All-star voting ends in the next 24 hours or so, and I've decided to publish my current NL ballot. Basically, I'm going with the concept that midmarkets need to unite and work on some kind of unified slate. I have little desire to see Mets/Phillies/Cardinals/Braves in the all-star game, and I'm not ready to see Heyward in as well. I want to see some corrections to the runaway Mets in the game. I encourage us all to look beyond Nats myopia and recognize worthy underappreciated candidates. My ballot after the jump.
First base - Joey Votto, Cincinatti Reds. Votto has flat out mashed this year and Dunn's defense makes him not someone that I want to see in the all-star game. Everybody will vote Pujols, but Votto's played at Pujols level and deserves some more votes so that people realize his achievements as well. Pujols OPS is .994. Votto's OPS is .982. Dunn's .909 with minus defense. Vote Votto people!
2nd base - I can't stand Chase Utley and his crowding the plate ways. So you're choices are basically Prado, leading the league in hitting for the Braves, Phillips of the Batista beaning incident, Ricky Weeks or Dan Uggla. I'm going for Uggla but would be interested in thoughts on those who disagree.
3rd base - I'm voting for Zimmerman here of course and this is the one Nat who I feel deserves the vote. Wright has been raking lately and even Rolen has probably passed Zim given Zim's recent slump. I have faith Zim will turn it around between now and the game and he's a great fielder too. He should be in the top 3 for vote getters and Wright will make it automatically anyways with performance and numbers. Zim needs to make up ground to get in the top 3.
Shortstop - Hanley Ramirez. Pretty much a no-brainer. Yep, he was a knucklehead. He's a good player and the Nats seem determined to singlehandedly put him in the all-star game. Tulowitzki would be my choice if he wasn't hurt.
Catcher - Pudge is beloved and I believe Pudge will be named as a backup given his name and his batting average. As an olive branch to the Colorado fans, however, I will be voting for Miguel Olivo. He impressed me when we played Colorado and has had a better season. Pudge for all his batting average still sports just a .723 OPS and .9WAR. Olivo sports a .909OPS and 2.3 WAR. If Pudge is a deserving all-star I have little doubt he's going to get named. Olivo's been the better player.
Outfield - McCutchen impresses me as a player and I'd like the Pittsburgh fans to realize that we recognize their best player. Now Pitt fans return the favor and vote Zimmerman, please. Likewise, Justin Upton is a player that does unheralded work for Arizona and is worthy of mention. Willingham's had a great year so far and has sustained his hot start farther into the year than I originally expected and will get my vote.
Let me know your thoughts on these guys and disagreements. I've got maybe 45 more votes to make before balloting ends tomorrow.