Major League Baseball announced their All-Star team rosters on Sunday and for the first time the Washington Nationals will have more than one player representing them. There are three Nationals on the 2012 NL roster, starters Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez along with shortstop Ian Desmond as a reserve. This is Gonzalez’s second consecutive All-Star selection after making the AL team last year as an Oakland Athletic. For Strasburg and Desmond their trip to Kansas CIty on July 10th will be their first (of many) All-Star apperances. Gonzalez and Strasburg are a combined 19-6 with eras under 3 and have both been among the NL’s strikeout leaders all season long. Ian Desmond is in the midst of a breakout season, leading NL shortstops in doubles (23), runs batted in (43), and is 2nd in homers (13), slugging percentage (.483), and OPS (.788). Desmond has also drastically improved his defense and probably deserves to be the NL starter over the Cub’s Starlin Castro.
There’s also a very good chance that the Nationals could end up with 4 or even 5 All-Stars by the time July 10th rolls around. 19 year old phenom Bryce Harper is one of the 5 players competing for the last NL roster spot in the “Final Vote,” which is determined completely by fan voting. Since it is fan voting I can’t imagine Harper finishing outside of the top 2 with his only competition coming from future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, who is retiring at season’s end. There’s also a small chance Nat’s first baseman Adam LaRoche could sneak onto the NL roster with an injury. Leading NL 1st baseman in home runs (15) and RBI (49) he would be the most deserving to get the nod if a current All-Star isn’t available.