In a season of struggle and rebuild, one Phillie stands out as an obvious all-star candidate
Entering this season, the only outfielder the Phillies knew they could pencil in everyday was last seasons’ Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera. Hitting just shy of the .300 mark in his rookie season, the Phillies knew they had found another Rule 5 gem with Herrera.
Fast-forward to early-July, and Odubel Herrera is doing more than the Phillies asked for. While he makes bonehead plays as a runner, and can brush people the wrong way with his style, his overall play on the field is superior to anyone else on this 2016 Phillies team.
He leads the team in batting average, games played, hits, walks, stolen bases, and on-base percentage. Not only are his stats superior on this Phillies team, but also among National League center fielders. He has the second-highest batting average at his position for players who’ve played more than 80 games, and fourth among all qualifiers.
Among all center fielders in Major League Baseball, only Ian Desmond, Mike Trout, and Miguel Ozuna have more hits than Herrera. He’s sixth among all outfielders in baseball in that same category.
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Additionally, only Mike Trout has more walks than Odubel Herrera at their position. When looking at all outfielders, only Trout, Bryce Harper, Jose Bautista, and George Springer have more walks.
Odubel flat out knows how to get on base.
While Jeanmar Gomez certainly has the credentials to make it to the All-Star game with his 22 saves, his lack of appearances at the midpoint of the season will hurt him. I foresee him being an alternative, but not an original roster pick.
Other than those two, it’s hard to find any other Phillies who deserve an all-star nod at this point of the season. Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez started out the season strong, but injuries and mental fatigue have gotten in the way. Nola is still within the top 10 strikeout leaders in the National League, but that won’t get him to San Diego next week.
Cameron Rupp, Maikel Franco, and Peter Bourjos have played like all-stars recently, but none of them will make the trip out west either.
If Odubel Herrera is the lone representative, it should be applauded. The kid came out of nowhere, and I am sure he will have a blast hanging out with some of the stars out in California next week, if selected.