Which Phillies Could Make the All-Star Game?
As the Major League Baseball season closes in on the All-Star break, the Phillies are still some-what of a surprise. Sure, they have won for just four times in their last 17 games, but their 30-34 mark is probably better than even the most optimistic Phillie fan could have imagined.
So at this point who are the top candidates to represent the team at the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at PETCO Park in San Diego on July 12?
Here is a look at the top candidates:
1. Odubel Herrera - The centerfielder has been a major surprise, following up his surprising 2015, the Rule 5 pick has been excellent in 2016 hitting .314 with six home runs and 35 runs scored from the leadoff spot. His .418 on-base percentage is one of the best in baseball, making him one of the top candidates to make the mid-summer classic.
2. Aaron Nola - While the second-year pitcher is just 5-5, he has an ERA under 3.00 (2.98) on the season and has been even better than advertised. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 draft has 88 strikeouts in 81.1 innings pitched. His most impressive number however, is his 1.04 WHIP which places him in the top 15 in the majors.
3. Jeanmar Gomez - The 28-year-old right-hander has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2016 season so far, his 19 saves are tied for second in the majors and since nailing down the closers job after the first week of the season, Gomez has just two blown saves all season. While he is not a power strikeout closer, his 1.17 WHIP has been very good and he is a big part of the reason the Phillies have been so good in one-run games.
4. Tommy Joseph - While he hasn't played many games his numbers over the next month might be able to get him in the game if he keeps this pace up. His seven homers in his first 21 games is the fastest for any Phillie. His .584 slugging percentage would rank second in the NL among first baseman if he had enough at-bats to qualify. While he is a long shot, if he keeps this pace up, he might be considered for a spot in the game.
5. Vincent Velasquez - While he is currently on the disabled-list, Velasquez is the kind of pitcher the All-Star game likes to see, flash and strikeouts. His 73 strikeouts in 61.2 innings pitched have people taking notice. He is also 5-2 with a respectable 3.65 ERA but most likely his time will come down the road - not this season.