What Phillies Player do you think make the All-star team?
First and foremost, Scott Kingery! He has been the best offensive player on the roster thus far. Kingery’s numbers are staggering and showing why every Phillie fan was calling for his arrival two years ago.
“Jetpax” as he is known, has had a tumultuous beginning to his career. last season he was signed to a nice contract but didn’t have a home. His natural position was occupied by the capable Cesar Hernandez. Manager Gabe Kapler knew he had to get Kingery into the game so he would bounce him around between positions until he finally settled into shortstop after an injury to J.P. Crawford.
Kingery struggled at the plate last year due in part to the coaching staff, who wanted him to take more pitches. This went against Kingery’s playing style. The former second-round pick just doesn’t walk. He is aggressive at the plate and wants to hit. Last year, the Arizona product hit .226 with a .267 OBP. His slugging percentage was down at .338. Kingery hit 8 home runs and drove in 31 runs. Contrast that to this year, where he is currently batting .344 with an OBP of .385 and a slugging percentage of .664. He has 8 home runs and 21 RBI, all in over 300 less at bats. But there’s something that’s working against Kingery here.
I have never been a fan of the voting system for the All-Star game. The fan voting is a popularity contest and this was evident last year. Bryce Harper was not playing at an all-star level, yet he was elected as a starter. This type of voting allows the popular player to remain an all-star and could snub the player who is having a phenomenal season.
Could this be the case with Kingery? Does Scottie Jetpax get lost in the shuffle due to his playing multiple positions? Kingery is on the ballot as a centerfielder. The current voting has the starters listed as Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich and Ronald Acuna Jr. You can’t argue with Bellinger’s placing, who may be the best player in baseball, or it at least certainly the best player not named Mike Trout. Christian Yelich is also mashing the ball.
Acuna Jr is having a nice season, he had a really good series against the Phillies, going 7 for 14 with 7 runs scored, a home and two RBI. He has been on fire lately, however, are his numbers at the level of an all-star starter? Are they comparable with Kingery? Kingery also had a great series going 7 for 11 with 3 runs scored a homerun and 3 RBI.
Will the real All-star Catcher please stand up?
Okay, this is a bit of a joke as the real all-star catcher is still icing up his…well take a look:
Looks like J.T. Realmuto’s all-star chances took a shot to the nuts. Okay, I’m done. Actually, this is a very awesome position battle going on in the National League between Realmuto, Willson Contreras, and Yasmani Grandal. The fact that Brian McCann is the top two in the voting is proving that 14 Braves fans are voting non-stop.
McCann is an interesting wild card. He isn’t an everyday player and has over 100 less at bats than Realmuto. I am not knocking him for this as the same can be said for Kingery when arguing if he is an All-Star versus Acuna. McCann has always been a good player and I always liked him, but he isn’t the player he used to be. However, he is batting over .300 and always comes up with a clutch hit, especially against the Phillies.
Realmuto’s value is not only in the offensive numbers. He is near impossible to steal on having thrown out 49% of the would-be thieves, gunning down 22 of the 55 attempts. Contreras sits at 36% (10/26), Grandal at 30% (13 of 44) and McCann at 8% (2/24).
Realmuto is also dealing with a depleted bullpen and underachieving starting rotation. He has been doing a really good job of calling the games and keeping the Phillies relevant. J.T is definitely one of the best catchers in baseball and is unquestionably playing at an all-star level, but so are the other catchers mentioned here. It will be interesting to see what LA Dodger’s manager Dave Roberts does with the roster.
If you look at the roster I can think of only one other Phillie that should be mentioned as an all-star. That is Hector Neris. Neris is 1-3 with a 2.67 ERA. He has 15 saves in 16 attempts and has been the best Phillie out of the bullpen.
It will be fun to see how the voting plays out. Phillies fans can get to voting and get a Phillie into the starting line-up, however, I feel that the reserves are where we will see Kingery and Realmuto on the roster. They have earned a selection.
Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports