Saturday, May 2, 2015

NL April All-Stars

Gonzalez leads a crowded field at first base (Huffington Post)
All stats through May 1 unless otherwise noted. Scroll down to see my AL team.

C Derek Norris
Gave a lot of thought to A.J. Pierzynski, who's currently hitting above .400, but went with Norris because he's played almost twice as many games and has still been really good. With just two walks to his named this year, Norris hasn't shown any of the patience that helped him to a .361 OBP last season, but he's made up for that by cracking 10 doubles and batting .329.

1B Adrian Gonzalez
As great as Paul Goldschmidt's been, Gonzalez has been a little better. His eight homers and 65 total bases lead the National League, while his .765 slugging, 1.189 OPS, and 228 OPS+ are tops in the majors. Simply put, those are videogame numbers. Sincere apologies to Joey Votto and Anthony Rizzo as well.

2B Dee Gordon
The Marlins' new second baseman and leadoff man is playing out of his mind right now, with a major league-leading 41 hits and .423 batting average. Incredible, none of those hits have cleared the fences and only six have gone for extra bases, so Gordon's currently pulling the rare trick of batting above .400 but slugging below .500. He does have nine steals, but those have been counterbalanced by his six caught-stealing attempts.

3B Matt Carpenter
Carpenter continues to excel in his role as the catalyst of the Cardinals offense, batting an obscene .378/.446/.656 with 21 runs scored and an ML-leading 14 doubles. His sizzling start his him on track for a similar season to the MVP-caliber one he enjoyed two years ago.

SS Troy Tulowitzki
Hasn't been able to replicate his ferocious start from a year ago but still had a great April, hitting .308/.321/.526 with 11 doubles. Tulo has only two home runs so far, but the power will come so long as he's healthy.

OF Giancarlo Stanton
Stanton's picked up right where he left off last year, slashing .282/.378/.588 with six bombs and a league-leading 22 RBI.

OF Bryce Harper
Harper's light-tower power has already produced five home runs, but it's his new and improved batting eye that's drawn attention. His .433 OBP has been fueled by 23 walks--most in the bigs. He's also stayed healthy, appearing in all two dozen of Washington's games. If he can stay off the disabled list, this could be the year he finally breaks out and becomes the superstar he was pre-ordained to be.

OF Matt Kemp
Petco hasn't put a dent in Kemp's numbers, as the 30 year-old is batting a healthy .330/.359/.474 with 10 extra base hits, 14 RBI, and four steals in four attempts. Only one home run so far, but I wouldn't worry given that he's topped 20 in five of the past six seasons.
Harvey has regained his form since returning from TJ surgery (CBS New York)
SP Matt Harvey
Harvey has returned from Tommy John surgery just as dominant as he was before the procedure, going 5-0 with a 2.41 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. His 8.5 K/BB ratio is unreal.

SP Johnny Cueto
Last year's NL Cy Young runner-up and free agent-to-be is setting himself up for a giant payday. The Reds ace is leading the majors in innings and WHIP with more than a strikeout per inning, not to mention a 1.95 ERA.

SP Gerrit Cole
Cole appears to have taken the leap to acehood based on his 1.76 ERA and 10.3 K/9 mark through his first five starts.

SP Zack Greinke
Greinke's become something of an afterthought while sharing the same rotation with Clayton Kershaw, but he's having a fabulous season in his own right with a 1.93 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.

SP Max Scherzer
1-3 record aside, my preseason NL Cy Young pick is making me look good with his league-leading 1.26 ERA and 1.93 FIP.

RP Tony Watson
In line to become the Pirates closer if and when Mark Melancon stumbles, Watson's been lights-out with a 2.51 ERA and 0.77 WHIP out of Pittsburgh's 'pen.

CL Aroldis Chapman
Cincinnati's flamethrowing closer has yet to allow an earned run in 11 appearances and currently sports a 16 K/9 rate. Need I say more?

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