The San Diego Padres are loaded with talent this season at virtually every position. The team for the first time in a long time, has the roster to take at least three or four players to this seasons All-Star game in Cincinnati. Voting is taking place now and unlike any time in history, voting is completely online.
No more of the paper ballots we were so accustomed to seeing. That in itself is kind of sad, I was hoping Major League Baseball would keep them around just for nostalgic purposes. The game has evolved and the Mid Summer Classic is not exempt from said progress. Oh well, baseball purist like myself will just have to get over it.
This seasons Padres team has a chance to do something that hasn’t been done by a Padres team since 2007. In that season the Padres sent three players to the All-Star game (Trevor Hoffman, Jake Peavy and Chris Young), and since then the Padres have only been represented by one or two players. That should change this season, as I believe the Padres have a talented enough roster to send at least three players to Cincinnati, possibly even four.
Justin Upton should be a lock to attend the game as he has played super in his short tenure as a Padre. Upton is currently hitting .293 with 10 home runs and 27 RBI’s on the season. He has also stole eight bags and scored 28 runs on the season. Upton has put up all these offensive numbers while playing a very decent left field for the Padres. He could very easily be named the teams MVP thus far this season.
The only other position player who could be labeled as MVP thus far, is Wil Myers. He was leading the majors in runs scored before he hurt his wrist on Mothers Day with a head first slide into third base. Myers had just transitioned to first base after a shoulder injury to Yonder Alonso. The move to first looked productive for Myers, as he played well in his limited appearances there. Alonso told me himself on Saturday, that he would be back in two weeks. Targeting a weekend series at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. His return will be much-anticipated as he is currently leading the Padres with a .333 batting average. Myers could easily garner an All-Star vote provided he returns and continues to play well. That makes two potential All-Stars right there.
Would it be possible for the San Diego Padres to send their whole outfield to the 86th All-Star game? Matt Kemp is clearly the team’s leader but recently has struggled at the plate. Recent word is that his ankle is bothering him, but the slugger has played in every game except for one this season. Kemp is currently hitting .273 with one homer and 23 RBI’s and five stolen bases with 23 runs scored. His numbers are fairly productive, and his numbers are likely to spike very soon. We have yet to see him catch fire, it will happen eventually, provided he is healthy. Baseball is a game of averages, I suspect a hot streak very soon for the Padres right fielder. Would a hot streak propel him into the All-Star game? Only time will tell.
The next potential and in my eyes very likely candidate is catcher Derek Norris. He has had an outstanding first six weeks of the season and has endeared himself to many Padres fans. Norris is currently hitting .289 with three home runs and 23 RBI’s and 18 runs. Great numbers for a catcher. He has also thrown out 14 of 42 base stealers, resulting in a 33% rate while the league average is 28%. Norris has proved to be a well-rounded catcher and is very deserving of a vote.
Position players are the only players voted in by the fans. The pitching staff is made up by the managers of the teams. James Shields and Craig Kimbrel will get immediate consideration. Kimbrel would be a lock, except for the unusually high ERA he has earned so far as a Padre. He will surely improve and should be in Cincinnati in July. Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner could make the team, but both would need to have major improvements. Cashner might have sealed his fait, by starting out 1-7 so far this year.
In 1985 the San Diego Padres sent a franchise record seven members to the All-Star game. Tony Gwynn, Steve Garvey, Graig Nettles, LaMarr Hoyt, Rich Gossage, Garry Templeton and Terry Kennedy were sent by the team. The next closest number of total players (five) was the 1992 team in which Tony Gwynn, Benito Santiago, Fred McGriff, Tony Fernandez and Gary Sheffield were named. Those were the glory days of the “Four Tops” for the Padres. The third most amount of players the Padres have sent to an All-Star game is the 1998 Padres. That year four Padres were named. Tony Gwynn, Kevin Brown, Greg Vaughn and Trevor Hoffman went on to lead that 1998 team to the World Series.
What I am trying to say is this seasons team has a very realistic chance to send a record amount of Padres. Upton, Kimbrel, Shields are virtual locks. Though Kimbrel needs to step it up, his pedigree tells me that he will. With those three, Norris, Myers, Kemp and even Tyson Ross have a chance to be named. In all likelihood all will not be awarded, but either way the Padres have a very respectable team and the fans should be rewarded by seeing multiple Padres at the 86th edition of the MLB All-Star game.
So please go out and vote for your 2015 Padres as All-Stars. You may follow this link or just go to MLB.com. The San Diego Padres have an exciting team and lets share them with the rest of the baseball community. Go Padres!