If I had to build a 25-man roster with the best National League players this year, the following are the players I would choose. A typical All-Star Game roster consists of about 29-34 players. The fan voting will be locked on Thursday June 28th. The MLB will reveal the All-Star Game starters on July 2nd. We will outline who we believe should start the All-Star Game as well.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks each have 5 players. The Nationals are up next with four followed by the Rockies who have two. Each other team in the National League has one player besides the Mets and Braves who have none.
*Statistics are as of June 25th, 2017
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (STARTER)
Max Scherzer, Nationals
Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks
Carlos Martinez, Cardinals
Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks
Carlos Martinez may only have 6 wins and does not rank in the top 10 in wins in the National League. However, he is putting together a fantastic season. He is fourth in WHIP and third in ERA, he trails only the people on this list in both categories. Martinez is also tied for 6th in the NL with 111 strikeouts. Surprisingly, the Diamondbacks have two starting pitchers on this roster. Zack Greinke picked up with 9th win on Monday, which ties him for second in the National League. He holds a 1.05 WHIP, which is third in the National League only trailing Max Scherzer (0.81) and Clayton Kershaw (0.92). Greinke is also top 10 in both ERA and strikeouts. Robbie Ray is having a breakout season this year for the Dbacks. Ray is tied for 3rd along with Max Scherzer with 8 wins. Ray is also third in strikeouts with 119 in only 94 innings of work. Ray trails only (once again) Kershaw, who has 123, and Scherzer, who has 145. Scherzer and Kershaw might be the two best pitchers in the game. The only reason I give Kershaw the nod over Scherzer is because he has 3 more wins.
Pat Neshek, Phillies
Corey Knebel, Brewers
Felipe Rivero, Pirates
Raisel Iglesias, Reds
Brad Hand, Padres
Wade Davis, Cubs (7th Inning)
Greg Holland, Rockies (8th Inning)
Kenley Jansen, Dodgers (Closer)
I wanted two lefty specialists in my bullpen; therefore, I took Felipe Rivero and Brad Hand. They are first and third, respectively, in the National League in holds. They both also place top 10 in strikeouts and innings pitched. In my opinion they are the best two left-hand relievers in the National League. Pat Neshek is quietly having a very good season for the dreadful Phillies. Among relievers who have pitched at least 30 innings, Pat Neshek places first in ERA (0.59) and third in WHIP (0.78). Corey Knebel places top 12 in both saves (12) and holds (11), while being first among relievers in strikeouts. If the Reds were not so dreadful, Raisel Iglesias would have more than 12 saves and that total still places him at 8th in the NL. He also places top 5 in strikeouts (45), holds a 0.96 WHIP and 1.73 ERA. As the National League manager I’m ending my game with Wade Davis then Greg Holland and closing it out with Kenley Jansen. These are the three best closers in the National League as they all place top 5 in saves and the only one of them to blow a save this year is Greg Holland. I choose Jansen as my closer because he is the best closer in the game. His strikeout to walk ratio is 52/1 and he has only let up 3 earned runs over 32.2 innings of work.
Buster Posey, Giants (STARTER)
Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers
Buster Posey is just being Buster Posey. He is leading all catchers and is second is all of baseball with a .340 average. He also places second in HR with 10 and third in RBIs with 30. He is the best catcher in the game in my opinion and there is no debate he should be starting the All-Star Game. I take Yasmani Grandal as my back-up catcher. His average is only .266, but he is top 5 among NL catchers in HR and RBIs. The main reason I take him as my back-up is not because of the power he contains, but because of his defensive skills. He has a whopping .405 caught stealing percentage which ranks first in all of baseball by 23 points!
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks (STARTER)
Paul Goldschmidt is second among all first basemen with a .332 batting average and first with 65 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. He also ranks 4th in the National League with 18 homers. Goldschmidt is one of the more underrated players in the MLB. In my opinion he is the best first basemen in baseball. His is a true five-tool player and he is a rare talent. It still baffles me that Team USA started Hosmer over Goldschmidt in the World Baseball Classic.
Daniel Murphy, Nationals (STARTER)
Fuck … As a Mets fan it kills me to look at his name. Anyway, the case for Murphy is really simple. He leads National League second basemen in homers, runs batted in, and average. Cannot argue it, he deserves to start and will.
Corey Seager, Dodgers (STARTER)
Zack Cozart, Reds
I would have Zack Cozart starting here and I think his numbers would be better than they are if he did not get hurt. His numbers are still very good as he leads National League shortstops with a .320 average and he is top 4 in homers and runs batted in. He is very deserving of an All-Star nod. Instead, Corey Seager is my starter for this year’s All-Star Game. He is leading the NL shortstops in homers with 12; he is second in batting average (.298) and runs batted in (39). Seager is an All-Star this year and will continue to be one for years to come.
Jake Lamb, Diamondbacks (STARTER)
This one came down to Nolan Arenado and Jake Lamb. Both are having stellar seasons, but we give the nod to Lamb. Arenado may wind up being the starter because of the fan vote. However, I think Lamb is deserving of being the starter. Both will make the All-Star game as they are two of the best third basemen in the National League. Lamb leads NL third basemen in HRs (17) and RBIs (62). He is also top 10 in both OBP and AVG.
Cody Bellinger, Dodgers (STARTER)
Bryce Harper, Nationals (STARTER)
Charlie Blackmon, Rockies (STARTER)
Marcell Ozuna, Marlins
Cody Bellinger is the only one on this list who is not batting over .300, but what he has been able to do in the power department is unbelievable. On top of it he is doing it all as a rookie! He leads all of the National League with 24 homers and a .679 slugging percentage. He is also second in all of baseball in both of those departments trailing Aaron Judge in both. Bellinger is also third among NL outfielders in runs batted in with 55. He trails the other two National League starting outfielders, Bryce Harper and Charlie Blackmon, in this statistic. Charlie Blackmon leads all of baseball with 10 triples. The next closest to him is Cozart with 5! Blackmon is second among NL outfielders with a .322 average and he is top 10 in homers. Harper is also top 10 in homers with 18 and he is one point behind Blackmon in average. Bryce leads all National League outfielders with a .423 OBP. If you asked me a few weeks ago I would have Marcell Ozuna starting. However, Bellinger has just been on a record-setting tear and has knocked Ozuna onto the bench. However, Ozuna is having an outstanding season. He is tied for 3rd with 20 homers, he is 4th with 54 runs batted in (trailing the three starters), and is 5th with 1 .319 batting average. He is very deserving of an All-Star selection.
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals (STARTER)
Yes, we have a designated hitter on a National League team. We are doing so because in the All-Star game there is a DH no matter where the game is being played. I could have given Nolan Arenado the DH spot, but Zimmerman is having a revival in 2017. He is leading all of baseball with a .344 batting average. Zimmerman leads all first basemen with 21 doubles. He is second among National League first basemen with 56 RBIs and is third with 19 HRs. He is not the defensive player he used to be and Goldschmidt is a Gold Glove caliber player; therefore, I put Zimmerman at the DH spot.
I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.