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July 3, 2014 / Nat Anacostia

Which Nats player makes my NL All-Star team?

Today’s the deadline for all-star voting, and the teams will be announced beginning on Sunday. I’d like to put together an all-star team, but don’t know all of the players in the National League as well as I know the Nationals. I want to be fair, which means I want to use a systematic methodology based on statistics. A year ago, I came up with a methodology that I’m happy with.

I won’t go through all the details of the methodology here (you can read the other article if you’re interested), but the main idea is that I give quite a bit of weight to both this season and last season’s performance, plus a little bit of weight to career performance. Most of the dumb all-star selections have been players who hit a hot streak for half a season and were never good again. So I’m not going to select Scooter Gennett or Alfredo Simon just because they’ve been hot for a couple of months. My method does allow for a few exceptional players to make the team based on a single season of play (Billy Hamilton makes my team, and if I were doing an AL team, Masahiro Tanaka would definitely be on it), but generally I’m looking for those who’ve played very well for at least a year and a half.

The teams are mostly based on “points” that are calculated from wins above replacement (WAR), using this formula (in most cases):

Points = 4*2014 WAR + 2*2013 WAR + Square root(Career WAR)

Again, see the other article for details and some special cases.

Here’s my 2014 all-star team (with points shown in parentheses):

National League – Starters

C – Jonathan Lucroy – Brewers (26.4)

1B – Paul Goldschmidt – Diamondbacks (27.9)

2B – Chase Utley – Phillies (26.2)

3B – Matt Carpenter – Cardinals (28.1)

SS – Troy Tulowitzki – Rockies (36.0) – The overall point leader in my system

LF – Carlos Gomez – Brewers (34.1)

CF – Andrew McCutchen – Pirates (35.1)

RF – Giancarlo Stanton – Marlins (28.8)

DH –Freddie Freeman – Braves (22.9)

SP – Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers (33.4)

Reserves

C – Yadier Molina – Cardinals (25.1)

C – Buster Posey – Giants (21.8)

1B – Joey Votto – Reds (22.8)

1B – Anthony Rizzo – Cubs (17.9) – The Cubs were the only team that required a “special selection” – bumping up a player who wouldn’t otherwise qualify in order to have a player from each team.

2B – Daniel Murphy – Mets (19.6)

3B – Todd Frazier – Reds (23.6)

3B – David Wright – Mets (23.3)

SS – Hanley Ramirez – Dodgers (25.0)

OF – Hunter Pence – Giants (26.8)

OF – Jason Heyward – Braves (23.6)

OF – Justin Upton – Braves (19.6)

OF – Billy Hamilton – Reds (18.6) – Selected because my system requires at least one “true” center fielder in both the starting lineup and as a reserve

DH – Yasiel Puig – Dodgers (23.5)

SP – Adam Wainwright – Cardinals (32.5)

SP – Johnny Cueto – Reds (25.1)

SP – Zack Greinke – Dodgers (21.4)

SP – Jordan Zimmermann – Nationals (20.9)

SP – Cole Hamels – Phillies (20.8)

SP – Bartolo Colon – Mets (20.3)

RP – Craig Kimbrel – Braves (13.3)

RP – Joaquin Benoit – Padres (12.4)

RP – Jonathan Papelbon – Phillies (11.6)

RP – Mark Melancon – Pirates (11.3)

RP – Huston Street – Padres (10.7)

Two players, A.J. Pollock (19.7) and Cliff Lee (22.1), missed my team due to being on the disabled list.

There you have it—Jordan Zimmermann is the only National player who qualifies to be on my all-star team. Several Nats came close—Anthony Rendon (19.5), Jayson Werth (19.5), Ian Desmond (18.9), and Rafael Soriano (10.5). Although the Nats media are lobbying hard for Adam LaRoche (12.5), his poor showing in 2013 ensured that under my system he wouldn’t beat the stiff competition at first base.

It will be interesting to see which Nats are actually selected.

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