Who Should Be The Diamondbacks All-Stars?

Last year's Futures Game saw Paul Goldschmidt team with Bryce Harper here in Arizona. Could there be a repeat in the full All-Star Game this season?

It's looking pretty unlikely Arizona will get anyone voted on to the National League All-Star team this season. The last set of results announced didn't have a single D-back listed among the five position players (or 15 for the outfield) whose numbers were released. Not that there's much change there: we haven't had anyone voted on since Luis Gonzalez took the third outfield spot, behind Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa, in 2001 - he'd outslug both to win the Home-Run Derby that year.

So it'll come down to managerial and/or player selection. Who might it be? After the jump, we'll take a look at the positions, and how the D-backs stack up.

Catcher
Voting leader: Buster Posey, SFG
fWAR leader: Carlos Ruiz, PHI (3.2)
Diamondback: Miguel Montero (1.5, 6th)

Posey and Montero have the same fWAR, but it's clear Posey is getting some sympathy votes based on name recognition. Not that he's having a bad season: it's just that Ruiz is hitting .361 with a .999 OPS, and should win at a canter. Those two, plus perennial All-Star Yadier Molina, are the likely choices,. Montero made it as a late injury replacement in 2010, but it's hard to see that happening again, even if fWAR states he's as deserving as Posey.

First base
Voting leader: Joey Votto, CIN
fWAR leader: Votto (4.2)
Dismondbacks: Paul Goldschmidt (1.2, 5th)
Yeah, the starting position is pretty much a shoo-in, with Votto at more than two and a half times the fWAR, and with more than two and a half times the votes, of the second-place candidates. However, there are no obvious runners-up. Lance Berkman is runner-up in the voting, but has played only 13 games. In fWAR, only 0.4 separates Goldschmidt from second, currently held by the Cubs Bryan LaHair. Reaching double-digits in homers would certainly make Goldzilla's resume a bit more impressive.

Second base
Voting leader: Dan Uggla, ATL
fWAR leader: Uggla (2.5)
Diamondbacks: Aaron Hill (1.6, 4th)

I was surprised to note that Hill is currently leading the Diamondbacks' position players in fWAR, though it is strikingly close He has quietly had himself a very nice season, however, hitting .277, and with Jose Altuve's numbers boosted by a .363 BABIP, you could argue Hill has actually been in the top three at the position thus far. Uggla and Phillips seem the most likely contenders, however, though an injury to either could open the door for Hill.

Short-stop
Voting leader: Troy Tulowitzki, COL
fWAR leader: Jed Lowrie, HOU (2.5)
Diamondbacks: Willie Bloomquist (0.5, 16th)
Bloomquist has put up less fWAR at the position than Cody Ransom this year. Don't shoot me, I'm just pointing out what the numbers say. Though before the mob with torches reaches me, I'll also point out John McDonald is at 0.4 fWAR, and has played in only 29 games. Lowrie isn't getting any love either, not being ranked in the top five, despite an fWAR almost half as much again as the second-placed Ian Desmond of Washington. Who isn't in the top five for votes either. Man, an All-Star Game with Troy-boy and St. Buster starting. Time to hit the unwatched movie pile.

Third base
Voting leader: David Wright, NYM
fWAR leader: Wright (3.9)
Diamondbacks: Ryan Roberts (0.4, 16th)
Quick! Trade Tyler Skaggs for David Wright! This explains why Arizona have been seeking help at the hot corner, because Ryan Roberts has regressed, exactly as Dan feared in February. At time of writing, our 3B have hit a collective .222, with a .647 OPS that's 14th in the National League. Not all of that is Roberts, of course - paging Josh Bell! - but there was legitimate talk last season that Roberts could make the team, albeit in a down year at the position. This year? No chance. Instead, don't be surprised if Chipper gets a curtain-call.

