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National League PLV All-Stars

Does PLV agree with MLB All-Star voters?

Poor Mike Trout. As soon as we feature him in our AL PLV All-Stars article and mention how he’s stayed healthy this year, he goes out and breaks his hamate bone – such a bummer. In case you’re wondering, PLV would select George Springer to replace him in the starting lineup for the American League.

As promised Monday, we’re on to the National League. Once again, PLV has no major issues with the voted-in All-Stars but offers a few tweaks. Check out the AL article if you have yet to see it and the What is PLV? primer if you are still unfamiliar with Pitcher List’s newest set of statistics.

 

Fan Vote & PLV Catcher:  Sean Murphy

Key Stats through June
PLV by Category

Will Smith also deserves a starting nod at Catcher in the NL, but PLV agrees with the voters about Sean Murphy. Murphy ranks high among all hitters in terms of PLV this season, not just the backstops. He’s well above average in every category except Contact and is among the league leaders in Power. PLV believes in his breakout, even if his high BABIP brings regression to his batting average in the second half.

 

Fan Vote & PLV First Baseman:  Freddie Freeman

Key Stats through June
PLV by Category

Likewise, Freeman was the correct call at First Base, although Murphy’s teammate, Matt Olson, also has a strong claim. Freeman checks every PLV box as a hitter, most notably Strike Zone Judgement (SJ), where he’s among the league leaders. A 17% K-rate for a hitter with an ISO of .224 is impressive. Freeman seems to be still improving as a hitter and even has 11 stolen bases through June.

 

Fan Vote Second Baseman:  Luis Arraez

Key Stats through June
PLV by Category
PLV Second Baseman:  Ketel Marte
Key Stats through June
PLV by Category

Luis Arraez is by no means a poor choice. After all, the dude is hitting nearly .400 and is tied for the best Contact rate in the league with Keibert Ruiz and Yuli Gurriel. However, Ketel Marte does more things well. The veteran is amidst a resurgent 2023 after a subpar 2022 and has largely gone unnoticed. Marte doesn’t shine in any one PLV category but is above average everywhere except Power, where he ranks just below despite his 15 HRs through June. Marte is one of the reasons the Diamondbacks’ offense has taken such a giant leap this year.

 

Fan Vote Shortstop:  Orlando Arcia

Key Stats through June
PLV by Category

PLV Shortstop:  Mookie Betts

Key Stats through June

PLV Outfielder:  Juan Soto

Key Stats through June
PLV by Category

Betts’ replacement in the outfield should be Juan Soto, according to PLV. Soto is strong in almost every PLV category but especially shines in DV, where he’s one of only two players who’s seen over 1K pitches with a 75. Andrew McCutchen is the other, in case you were wondering. It’s not a big surprise Soto excels in this category, as his 21% BB% is the highest in baseball. Soto combines excellent Power with superior decision-making and is not the problem with the Padres’ offense.

 

Fan Vote Outfielder:  Corbin Carroll

Key Stats through June
PLV by Category

PLV Outfielder:  LaMonte Wade Jr.

Key Stats through June
PLV by Category

This one is tough to swallow, as Corbin Carroll has been terrific and has put up better statistics than Wade in every category except OBP. He’s almost a lock for Rookie of the Year and is an MVP candidate should Acuna falter. However, in terms of PLV, Carroll shines less brightly. Though his Hitter Performance (HP) of 70 is elite, he grades out as rather average in the other categories. For what it’s worth, his Statcast xBA, xSLG, and xwOBA also lag his production, so some regression for Carroll could be forthcoming.

Whatever you believe about Carroll, Wade is quietly having a stellar season. His .416 OBP is second in the NL to Juan Soto, as is his 17% BB%, and, unlike Soto, he doesn’t have a superstar like Manny Machado or Xander Bogaerts hitting behind him. PLV loves what Wade is doing this year, ranking him at or above average in every category. Given his walk rate, it’s unsurprising to see that he has one of the highest DVs in the league.

 

Fan Vote DH:  J.D. Martinez

Key Stats through June
PLV by Category

 

PLV DH:  Jorge Soler

Key Stats through June
PLV by Category

Soler and Martinez have put up similar numbers this year. Both have been excellent run producers who have hit for power. Martinez is worthy of an All-Star bid, but PLV believes Soler should start ahead of him at DH. Soler is at or above average in every PLV category, and though his Power lags slightly behind Martinez’s, he exceeds him in SJ, DV, and Contact. His BB/K is 0.53 compared to 0.19 for Martinez, as he’s trending towards a career-high BB% and career-low K%.

Andrew McCutchen also deserves a mention at DH. The former MVP seems to like being back in Pittsburgh and is putting together his best season since he left. PLV loves what he’s doing as well, just not quite as much as Soler.

 

PLV Starting Pitcher:  Zack Wheeler

Key Stats through July 1

On the mound, PLV’s vote goes to Zack Wheeler. Wheeler’s stats aren’t overly impressive, but he appears to have been bitten by some bad luck. He’s only stranding 67.4% of runners – a career-low – and the BABIP against him is .326. His xERA sits at 3.38 and his FIP at 2.83, supporting his stellar PLV and PLA. All four of Wheeler’s pitches grade from very good to nearly top of the league, and his 5.41 PLV is the best in baseball:

Wheeler could be in for a huge second half if he gets the positive regression he deserves.

 

 

 

Scott Youngson

Scott is a SoCal native who, after two decades of fighting L.A. traffic, decided to turn his passion for fantasy sports into a blog - the now-defunct Fantasy Mutant. He currently writes for FantasyPros and Pitcher List and will vehemently defend the validity of the Dodgers' 60-game season championship.

One response to “National League PLV All-Stars”

  1. Sean says:

    “Though his Hitter Performance (HP) of 70 is elite, he grades out as rather average in the other categories.”

    Isn’t the point of HP to quantify all the rest of the metrics?

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