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Will the Phillies have more than one All-Star for the first time in eight years?

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Putting the Phillies’ All-Star “drought” in perspective.

85th MLB All Star Game Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Voting for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game is now live, so what better time to discuss the Phillies’ dearth of representation at the All-Star Game in years past?

On Opening Day, The Good Phight staff published our bold predictions for the 2021 season, and here’s what I wrote:

I think the Phillies will have four different players make the All-Star team for the first time in ten years. J.T. Realmuto, Bryce Harper, and Aaron Nola are all projected to be some of the top players at their positions. If they live up to those projections, they all have a very good chance of making the team. After those three, no one else has great odds to be an All-Star, but there are enough guys within striking distance that I think at least one of them will squeak through.

A few weeks ago, this prediction looked right on the money. Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Zach Eflin, Bryce Harper, and J.T. Realmuto were all playing at an All-Star level, and it seemed like there might even be a Phillie or two in the All-Star starting lineup for the first time since 2014.

Four weeks later, things aren’t looking as sunny in Philadelphia. Due to slumps and injuries, Zack Wheeler is the only Phillie that we can still count on to make the All-Star team. The others still have a chance (and Rhys Hoskins is making a case for himself too), but they’ll need to up their game heading into July. If they don’t, Wheeler could end up as the Phillies’ lone All-Star, and the Phillies’ All-Star “drought” will extend another year.

I say “drought” with scare quotes, because, of course, all 30 teams get a representative at the All-Star Game every year. Nevertheless, it still feels like a dry spell for the Phillies, since they’ve gotten nothing more than the bare minimum year after year.

To help contextualize the Phillies’ All-Star drought, I put together this table. (I’d recommend looking at this one on the computer.)

MLB All-Star Appearances by Team

Team Most Recent Season with 2+ All-Stars Number of Seasons with only 1 All-Star (since 2011) Most Seasons in a row with only 1 All-Star (since 2011) Total Number of All-Stars (since 2011)
Team Most Recent Season with 2+ All-Stars Number of Seasons with only 1 All-Star (since 2011) Most Seasons in a row with only 1 All-Star (since 2011) Total Number of All-Stars (since 2011)
NL East
Phillies 2013 6 6 (2014-) 16
Braves 2019 3 3 ('15-'17) 25
Marlins 2017 5 3 ('11-'13) 15
Mets 2019 3 2 ('17-'18) 18
Nationals 2019 1 1 ('11) 26
NL Central
Brewers 2019 3 2 ('16-'17) 24
Cardinals 2018 1 1 ('19) 32
Cubs 2019 3 1 (‘17, ‘13, ‘11) 23
Pirates 2019 2 2 ('17-'18) 23
Reds 2019 0 0 26
NL West
Diamondbacks 2019 2 1 (‘12, ‘16) 19
Dodgers 2019 1 1 ('13) 32
Giants 2018 2 1 (‘17, ‘19) 28
Padres 2016 7 3 (‘11-’13, & ‘17-’19) 11
Rockies 2019 2 2 (‘11-’12) 23
AL East
Blue Jays 2017 3 2 (‘18-’19) 22
Orioles 2016 4 3 (‘17-’19) 24
Rays 2019 2 1 (‘16, ‘14) 18
Red Sox 2019 2 1 (‘12, ‘15) 30
Yankees 2019 0 0 37
AL Central
Cleveland 2019 2 2 (‘14-’15) 26
Royals 2017 4 2 (‘11-’12, ‘18-’19) 24
Tigers 2017 3 2 (‘18-’19) 27
Twins 2019 4 2 (‘11-’12) 16
White Sox 2019 3 2 (‘17-’18) 19
AL West
Angels 2019 4 3 (‘16-’18) 18
Athletics 2019 4 2 (‘11-’12, ‘16-’17) 18
Astros 2019 4 4 ('11-'14) 26
Mariners 2018 2 1 (‘16,‘19) 20
Rangers 2019 3 2 ('17-'18) 26

As you can see, the Phillies haven’t had a season with multiple All-Stars since 2013 (Cliff Lee, Domonic Brown), which gives them the longest active All-Star drought in baseball. Over the past ten years, no other team has had a drought longer than four seasons (the Houston Astros, from 2011-2014). The next longest active droughts belong to the Orioles and Padres, neither of whom has had multiple All-Stars since 2016. However, both of those teams are in a good position to break their droughts this season – John Means and Cedric Mullins could both be All-Stars for the Orioles, and Yu Darvish and Fernando Tatis Jr. could both be All-Stars for the Padres.

The Phillies have only had 16 total All-Stars in the past ten years, and the 2011 team is doing the heavy lifting on that number (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Placido Polanco, and Shane Victorino were all All-Stars that year). The only teams with fewer All-Stars than the Phillies over the past decade are the Marlins (15) and the Padres (11).

Thinking about the Phillies All-Star drought made me realize one of the main reasons the Phillies have been so frustrating to watch over the past several years. It’s not just the constant losing and the missing of the playoffs year after year, it’s also the lack of star players to root for. It’s so much easier to watch a mediocre team if they have at least a few players that you can really get excited about.

Hopefully, the All-Star drought will finally end this summer. Several Phillies are still in the mix to make the team, and – depending on Jacob deGrom’s health – Zack Wheeler could even be the starting pitcher. Most importantly, if the Phillies stars are playing well enough to make the All-Star Game, that probably means the team is back in the division race.

*It feels worth mentioning that the Phillies very well could have had multiple All-Stars in 2020 if there had been an All-Star game, but, unfortunately, I wouldn’t consider that an end to the drought.