Last Word On Sports 2020 All-Star Selections: National League

2020 All-Star
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The season is halfway over for most teams, so now is a good chance to look at what should have been the All-Star teams from each of the respective leagues. Members of the Last Word on Sports staff voted on what these hypothetical 2020 All-Star squads would look like. So here are the results for the National League’s 2020 All-Star Selections.

2020 All-Star Selections: National League

Catcher

One of three unanimous choices in the National League, Philadelphia Phillie JT Realmuto won the nomination for the catcher position. Realmuto is one of the premier catchers in all of MLB, so it makes sense that he would be the guy to claim the National League spot. The former Miami Marlin is batting .284 this season with nine home runs and 25 RBI. Behind the plate, he has been just as good as he is in the box. He has only committed one error this season thus far. This would be Realmuto’s third consecutive All-Star appearance. 

First Baseman

With 64% of the vote, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman would have earned his fifth all-star appearance and his third in a row. Freeman is hitting .304 this year with five home runs and 19 RBI. He has been one of the key pieces in Atlanta during a season that has seen Atlanta lose some big players over various stretches. Other notable players who received votes included Paul Goldschmidt (18%), and Anthony Rizzo (9%).

Second Baseman

With 55% of the vote, San Fransisco Giants second baseman Donovan Solano would have earned the first All-Star nod of his career. Solano has been great this season. Batting .351 is good enough for third in all of the majors. He has also picked up 18 RBI to go with that batting average. Solano also had the longest hitting streak of his career in the first half of this season. From July 25th until August 15th, Solano had 17 games in a row where he was able to record a hit. It was also only the fourth time in his career that he has had a hitting streak reach double digits. Also receiving votes were Ketel Marte (27%) and Robinson Cano (18%). 

Shortstop

The second unanimous selections came at the shortstop position. San Diego Padres youngster Fernando Tatis Jr would have been earning his first-ever All-Star appearance and for good reason. Tatis is currently batting .301, but more impressive is the fact that the second-year player is leading the league in multiple categories. Currently, Tatis Jr. has more total bases than anyone in the National League with 80 and the most RBI with 29. His 29 runs and 12 home runs are not just best in the National League, but the best in all of MLB. He has been one of the most electric players in the big leagues this season and was deserving of his first All-Star selection.

Third Baseman

This was the closest one could get to unanimous and not be unanimous. Joining his teammate Tatis Jr, Padres third baseman Manny Machado picked up 91% of the vote to become a 2020 all-star. Like Tatis, Machado has had a good season on a very exciting team. Batting .280 with eight home runs and eight doubles through 31 games is always something that will get a player’s name thrown into All-Star talks. Machado has also picked up 22 RBI along the way. This would have been All-Star appearance number five for Machado The lone other player to receive votes at the hot corner was Colorado Rockies third baseman, Nolan Arenado.

Outfield 

The outfield had the National League’s third and final unanimous choice: Los Angeles Dodger Mookie Betts. After signing a huge deal this offseason, Betts has lived up to his price tag. He has dazzled fans with his throws from right field as well as his performances at the plate. Batting .293 so far this season, Betts is only one home run behind Tatis Jr in the season race, as he is sitting at 11 right now. The right fielder has also racked up 24 RBI throughout the season. Additionally, his Dodgers are sitting at the top of the National League with the best record in baseball right now. This would have been Betts’s fifth consecutive All-Star nomination.

Joining Betts in the outfield is Colorado Rockies right fielder Charlie Blackmon, who received 91% of the vote. In a time that is so dominated by hitting home runs, Blackmon is kicking the trend with his stellar .390 batting average. Among qualified players, that leads the Major Leagues by a large margin. He has done this on the back of a MLB leading 46 hits. During his campaign, Blackmon has also tallied 28 RBI, while only hitting four home runs. This would have been Blackmon’s fifth All-Star appearance and his fourth in a row.

The final member of the outfield is once again a right fielder. This time he comes from the Philadelphia Phillies. With 55% of the vote, Bryce Harper would have been in his seventh All-Star appearance. Harper has had an excellent season. He leads the National League in OPS+ with a 191, while also leading the MLB in on-base percentage, which sits at .457. Harper only has seven home runs this season, but has accumulated 20 RBI and, more importantly, is finding a way to get on base consistently. 

Three other players received votes in the outfield: Juan Soto (36%), Mike Yastrzemski (27%), and Dominic Smith (9%).

Pitching

With 55% of the vote, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer would have been handed the start. Bauer leads the league in shutouts, complete games, WHIP, H/9, and K/9. His 49 strikeouts are also good enough for sixth in MLB this season. Bauer also boasts an ERA of 1.65, which is good enough for fourth in MLB. He is having the best season of his career in his ninth season in the league. This would have been his second All-Star appearance. Also receiving votes were Yu Darvish (18%), Sonny Gray (9%), Max Fried (9%), and Jacob DeGrom (9%). 

In relief, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta picked up 27% of the votes to earn what would have been his first All-Star appearance. Peralta has had a solid season thus far, pitching 15.2 innings and picking up 28 strikeouts. He has done his job as a middle reliever. Also receiving votes in relief were Caleb Ferguson (18%), Blake Treinen (9%), Daniel Bard (9%), Dylan Floro (9%), Seth Lugo (9%), Tanner Rainey (9%), and Will Smith (9%). 

The final pitcher chosen was the closer. Joining Peralta in the bullpen is his teammate, closer Josh Hader. With 36% of the vote, Hader would have been earning his third All-Star appearance. He currently leads the National League in saves with seven. Through his first 9.1 innings pitched this season, he has yet to allow a run to score. In fact, he has yet to allow a hit from any of the 33 batters he has faced. Hader is on a tear so far this season and without a doubt deserves his spot on this team. Also receiving consideration for the position were Archie Bradley (27%), Kenley Jansen (27%), and Freddy Peralta (9%). 

Designated Hitter

Finally, the designated hitter role was awarded to the Cincinnati Red Jesse Winker, who picked up 64% of the vote to theoretically become a 2020 All-Star. Winker is batting .299 this season with six home runs, ten RBI, and an OPS of 1.010. Winker has done a solid job finding his way on base when his team really needs it, earning an offensive WAR of 0.9 this season. This would have been Winker’s first All-Star appearance. Also receiving votes were Marcell Ozuna (18%), Charlie Blackmon (9%), and Mike Yastrzemski (9%).

Final Thoughts

The National League would have had a very good 2020 All-Star roster. From top to bottom, this team features some of the very best talents the game has to offer. It is disappointing to not have a game this season, that opens the door to speculation.

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images