Outfield
Voting leaders: Matt Kemp LAD; Carlos Beltran, STL; Ryan Braun, MIL
fWAR leaders: Michael Bourn, ATL (3.6); Braun (3.1), Martin Prado, ATL (2.9)
Diamondbacks: Gerardo Parra (1.5, 16th),
Chris Young (1.4, 21st), Jason Kubel (0.9, 31st)
Yep. Justin Upton and his 0.8 fWAR, would not even make the Diamondbacks All-Star starting line-up this time, if that was the metric. I just made myself very, very sad. Braun being voted to the starting line-up for the ASG, having tip-toed his way beautifully around Selig's drug policy, must be close to Bud's worst nightmare. A huge chunk of Parra's value is, of course, with his glove, though Kubel shows at exactly 0.0 in fielding, which is a great deal more than many people were expecting from him. Young's WAR is basically exactly what it was when he went on the DL, which would tie with his line of .167/.268/.208 in 20 games since coming back.

Starting Pitching
fWAR leaders: Zack Greinke, MIL (3.0); Matt Cain, SFG (2.8); Stephen Strasburg, WAS (2.7); Gio Gonzalez, WAS (2.7); R.A. Dickey, NYM (2.2)
Diamondbacks: Wade Miley (1.9, 9th); Trevor Cahill (1.6, 19th); Ian Kennedy (1.5, 21st); Joe Saunders (1.1, 30th)
I'd not be surprised to see four of the five fWAR leaders being picked, with Gonzalez perhaps on the thinnest ice. It's be awesome to see a knuckler in there: Pretty sure the only one to have made the All-Star Game since Charlie Hough in 1986 was Tim Wakefield a couple of years back: Tom Candiotti never got in. For the Diamondbacks, it's be awesome to see Miley make it, especially given he only made it onto the roster as the 25th man, when Takashi Saito went on the DL, and then only got to start because of Josh Collmenter's ineffectiveness. It'd be one of the greatest fairy-tales in All-Star Game history.

Relief Pitching
fWAR leaders: Aroldis Chapman, CIN (1.7); Craig Kimbrel, ATL (1.3); Matt Belisle, COL (1.1); Tyler Clippard, WAS (1.1); David Hernandez, ARI (0.6); Jason Grilli, PIT (0.6), Craig Stammen, WAS (0.6).
Diamondbacks: Henandez (5th); Brad Ziegler (0.4, 20th); Craig Breslow (0.1, 44th); J.J. Putz (0.0, 53rd)

Relief pitchers tend not to get the credit they deserve in terms of performance, and it tends to be those who've piled up the glossy saves that will grt the call. For instance, the Giants' Santiago Casilla, with 17 saves will likely get the call over Hernandez, despite the former's crappy K-rate and incredibly lucky BABIP (.224) thus far, which translate into an fWAR of exactly zero. Putz is tied for seventh on the saves list in the NL, but his ERA is 2.5 or more runs worse than everyone ahead of him, bar the Mets' Frank Francisco, so J.J. can make fishing plans for early July.

[All stats above exclude Friday's games. Ones below include them]

Conclusion
At this point, there is no obvious, lock down, dead cert for the Diamondbacks' spot on the roster. Wade Miley would seem to be the front runner, but there's still enough time for him to fall out of contention. His starts between now and the decision being made, will naturally end up being weighted more than those made at the beginning of the season. In that light, Cahill might be making a late run, given his ERA in his three June starts is a paltry 0.77 - after his seven shutout innings last night, his fWAR is up to 1.8, good for 13th in the league.

Among regular position players, there are no more obvious candidates, Hill leads fWAR, but Bloomquist has the best BA (.294); Kubel is top in OBP and RBI, while Goldschmidt ranks #1 in SLG and HR, and Parra in SB. With no Diamondbacks among the top ten in the league at any traditional scoring categories, It seems likely that the choice will be partly determined by what slots happen to be left over once Tony La Russa has added other, more deserving candidates to the roster.

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