27 April 2011
The 2011 Major League Baseball All Star ballot was released on Tuesday, and eight Diamondbacks are on the ballot. Which Diamondbacks have a realistic opportunity for the 2011 All Star team? I think Justin Upton has the best chance to make the All Star roster, followed by Stephen Drew and Miguel Montero. Chris Young has a chance too, while Kelly Johnson could be an option if he starts hitting like he did last year. The three other Diamondbacks on the ballot - Gerardo Parra, Melvin Mora, and Juan Miranda - probably have no chance to be All Stars in 2011. Here is a closer look at the ballot.
Catcher - Miguel Montero
In 2010, Yadier Molina of the Cardinals won the fan voting, and Brian McCann (Braves) was selected as the backup. This year, Montero also has to compete with Buster Posey (Giants) as well. Montero will probably be one of the Top 3 hitting catchers in the NL this year, along with Posey and McCann. Montero's best chance to be an All Star is probably for Posey to win the fan voting, and for Montero to be selected as the backup, by beating out one or both of McCann and Molina.
1st Base - Juan Miranda
With Albert Pujols (Cardinals), Joey Votto (Reds), and Prince Fielder (Brewers) on the ballot, I think it's safe to say that Miranda has virtually no chance to make the 2011 All Star team
2nd Base - Kelly Johnson
With Chase Utley still out with an injury, Johnson's chances to make the team have improved. The other top candidates at 2B will probably be Rickie Weeks (Brewers) and Brandon Phillips (Reds). If Johnson can start hitting like he did in 2010, he has a chance to make the team. But his slow start will hurt him with the early ballots.
Shortstop - Stephen Drew
Shortstop is a very competitive position in the NL right now, with Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies) and Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) probably at the top of the list. But Drew has a legitimate claim at the #3 position, along with Jose Reyes (Mets) and Jimmy Rollins (Phillies).
Third Base - Melvin Mora
Mora has been injured, and has basically lost the starting job to Ryan Roberts. He probably has no chance to be an All Star in 2011. Likely candidates are Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals) and David Wright (Mets), with Chipper Jones (Braves), Aramis Ramirez (Cubs), and Scott Rolen (Reds) also contenders.
Outfield - Justin Upton, Chris Young, Gerardo Parra
Chris Young was the Diamondbacks' representative in 2010, but he is probably behind Justin Upton for the 2011 roster, who appears to have rebounded from a down year in 2010. Young is helped by his play in CF, but needs to do a better job of getting on base. Parra has been playing well, but has no realistic shot to be an All Star this year. Ryan Braun (Brewers) is a likely repeater from the 2010 team, and Matt Holliday (Cardinals), Jason Heyward (Braves), and Andre Ethier (Dodgers) also have a good chance to return. Other outfielders getting early buzz for the NL team are Matt Kemp (Dodgers), Hunter Pence (Astros), and Colby Rasmus (Cardinals).
Chances - Upton: Good
Chances - Young: Small
Chances - Parra: None