Starters: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins. Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers.
Things shouldn’t change much in the outfield voting from last year, as two of the three spots appear all but decided already.
Harper was already very good, if injury prone, in his first three years in the Majors, but took it to a completely different level last season with a 197 wRC+ and 9.5 WAR according to FanGraphs. As crazy as it is, we may not yet have seen the best the 23-year-old has to offer, and he’s already off to an even better start through 64 plate appearances. It would not be a surprise if Harper ended up the top overall vote-getter, at least in the NL.
Stanton, a fan favorite, should also win a spot in the outfield via fan vote for the second consecutive season. Baseball fans everywhere can only hope Stanton can stay healthy after an injury-shortened 2015 to see what kind of power numbers he could put up in a full season.
The only question will be the third and final spot, as last year’s winner Matt Holliday is slowly declining due to age. Puig would certainly generate a ton of fan support if he got back to his 2013-14 numbers, and he is off to a good start. However, is Puig gets injured and struggles again, someone like Andrew McCutchen will move in.
Reserves: Dexter Fowler, Chicago Cubs. Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates. Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves.
It looked like Fowler was headed elsewhere until the last minute this offseason, and the Cubs should be thrilled he was able to return. Fowler leads MLB with 1.7 WAR per FanGraphs, already giving him a boost in the competitive race for a reserve spot.
McCutchen may never get back to his 2013 MVP form, and it looks like a few nagging injuries are catching up with him early in 2016. Instead, a roster spot will go his teammate Marte, who has quietly been worth 13 WAR over the last three years per FanGraphs
Someone from the Braves has to make it, and Markakis looks like the best bet in the early going. Markakis won’t keep up his 144 wRC+ pace according to FanGraphs, he has a good chance at an All-Star nod as a league average player.
Next: Designated Hitter