Jun 2, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks batter A.J. Pollock gets an RBI sacrifice run in the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Goldschmidt will be starting for the National League at the All-Star Game. That’s not a bold prediction. The Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman has 2.5 million more votes than Adrian Gonzalez, his closest challenger. The next statement I am about to make is definitely bold as his name wasn’t even in the top 15 of voting when the latest results were released on Monday.
A.J. Pollock will make the NL roster for the All-Star Game. Here is how.
Giancarlo Stanton and Bryce Harper will be the starters. Harper is the overall vote getter in the NL and while Stanton has a slim lead over Matt Holliday and Nori Aoki, his prodigious bat will keep him in the top three. Holliday and Aoki are both injured with the latter out for a significant period of time. Holliday has an injured quad and while he might return before the break, there exists the possibility that he chooses rest over playing. Since Pollock will not be starting, he will have to be added by Bruce Bochy.
So how do his stats compare to the competition?
I am going to assume Joc Pederson of the Dodgers gets picked. Despite hitting only .248, he has 19 home runs and 48 RBI’s and is one of the top rookies in the game. That would leave one or two spots open among the rest of the field. In my opinion, Pollock’s competitors are as follows: Andrew McCutchen, Justin Upton, Charlie Blackmon and Ryan Braun. Here are their numbers:
Pollock-.310/.351/.478, 46 runs, 9 HR, 34 RBI’s 14 steals
McCutchen-.292/.375/.488, 37 runs, 9 HR, 44 RBI’s 3 steals
Blackmon-.277/.352/.477, 40 runs, 9 HR, 31 RBI’s, 17 steals
Upton-.270/.353/.460, 42 runs, 13 HR, 43 RBI’s, 14 steals
Braun-.250/.320/.475, 38 runs, 14 HR, 44 RBI’s 7 steals
Out of this group, I would say Upton would be the next choice, particularly if he gets on one of his hot streaks. That would leave one spot available among the other four. Although he has the highest batting average by far, Pollock gets hurt by his lack of walks. However, leading the group with 46 runs scored puts a check in his column. A scenario in which he gets squeezed is if Braun is the only rep from the Brewers. With Francisco Rodriguez‘s 14 saves and 1.04 ERA, he could be the Milwaukee entrant. McCutchen has the name but Pollock compares very favorably with him both offensively and defensively. Blackmon and Pollock are neck and neck in just about every category except for batting average.
Pollock gets in because of the following scenario. Holliday finishes third in the voting but decides not to participate. Ioki is out so the next vote-getter is McCutchen. He will start. The next three that get picked are Pederson, Upton and Pollock. That’s how your second member of the Diamondbacks becomes a first-time All-Star.
Far-fetched? Unrealistic? A bit of homer? Let me know in the comments section.