Major League Baseball released the first official look at the leading vote getters for the National League on Wednesday (the American League results were released Tuesday). The Padres currently have three players at least registering among the top candidates, catcher Derek Norris (5th – 275,067), and outfielders Matt Kemp (8th – 375,172) and Justin Upton (9th – 368,868).
With that in mind, here’s a look at the Padres most deserving candidates so far (sorry Matt Kemp):
- Justin Upton (OF) – Upton has by far been the Padres most valuable player this season. He’s also been one of the most productive outfielders in the National League. Here’s how his numbers stack up among NL outfielders: home runs (12 – T3rd), RBIs (35 – 4th), SLG (.553 – 3rd), OPS (.944 – 2nd), WAR (1.8 -3rd). Oh, and his nine stolen bases are the most among outfielders with at least 10 home runs.
- Derek Norris (C) – While some question Norris’ pitch framing ability, his numbers at the plate are impressive. Among NL catchers, Norris is near thetop in many key areas: RBIs (28 – 1st), Hits (46 – 2nd), AVG (.282 – 3rd), OBP (.320 – 3rd), SLG (.448 – 3rd), and his 16 doubles are the third most in all of the NL and twice as many as the next catcher (Y. Molina – 8). Norris has also thrown out a MLB best 16 would-be base stealers and leads the next best NL catcher by four (Francisco Cervelli – 12).
- James Shields (P) – While the home runs allowed are a concern (MLB high 15), Shields has registered the second most strikeouts in the NL (82) and boasts as 6-0 record. He’s also thrown 62.1 innings this season (10th most in the NL) and his K/9 rate is a NL best 11.84.
- Andrew Cashner (P) – While his ERA is a very respectable .2.89 (12th among NL starters), Cashner is 1-7, and while wins and losses may be the most overrated stat for a pitcher, it doesn’t negate the fact that for whatever reason that number is going to hurt his chances. His other numbers, while good, aren’t major standouts: SO (54 – 18th), WHIP (1.27 – 28th), BAA (.263 – 33rd).
Which player(s) do you think should represent the Padres in this year’s All-Star game? Let us know in the comments below.
–Andrew Burer (TWITTER: @andrewburer)