Originally posted on Philly Sports Live  |  Last updated 7/3/12

Considering the season the Philadelphia Phillies are putting up, it’s actually quite an accomplishment they have three players going to the 2012 MLB All-Star Game on July 10 in Kansas City. It was pretty much expected that Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon would be there. But, with the deserved announcement that Carlos Ruiz was on the team, it was a relief to know that we wouldn’t have to go through the whole “Final Vote” thing as we did last year with Shane Victorino.

Shortly after the announcement of the NL All-Star roster, MLB announced the five “Final Vote” candidates for both the NL and AL and the NL list has some rather intriguing names on it based on the seasons some of these guys are having.

Atlanta Braves Center Fielder Michael Bourn is in his sixth year in the majors and was an All-Star selection in 2010. So far this season, the two-time Gold Glove Award winner and Philadelphia Phillies 2003 fourth round draft pick has appeared in 78 games; has 100 hits; 15 doubles; and, 4 triples. He’s hit 7 homeruns and has 29 RBI’s. He’s hitting .302 with a .350 on-base percentage.

Saint Louis Cardinals Third Baseman David Freese has put together some spectacular games this season including a 6 RBI game three weeks ago against the Astros where we had two homeruns, including a grand slam. In his fourth year with the Cards, last year’s NLCS and World Series MVP has 13 homeruns and 48 RBI’s. He’s hitting .279; has a .330 on-base percentage; and, .478 slugging.

Washington Nationals Left Fielder Bryce Harper has, expectedly, taken Major League Baseball by storm.  In just the first few months of his major league career, the 19 year-old has 61 hits; 12 doubles; and, 4 triples. He’s knocked 8 homeruns and has 22 RBI’s. He’s hitting .274; has a .348 on-base percentage; and, is slugging .471. He was proven to be the sensation everyone predicted.

Arizona Diamondbacks Second Baseman Aaron Hill is very quietly having a terrific season.  In his eighth season in the majors, the 2009 All-Star may be the most deserving of a trip to Kansas City. He’s appeared in 75 games; has 85 hits; 17 doubles; and, 5 triples. Throw in his 11 homeruns and 38 RBI’s plus his .300 batting average and .512 slugging and you got to be impressed. Need more? How about the fact he hit for the cycle this season, not once but twice on June 18 and again on June 29!

Atlanta Braves Third Baseman Chipper Jones has won just about every award they hand-out in MLB including seven All-Star appearances. In his final season, the 19-year veteran has appeared in 44 games; has 45 hits; and, 7 doubles. His .292 batting average and .455 slugging has produced 6 homeruns and 29 RBI’s.

For the most part, to the objective baseball fan, those are tough choices. While many have stated that Chipper will probably get the nod on the sentimental love vote, you can’t dispassionately say he’s the most deserving of the five.

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