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HS 196: Odubel Herrera deserves to be an All-Star

On Episode 196 of “Hittin’ Season,” host John Stolnis talks with WIP’s Marshall Harris about the hot hitting of Odubel Herrera and whether he should be on the NL All Star team.

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St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Boy, I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t run Odubel Herrera out of town, huh?

The Phillies’ incredibly talented and enigmatic center fielder is in the middle of one of his patented hot streaks again, and in the process, is helping (along with Rhys Hoskins) to carry the Phils offense. The duo led the Phillies to a series win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, with Herrera hitting a home run in each of the three games, all of them hugely important.

Herrera has homered in four straight, one shy of the team record, last accomplished by Hoskins last year, and has five homers in his last six games. And if you want to know how wacky his last few weeks have been, he had a season-high batting average of .361 on May 17. Over the next 23 games, in which he went 15-for-93, it fell to .283. Now, after another three-hit game on Wednesday, it’s back up to .299.

On the season, Herrera is batting .299/.355/.491 with a wRC+ that is back up to 129, with 12 homers, 41 RBI and 35 runs scored. And among qualified NL center fielders, his fWAR of 2.1 is 2nd-best, behind only Milwaukee’s Lorenzo Cain, who is having a tremendous season (3.2 fWAR), and his 129 wRC+ is No. 1.

In other words, he’s the best hitter among National League center fielders this season.

He’s on pace to set a career high in dingrs with 27. He’s on pace for more than 90 RBI, and he’s on pace to do it while playing a tremendous defensive center field.

When Herrera is struggling, it affects other areas of his game. When he’s doing knucklehead stuff, it’s generally when his timing is off at the plate. He has an exaggerated leg kick that can get derailed for weeks at a time. He’s probably going to have another mini-slump at some point this summer.

But when Herrera is on, he is the engine that drives the entire team, as he’s shown over the past week. And while he won’t generate enough votes to start for the NL All-Star team, he certainly deserves to go.

On Episode 196 of “Hittin’ Season,” I talk about Herrera’s hot streak, the need to trade for a bullpen arm (or two) and the series against the Cardinals with WIP’s Marshall Harris. Please download, rate and review the show!

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