The power numbers just haven’t been there for Ryan Braun this year, but apparently the fans haven’t noticed. Braun was the leading vote getter in the outfield, and despite the fact that his numbers really aren’t that great: .295/.351/.474 with atrocious defense in left field. Still, he’s accomplished enough over his career to show that he’s one of the most talented hitters in the major leagues, and on that alone he may deserve a spot on the team.
Corey Hart will be making his second appearance, and his situation is the opposite of Braun’s – there’s reason to believe that Hart isn’t quite this talented, but his first half numbers are pretty staggering. I wasn’t convinced that he was good enough to make the team a couple weeks ago when I first put up my all-star picks, but he’s really kept up the pace. His .391 wOBA ranks tied for third among NL outfielders with Cardinals OF Colby Rasmus (who should be at the ASG, in my opinion), and his defense has been below average but not at a Brad Hawpe or Adam Dunn (or Ryan Braun) level. He’s on pace for about 4.5 WAR, and that’s all-star level performance.
Yovani Gallardo has been hands down the best player on the Brewers this year. Gallardo’s 2.99 FIP ranks 3rd in the NL behind only Josh Johnson and Roy Halladay among qualified pitchers (so no Strasburg). He’s striking out more and walking less and keeping the ball in the yard. Hard to ask from more from your budding young ace, and he’s really made the step forward. Unfortunately, Gallardo’s left oblique strain will prevent him from pitching in the All-Star Game. I’ll have more news on that injury as it comes in – at this point he’s merely being shut down for 10 days, which would only be one missed start, certainly the best case scenario.
Rickie Weeks (.368 wOBA) may have had an argument at 2B, especially with Chase Utley’s absence, but instead Charlie Manuel decided to go with Omar Infante in one of the most baffling moves in ASG history. Still, Weeks’s absence isn’t nearly as ridiculous as the absences of either Joey Votto or Ryan Zimmerman, so it’s hard to get too worked up over the omission of Weeks.