Monday, March 11, 2013

2013 Reds predictions: Potential All-Stars

We've reached the end of our predictions series and today we'll look at which Reds players might don the NL All-Star jersey come July. There were 10 ballots cast by the Redlegs Review team and a player had to receive at least five votes to be included.

So which Reds do we think are potential All-Stars in 2013?

Joey Votto (10), Brandon Phillips (9), Jay Bruce (8), Johnny Cueto (7), and Mat Latos (7)

Phillips and Cueto were two of the most egregious snubs last year. The good news is that Tony LaRussa will not be managing the 2013 NL All-Star team, so perhaps those guys will have a shot this time as long as they perform.

Votto is a no-brainer. There's not a first baseman in the National League that can hold a candle to Votto right now. With Shin-Soo Choo in the fold, Votto could put up the best numbers of his career if you can even comprehend that. If the knee holds up and no other injuries occur, Votto will be well on his way to a fourth All-Star selection.

Phillips is one of the best all-around second basemen in baseball. Sure there are guys with more pop, which seems to always win the fan vote, but no one can match his combination of offense and defense. He's consistenly been good, with a nice average, decent speed and power, and the best glove in baseball. He should have become a three-time All-Star last year, but 2013 should see to that.

Bruce actually was selected by LaRussa to be on last year's team. He is so hot and cold throughout the year, it's hard for him to keep up any momentum with the fans. He can put together a month where he hits .290 with seven home runs and 21 RBI or one where he hits .213 with four homers and just nine RBI. I know that because he did it last year. He also finished 10th in MVP voting and won his first Silver Slugger. If he can build on that momentum and consistently put together good month after good month, he should be a lock for his third straight All-Star appearance. Even if he can't, there's still a good chance he could make the team.

Cueto has been the Reds best pitcher for a few years now. Over the past three seasons, he's had the fifth lowest ERA in the National League. Last year he finished fourth in voting for the Cy Young Award, but was probably closer to leading for it around the All-Star break. I guess that's no reason to include him on the All-Star team though. It's hard to make the team as a starter, but if Cueto keeps doing what we are used to then he should earn his first trip to the All-Star Game in 2013. Of course we thought that last year too.

Latos came on strong at the end of the year and was perhaps the Reds most reliable pitcher late in the season. The problem is that he usually starts slow and that's not good in terms of making an All-Star team. If in the first half of 2013, he pitches like he did in the second half of 2012 (7-2, 2.84 ERA) then he could garner attention for the All-Star team. It's hard enough to get one pitcher on the All-Star team if your team's manager isn't in charge though. So if Latos and Cueto are both good, one could keep the other off, unless they are both just too good which would be good news for the Reds.

And in case you want to look back on a prior post...

2013 season predictions schedule:
Monday: Offensive MVP
Today: Defensive MVP
Wednesday: Pitching MVP
Thursday: Most Improved
Friday: Top Newcomer
Saturday: Player Poised for Breakout Year
Sunday: Top Youngster

Monday: Potential All-Stars

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