Connect with us


NL April All-Star Team

Alec Bohm stands in the dugout for the Philadelphia Phillies.

All-Star teams are difficult to make but important to consider. After making the AL team, here is the NL team.

After one month of play, a number of players are worthy of being called an All-Star. No one gets a bonus for being on this All-Star team, but strong starts can be a sign of things to come for a player. Three teams had two players on the AL team. Will any NL teams have three All-Stars? As exciting as these teams are, we will have to wait until July for the American League and National League to go head-to-head. I still cannot tell which team would win in a direct, winner-take-all game.  I would root for the AL All-Stars and the Boston Red Sox, but there are reasons to root for the NL team as well (mainly SS Mookie Betts). Rooting preferences aside, here is the team for the Senior Circuit.

C Will Smith

1B Christian Walker

2B Mookie Betts

3B Alec Bohm

SS Elly De La Cruz

LF Jurickson Profar

CF Brenton Doyle

RF Connor Joe

DH Marcell Ozuna

SP Shota Imanaga

RP Robert Suarez

An Outfielder turned Infielder

When I first saw Will Smith’s name in a lineup, I thought, wow this man can do it all. Academy Award winning actor, TV show star, a singer, and now a baseball player too. Then I watched the game and realized he’s not that Will Smith. However, when it comes to excelling at their jobs, both Wills are excellent. Mr. Smith is killing it, hitting third in the league (.362) behind two other NL All-Stars. More importantly, he deserves credit for helping the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff get a respectable team ERA of 3.53 in March/April. With the Dodgers lineup, that more than suffices to create a winning team. Shoutout to C William Contreras for being hot on Smith’s tail for the Milwaukee Brewers.

I admit I took some liberties with this lineup to ensure Elly De La Cruz could play shortstop. Mookie Betts is now the greatest utility player in baseball, so Mookie at second base allows Cruz to play tall stop. Mookie’s fielding versatility alone merits All-Star status. Along with that, he led all of MLB with a .368 average and a 1.101 OPS in April.  Six home runs, eight stolen bases, 23 RBIs, 29 runs, and 2.8 WAR (0.8 better than second place) begs the question, what can’t he do? De La Cruz was electric in April with 18 stolen bases, eight HRs, and 27 runs. The eye test is greater than any statistics can show. For instance, when he hits homers, he HITS homers.

The Corner Kings

3B Alec Bohm of the Philadelphia Phillies gets the start at the hot corner. He narrowly missed out on leading the league in average, hitting .366. Needless to say, the top of this lineup will get on base. Add in 30 RBIs and 12 doubles for Bombing Bohm to have a strong left side of the infield. The four errors are a concern but his bat adequately compensates. In the other corner is 1B Christian Walker. The Arizona Diamondbacks hope Walker will continue to Walker the walk back to the World Series. He led NL first basemen with 24 runs while placing second with 7 HRs and was third in average at .283.

The All-Star designated hitter was a two-horse race between Marcell Ozuna and Shohei Ohtani. The Atlanta Braves have no one so far, while the Dodgers have two. Regardless, the spot goes to Ozuna. The Braves have been too good to not have someone and Ozuna’s bat was blistering to start the season. His 1.027 OPS only trailed Mookie Betts in the NL and Juan Soto from the AL. Nine home runs and a league leading 32 RBIs with a .321 average, Ozuna is everything you could want in a DH. He has not yet, but he could slot into the outfield as well, but with the depth the Braves already have there, it is unlikely his glove will be needed.

An Okay Outfield

In terms of All-Star performers, these three outfielders are like the equivalent of the bottom third of the Dodgers lineup. In other words, not great. There are three times as many outfielders as any other position, yet in terms of OPS, the first OF is ninth on the list (Jurickson Profar). Padre Profar gets the first spot with the OPS of .913, .318 average, 16 runs, and 19 RBIs. Not outstanding anywhere, but all-around contributions are good. The other two picks both feel like sympathy moves because I wrote spring training previews for both teams. In a day and age where there are stats for everything, it becomes possible to justify almost anything.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are in their familiar spot at the bottom of the NL Central again, but not because of Connor Joe. Joe has two first names like another famous athlete, Ricky Bobby. His play was consistent, by hitting .292 with 17 runs and 14 RBIs. Similar to Doyle, Joe has over 14% of the Pirates runs. If I had a Pirate joke, I would insert it here. Then again, the last few years have been enough of a joke without my input.

The Colorado Rockies trailed in every single game they played in March and April. Now into May, they are the first team to ever trail in their first 31 games of the season. The good news is they are not quite mathematically eliminated yet. That’s likely a May problem. With that in mind, OF Brenton Doyle deserves credit for accounting for 15.4% of the Rockies runs this year. By comparison, Mookie has 16.3% of the Dodgers runs. Doyle hit .312 and is a breath of fresh air in the thin Denver air. His glove is a major asset as well.

Pitch Perfect

The Chicago Cubs gave up 17 runs versus the Red Sox patchwork lineup in April. However, that was not the fault of SP Shota Imanaga, the best pitcher in baseball’s opening month. Tyler O’Neill did try to hit one of Imanaga’s pitches back to Japan. Five wins in six starts, a 0.78 ERA through 34.2 innings, and only four walks make for headline numbers. Some dogs get more walks in a day than he’s given up. The Throwing Philosopher has not had any struggles adjusting to MLB hitters as opposed to the NPB hitters he faced last year.

It must be a relief for Imanaga to know that his closer will be Robert Suarez. 16 wins for the Padres and 10 saves for Suarez. Having a 0.66 ERA is another eye-popping stat. Far from a strikeout king, Suarez gets the jobs done with the help of his defense. In a messy NL West, the Padres will need Suarez to continue slamming the door on teams if they want to make the playoffs.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Articles

Featured Writers

More in Features