Rock The Vote
It’s an election year in Washington, which means we’ll all be subjected to months of campaigns, contentious debate and awkward dinner-table conversation about politics. But there’s another set of voting which we can all get behind: 2012 All-Star voting! Using the hashtag #VoteNats on Twitter, we will be encouraging you to vote as many times as possible between now and 11:59 p.m. on June 28. Join us and let’s get as many of your favorite Nationals as possible into this year’s All-Star Game!
First Base – Adam LaRoche | #LaRocheIn12
If any Nationals position player has been deserving of an All-Star nod, it’s been LaRoche. The team leader in RBI through mid-May, Washington’s cleanup hitter has been the stabilizing force in an often shifting lineup. LaRoche has also been quietly spectacular at first base, making his case as arguably the MVP of the team so far.
Second Base – Danny Espinosa | #EspiIn12 | @DannyEspinosa18
Espinosa got off to a slow start on offense to begin the year, but as of May 23, he has collected three home runs in his last dozen games and continues to play stellar defense up the middle. Four of his eight multi-hit games have come since May 12, a period over which he is batting .297. He also continues to torch lefties, to the tune of a .300/.400/.467 slash line.
Third Base – Ryan Zimmerman | #ZimmIn12
Since bouncing back from an early season injury, Zimmerman has batted .273 and has shown signs of heating up lately, going 7-for-15 with a double and a home run in the three-game Battle of the Beltways Series against Baltimore. He also provides his trademark Gold Glove defense at third base, where he has already compiled a reel of highlights this season.
Shortstop – Ian Desmond | #DesiIn12 | @IanDesmond20
Nationals fans have been waiting to see what might happen when everything clicked for their shortstop. Desmond has been a true two-way talent in 2012, showing tremendous range with a cannon arm on defense and lighting up opposing pitchers with his power. He leads the team with 24 extra-base hits (13 doubles, one triple, eight home runs), including one of the biggest hits all year, a walk-off blast to beat the Diamondbacks in early May.
Outfield – Rick Ankiel | #AnkielIn12
Ankiel can still punish a mistake, as evidenced by his blast off Roy Halladay in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, one of his three longballs to date this year. But the converted pitcher will always be known for his lockdown defense, especially his arm, which may be unrivaled by any center fielder in the National League. Simply put, don’t run on Rick.
Write-In Outfielder – Bryce Harper | #BryceIn12
What else can you say about a 19 year-old rookie who has been asked to step in and play all three outfield positions, hit anywhere between second and seventh in the lineup, come up from the minors to inject an offensive spark into the team, and who has responded to the challenge? It will take a write-in campaign to get him to Kansas City for the mid-summer classic, but we get the feeling he might just find his way there. Harper has heated up with four multi-hit performances in his last five games, including a huge night against Roy Halladay Tuesday.
Write-In Second Baseman – Steve Lombardozzi | #LomboIn12
There’s that other rookie on the club putting up some pretty impressive numbers as well. He has filled in as the super utility man, playing at second base, third base, and recently in left field. He does a little bit of everything on offense, and his versatility was never more visible than when he single-handedly beat the Astros with a career night on April 16.
Feel free to write in any other Nationals position player you think is deserving to represent the National League at this year’s festivities. Remember that the pitching staff is arranged by the manager and coaches, but rest assured that the Nationals should be well-represented, as the only staff in the Major Leagues with a sub-3.00 ERA (2.87) and an MLB-best 375 strikeouts.