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How Will the All-Star Game Shape Up: The Best of the National League

With less than a month to go before the MLB All-Star Game, fans and front office executives have some tough decisions to make. Each season, the brightest stars from both leagues compete against each other in an exhibition game to see who has the best talent.

At this point in the fan vote, viewers are able to see who is in the lead for each position and can begin to speculate who could make it into the game as a reserve. While a fan vote is not always the most accurate way of telling who is the best and most deserving, the league does its best to accommodate these players in the second round, where the commissioner decides who should get in. As of today, here are the 32 players I believe should represent the National League in the All-Star Game. 

1st Base: Bryce Harper (Reserves: Freddie Freeman and Christian Walker)

When Bryce Harper made the move to first base last season, it was clear that he would be able to become one of the best hitters at that position. For years now, Harper has been at the top of the leaderboards in several power stats, and this year is no different. Among all NL first basemen, he is first in home runs, RBIs, slugging, and OPS.

While it seems Harper is a clear choice for the starting spot, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman is right behind in most major stats. While it will definitely come down to the end of voting, I feel that Harper will earn the starting nod in his 10th All-Star Game. 

Courtesy of Matt Slocum / Associated Press

2nd Base: Luis Arraez (Reserve: Ketel Marte)

For the NL, there is not a hitter better suited for the top of the lineup than Luis Arraez. Since 2023, Arraez has led the majors in batting average, making him the perfect balance in the NL lineup. As a reserve, Ketel Marte will bring the power, since he is currently leading all NL second basemen in home runs, RBIs, slugging, OPS, and WAR. 

3rd Base: Alec Bohm (Reserve: Ryan McMahon) 

The race for the start at third base has to be the most difficult to predict in the NL. Both Alec Bohm and Ryan McMahon are more than qualified for the spot, leaving the fans to be the deciding factor. This season, Bohm has been the perfect complement to the bustling Philadelphia Phillies lineup, leading NL third basemen with a .306 batting average and leading MLB in doubles.

On the other hand, McMahon has been the shining star in a lackluster Colorado Rockies lineup, coming in second to most of Bohm’s stats. At the end of the voting process, it is likely Bohm will take the starting spot, especially since he is currently leading by quite a few votes. 

Courtesy of Yong Kim / The Philadelphia Inquirer

Shortstop: Mookie Betts (Reserve: Ezequiel Tovar)

When Mookie Betts made the switch to shortstop this season, it was very clear he would be the leader in votes for the NL. However, after his hand injury, the starting spot is up for grabs. While Betts will most likely be voted into the game, since he leads all NL shortstops in batting average with a .304 average, someone will ultimately need to play in the game.

Although his name is not discussed enough, Ezequiel Tovar is having a great season for the Rockies. He comes in right behind Betts in OPS, slugging, and War, and he leads shortstops in doubles.

Outfield: Fernando Tatis Jr., Christian Yelich, and Teoscar Hernandez (Reserves: Starling Marte, Spencer Steer, Bryan Reynolds, Jurickson Profar) 

The NL outfield will most likely be headlined by a few players who are making their way back into the spotlight this season. After Fernando Tatis Jr. missed all of the 2022 season and part of the 2023 season due to injuries and a suspension for using performance enhancing drugs, he is flipping the script and making a name for himself this season. Among all NL outfielders, Tatis Jr. ranks sixth in batting average with a .271 average and ranks second in home runs.

Christian Yelich, a former MVP, is finally getting back to his old form this season with a .324 batting average. Lastly, Teoscar Hernandez has displayed one of the biggest power surges in the NL outfield, ranking first in home runs and RBIs. While Jurickson Profar and Starling Marte have had amazing seasons for their teams, it will be hard for them to make it into the game as a starter behind these outfielders. 

Courtesy of Matt Thomas / Getty Images

Catcher: William Contreras (Reserve: Will Smith)

When the season started, many expected Will Smith to be the best catcher in the league by a long shot. But starting on Opening Day, William Contreras solidified himself as one of, if not the best catcher in the NL. He leads all NL catchers in every single stat except home runs and slugging, which Smith occupies. Contreras has been the perfect catcher for an unexpected Milwaukee Brewers team and would be the perfect catcher to start the All Star Game. 

Designated Hitter: Shohei Ohtani (Reserve: Marcell Ozuna)

The race for the designated hitter spot might be the easiest to predict in the NL. Although Shohei Ohtani isn’t pitching this season due to injury, he is still managing to have one of the most impressive seasons of his career. Ohtani leads all DH’s in OPS and WAR, and leads the NL in slugging. 

Marcell Ozuna has also been having a stellar season after a few rough years. He will easily be the reserve for the position with his impressive stats, including a .320 average, the third best in the league. 

Courtesy of Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Starting Pitchers: Ranger Suarez, Shota Imanaga, Max Fried, Logan Webb, Tyler Glasnow, Zack Wheeler, Dylan Cease, Sonny Gray 

Selecting pitchers for the All-Star Game is always one of the hardest tasks. Since fans don’t have much of a say in which pitchers are selected, this task is assigned to MLB executives, who have to ensure all teams are represented in the midsummer classic. These pitchers have been some of the best representatives in the entirety of MLB this season, and picking just eight is very hard to do.

Zack Wheeler, Tyler Glasnow, and Dylan Cease have been some of the best strikeout pitchers this season, while Shota Imanaga and Ranger Suarez have been breakout stars. When selecting the NL starting pitcher, Suarez is the strongest candidate by far. Despite being in a Phillies rotation with several standout stars, Suarez has shown what he is capable of this season. His 10-1 record and 1.75 ERA is the best in MLB, and he has the highest WAR among NL pitchers. 

Relievers: Ryan Helsley, Kyle Finnegan, Jeremiah Estrada, Tanner Scott

Relievers in the NL are very competitive this year, and these four closers are the best of the bunch. While these relievers are on teams that are not that competitive, they have shown up and closed out games whenever they are given the chance.

The most impressive is Ryan Helsley, who has completed 25 saves in 26 opportunities. Jeremiah Estrada has also been very impressive, and has already broken a record for consecutive strikeouts with 13. Both Tanner Scott and Kyle Finnegan have been effective for their respective teams, completing saves when given the chance. Fans should be excited to see these four pitch against the best of the American League. 

Courtesy of Jeff Roberson / Associated Press

Edited by: Emma Habel

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