Best NL Players over the Past 12 Months
The great David Gonos had the idea that in honor of the greatest all star game in professional sports that we should examine the game’s best fantasy performances over the last 12 months. I have compiled an National League team and American League team based on the cumulative stats of post All Star break 2012 to pre All Star break 2013.
This gives us a rough picture at a season long performance. Some of these players are not current All Stars. Understand that these selections were based on my own opinion. I tried to factor in the value of each player as relative to a standard 5×5 league. You must also take into account that due to the timing of games there are some players with near 170 games played during this span.
National League Real All Stars
|Position||NL All Star Hitters||AVG||HR||RBI||R||SB||WAR|
|2B||Matt Carpenter (3B)||0.313||12||70||93||2||5|
|OF||Allen Craig (1B)||0.322||19||122||93||3||3.2|
|CI||Ryan Zimmerman (3B)||0.291||27||104||91||7||4.4|
|MI||Jean Segura (SS)||0.308||11||50||73||34||3.1|
|Util||Yadier Molina (C)||0.334||16||80||69||7||7.1|
|Res||Chase Headley (3B)||0.267||30||104||89||13||6.5|
|Res||Everth Cabrera (SS)||0.275||4||37||75||63||3.8|
|Res||Starling Marte (OF)||0.280||14||45||77||40||4.7|
|Res||Hanley Ramirez (SS,3B)||0.302||20||73||59||13||4.2|
|Position||NL All Star Pitchers||W||SO||SV||ERA||WHIP||WAR|
|P||Craig Kimbrel (RP)||5||111||42||1.13||0.81||2.7|
|P||Jonathan Papelbon (RP)||5||86||40||2.00||0.94||1.3|
|P||Aroldis Chapman (RP)||4||111||47||2.06||1.01||2.3|
|Res||Jason Grilli (RP)||0||99||30||2.88||1.07||2.3|
|Res||Edward Mujica (RP)||2||63||26||1.88||0.78||1.1|
National League Observations:
If you didn’t know the other CarGo by now, then you probably aren’t a very aware fantasy player. I was even shocked at the numbers he’s been able to compile over the last year. Hitting near .290 with 28 bombs and 47 stolen bases instantly makes him one of the most valuable National League hitters in the fantasy game. His 7.0 WAR is only behind the dominant catcher duo of Posey and Molina.
Posey and Molina
If you would have told me that the two highest WAR’s in the National League for the past 12 months would belong to two catchers, I would have told you you were insane. Nobody likes drafting catchers, but these guys have been straight phenomenal. Buster Posey has a .352 AVG which is tied with Miguel Cabrera for tops in the Majors.
Allen Craig has 122 RBIs which ranks him second in all baseball. He’s spurring that along by a .489 AVG with runner in scoring position this year. I would argue that Craig may be the most underrated fantasy baseball player. I love him. I really do.
Best Shortstop… Ian Desmond?
Who has been the best shorststop in the National League over this past year? It’s not Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez. It’s not even Everth Cabrera with those MLB leading 63 steals. It’s Ian Desmond.
Desmond is living in this sneaky 20/20 zone. From a fantasy perspective, you love guys that are under the radar enough that you get production without having to spend ridiculous amounts of money to get them. Desmond produces at a thin position.
With all due respect to Tulow, he only had 265 plate appearances during this span, but that’s the drawback with owning Tulow. A healthy Tulow is a dangerous player just like a motivated Hanley is an MVP caliber player. I think we’ll enjoy seeing those two battle it out to be the starting shorststop in next year’s “Real” All Stars.
NL MVP – Clayton Kershaw
If I had to pick an NL MVP over the past 12 months it would be Clayton Kershaw. He has been amazing. His 243 strikeouts combined with that 2.05 ERA is a true testament to how unhittable Kershaw has been lately. I don’t care that he only has 15 wins. If it were up to me, wins would not be a fantasy stat.
I struggled with who would be better over the course of their careers between Kershaw and Strasburg. I think Kershaw is distancing himself from even being in that discussion. If he continues to put up performances like this one, he’ll join former Dodger great Sandy Koufax as one of the greatest left-handed pitchers of all time.
Even though Mike Minor was snubbed off of the 2013 NL All Star team, he makes an appearance in our starting lineup for his unbelievable last 12 months. He’s been top 5 in ERA and WHIP, top 10 in Wins, and top 15 in strikeouts. I love to have balance from my starting pitchers, and Minor has been the picture of balance.
Jason Grilli is a “REAL” All Star even though he only recorded one save after the All Star break last year. His 2.3 WAR is tied for second during this span. He is having an incredible 2013 and has entrenched himself as a top 5 National League closer.
Tomorrow we’ll get a little into the Trout vs. Miggy debate and I’ll also give you my starting pitcher for the AL, and I don’t even think it’s close.