players
Padres: 0 players
Marlins: 0 players

Full Team

Player Starter Team
Yadier Molina Yes  Cardinals
Carlos Beltran Yes  Cardinals
Matt Carpenter Yes  Cardinals
Paul Goldschmidt Yes  Diamondbacks
Matt Harvey Yes  Mets
David Wright Yes  Mets
Andrew McCutchen Yes  Pirates
Troy Tulowitzki Yes  Rockies
Carlos Gonzalez Yes  Rockies
Freddie Freeman No  Braves
Carlos Gomez No  Brewers
Jean Segura No  Brewers
Adam Wainwright No  Cardinals
Trevor Rosenthal No  Cardinals
Patrick Corbin No  Diamondbacks
Clayton Kershaw No  Dodgers
Kenley Jansen No  Dodgers
Yasiel Puig No  Dodgers
Madison Bumgarner No  Giants
Buster Posey No  Giants
Jordan Zimmerman No  Nationals
Ian Desmond No  Nationals
Cliff Lee No  Phillies
Jason Grilli No  Pirates
Mark Melancon No  Pirates
Starling Marte No  Pirates
Russell Martin No  Pirates
Mat Latos No  Reds
Homer Bailey No  Reds
Joey Votto No  Reds
Brandon Phillips No  Reds
Todd Frazier No  Reds
Shin-Soo Choo No  Reds
Michael Cuddyer No  Rockies