It’s an off day for the Mets, so what better time than now to offer up my top five choices in order for Mets players who should make the National League All-star team.
1. Carlos Beltran: Despite his crappy base-running and lack of stolen bases, nobody can deny his league-leading .388 batting average right now. He’s also first in hits, with 31, and walks, 13. He has the second-most RBI (14), home runs (2) and doubles (T-4). He’s been playing his normally great defense in center field.
2. Johan Santana: Once again this season, he’s gotten little run support. However, he leads the National League in ERA (1.10), fewest earned runs allowed (4) and strikeouts (44). The only reason I didn’t put him No. 1 was because he hasn’t been dominant enough for my tastes. But the way he digs in after giving up a run or two is a sight to behold.
3. Francisco Rodriguez: K-Rod has been everything he’s been advertised to be so far. He’s 4-for-4 in save opportunities and was practically unhittable in his first six games. He’s been the most consistent reliever in the bullpen. He had a hiccup when he gave up a two-run homer against the Washington Nationals on April 24 but he battled back to save it for Santana.
4. Luis Castillo: A lot of people didn’t quite buy into the renaissance claim that the Mets and Castillo himself were claiming during Spring Training, but he’s proven his detractors wrong for the time being. He’s second in the league in batting average (.370) and is second to Beltran of the Mets with the highest on base percentage (.433). His defense, for the most part, has been great. Unfortunately, he’s recently been sidelined with back spasms, so hopefully his production will remain the same when he plays again.
5. Ryan Church: When Gary Sheffield was signed, there was a lot of discussion about whether or not he would or could replace Church in right field. Whether it was a ploy by Jerry Manuel or not, Church has proven he should be the everyday starter. There also was a lot of talk on the radio about whether or not Church could be the player the Mets thought he was, especially coming off of a two-concussion season last year. For now, I’d say he’s playing up to the level he was when he first surprised Mets fans. Except for one misjudged fly ball, his defense has been as good as Beltran’s. He’s batting .313 and leads the team in doubles (6).
Who are your top five All-Star candidates? Debate away.