Is Ranger Suarez on the cusp of an All-Star year?

Phillies ranger suarez
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suarez throws to an Atlanta Braves during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP)

The career path of Ranger Suarez is odder than most players who have only been with 1 organization. Ranger Suarez has been part of the Phillies organization since 2012 when he was signed as an international free agent for $25,000.

Every single season in the minors before his MLB debut, Ranger had an ERA of less than 3.18 (less than 2.81 outside of 2013). Despite the good numbers, only ranked him as a top-30 prospect in the Phillies system in 2018, the year of his debut.

Phillies ranger suarez
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suarez (55) delivers during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

From 2014-2019, Suarez started 81/83 minor league games he appeared in. Suddenly, he was a reliever in the 2019 Phillies’ bullpen. Somehow, there was not a spot for the Venezuelan to slide into the rotation with the likes of Drew Smyly, Jason Vargas, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, and Jerad Eickhoff around (not to mention Jake Arrieta).

To his credit, he posted a 3.14 ERA in 48.2 IP out of the bullpen in 2019.

Let’s forget about 2020.

In 2021, Ranger Suarez should have honestly gotten Cy Young votes. It was a weird year for the voting when not a single reliever got a vote and the winner probably wasn’t the best candidate. The former international free agent started the season in the bullpen where he racked up 4 saves and then transitioned to a starter. He posted a 308 ERA+ in 106 IP.

It was the first time we saw his true potential. He capped off the year with his first shutout in his 2nd to last start.

As of Tuesday night, he now has 2.

The way too early case for Ranger Suarez

It took over 3 and a half years later for that 2nd shutout but it was just what the Phillies need. Against the Colorado Rockies, Ranger Suarez threw 112 pitches and allowed just 6 hits (all singles) and a walk, striking out 8 in the process. It was the 3rd win of the season for him.

The complete game shutout was the first of the year in the National League for any player.

After Tuesday’s game, Ranger is 4th in the National League in ERA (1.73). He’s tied for 5th in strikeouts (27). And, he’s 2nd in WHIP with a 0.77 mark.

Phillies ranger suarez
Philadelphia Phillies’ Ranger Suarez pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Tuesday, June 20, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

While it is way too early to predict the All-Star rosters, Ranger Suarez has set himself up for success. Ranger has been hot since the beginning of Spring Training where he pitched 15 scoreless innings. He’s riding a wave made up of skill and good fortune.

Who knows how long it’ll last. Sometimes the stars align and if they do for Ranger, he’ll be headed to Texas for the 94th All-Star Game.