While virtually everyone in the Phillies lineup is hitting like an All-Star right now, just one player is going to San Diego for this year’s Midsummer Classic.
Center fielder Odubel Herrera is the Phils’ lone representative this year, not surprising given the team’s record and position in the standings.
Coming into Tuesday night’s game against the Braves, Herrera was batting .303/.390/.443 with 10 home runs, 32 RBIs, 48 runs scored and 12 stolen bases in 83 games (354 PAs).
Suddenly, he’s on pace to hit 20 home runs this year.
Herrera’s fWAR of 3.0 is tied for 10th-best among qualified NL outfielders, and is fourth-highest among NL center fielders. Only Marcell Ozuna, Dexter Fowler and Yoenis Cespedes’ are better.
His .390 on-base percentage is fourth-best among National League outfielders, his 48 runs scored is fifth-best and his .303 batting average is seventh-best. Only Bryce Harper and Fowler have a higher walk rate (12.1%) than Herrera, and his walk-to-strikeout rate of 0.70 ranks fourth.
This is the third straight year the Phillies have sent a single representative to the All Star Game, with Jonathan Papelbon the lone Phillie to go last year and Chase Utley the sole Phil to attend in 2014.
Selected in the Rule 5 draft before last season, Herrera is a victory for the Phillies scouting staff, and a lot of credit should also go to the team's coaching staff, who helped turn a player who had never played above AA ball into an All Star in just one season.
Herrera became a different player this off-season, discovering a new-found plate discipline, increasing his walk rate from 5.2% to 12.1% in just one year.
And former general manager Ruben Amaro deserves a bit of recognition, too.
Starter Aaron Nola was on pace to join him in San Diego, albeit among a very crowded NL starting pitching field. In his first 12 starts of the season, through June 5, he had a 2.65 ERA, a 2.77 FIP and was striking out 9.81 batters per nine while walking just 1.73 in 78 innings.
But in his last five starts his ERA is 13.50 with a FIP of 5.00, striking out 10.50 batters per nine and walking 4.00. He’s givein up 27 ER and 38 hits in his last 18 innings, effectively killing his chances.
The only other Phillie with a reasonable shot at making the squad was closer Jeanmar Gomez, who entered Tuesday with a 2.75 ERA, a 3.73 FIP and 22 saves in 39 1/3 innings. He’s been solid and dependable, if unspectacular.