Monday, July 6, 2009
Handicapping the 33rd Man Competition: NL Version
So, pretty much this is the second part of yesterday's posting where I break down the fan vote candidate for the all-star game.....today, the national league
From least to most deserving is as follows:
Cristian Guzman- .318/.333/.429 OPS 101+
Just like the team he plays for, Guzman is far and away the least worthy of the candidates. Singles hitter, no power, does nothing particularly well....the only way I could see Guzman as an all star is through the rule mandating representation from all 30 teams....as bad as the team formerly known as the expos have been, ryan zimmerman was good enough to make the all-star team. Guzman isn't even the most deserving non all-star on his own team (that distinction goes to Adam Dunn)....next PLEASE!
Shane Victorino .300/.363/.447 112 OPS+
Alright so he had a well-timed good game against the Reds today. He does lots of things well but doesn't do anything particularly great. I'd rather choose him than Guzman....but there are better options
Mark Reynolds .269/.354/.568 OPS 134+
The NL-equivalent and slightly more deserving version of Carlos Pena. If this vote was for home run derby inclusion, he would be at least second. However, since the league that wins the all-star game gets home-field for the world series I would rather have more players from elite teams (or at least those who are at least in contention).. unfortunately for him Arizona is one of 3 teams that has no semblance of contention hope......NEXT
Matt Kemp .305/.369/.474 OPS 123+
So Kemp barely beat out Reynolds.....he's a good player on a team with very strong world series hopes.....thus giving him more incentive to play well if he were to be selected.....
Granted, these are solid players. However, they were stacked against a player who I believe more people will become aware of as the stretch run continues....a player in the midst of a break out season on a team that is unexpectedly contending
Pablo Sandoval .333/.388/.566 158 OPS+
If this was a couple weeks ago I would most likely be unaware of Pablo Sandoval is. However, the Giants played the Brewers a couple of weekends ago and I came away very impressed with Sandoval (even though they lost 2 out of 3).....this dude is a BEAAAASSSTTTT!!!!
When this guy hits the game can pretty much turn at a moments notice....he's young (only 22!), hitting for a good average, capable of going yard on any pitch/any at bat, and he's the one hitter the giants have that is worth fearing.....
Dude is built like Prince has a Vlad-Guerrero like ability to go yard on any pitch (even if it's not even close to the strike zone) and he's only going to get better......If the Giants are able to score enough runs to stay in contention, this guy will be the reason...I could easily see Sandoval carrying the Giants for the stretch run....
The question for me is not whether Sandoval is better than the other 33rd-man candidates, but why didn't he already get voted in.