Despite a rough month of May and a tough close to June, the Arizona Diamondbacks still find themselves in first place in the National League West. That should mean that a number of their players could be in store for a trip to the Midsummer Classic, right? Maybe not.
As things stand right now, the Diamondbacks have zero players in the top five positional rankings for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game. The fan vote has not at all favored the Snakes, in addition to an influx of talent (and voting) from squads like the Atlanta Braves. Paul Goldschmidt‘s slow start didn’t help. Players with a lack of name recognition probably don’t help, either (See: David Peralta). A.J. Pollock has spent too much time on the disabled list. The pitching isn’t up to a vote, but could still see a bit of representation.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the players that most deserve to take a trip to our nation’s capitol for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game, which is exactly two weeks away.
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Paul Goldschmidt remains the most likely candidate to head to Washington. Despite his slow start, he’s got his fWAR all the way up to 16th among qualifying position players. His average is all the way up to .276, and he’s reaching base at a .384 clip. His ISO, at .255, is among the best in baseball, and his wRC+ is at 144. He’s returned to exactly what we’ve come to expect out of him. Freddie Freeman leads the vote by quite a bit at first base, with Anthony Rizzo carrying the second place position. With Rizzo experiencing a slow start of his own, Goldy has overtaken him statistically as the year has worn on. Could that mean a reserve spot on the National League squad? It probably should. Especially if every team is required to be represented.
We’ve talked about how David Peralta doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, despite having a really solid year. It’s tough, though. All three Braves outfielders are in the mix in fan voting. The Chicago Cubs have three of their own, not including Albert Almora who could be deserving in his own right. Peralta is sixth among NL outfielders in fWAR (2.1) and fifth in wRC+ (128). He’s reaching base at a .348 clip and showing more power than ever before. Could he be a final vote candidate? It kind of worked for Jake Lamb last year, who didn’t win it but ended up replacing someone on the roster.
If we’re looking for a pitcher with name recognition, Bradley certainly has it. Despite not being the closer, he’s been among the better relievers in baseball this year. Yoshihisa Hirano and Andrew Chafin have lower ERAs, but Bradley’s 0.93 WHIP bests both of them. If both Goldschmidt and Peralta lose out on a reserve spot on the roster, Bradley could find his way to Washington as part of the bullpen.
Somehow, Corbin could be an under-the-radar add to the National League roster. He’s fourth in starter fWAR in the NL, posting terrific strikeout (11.38/9) and walk (2.38/9) numbers. His 3.14 ERA ranks eighth among qualifying starters. He’s been the most reliable piece of the Arizona rotation this year. It’s not at all out of the realm of possibility that he could be in the mix for a spot to come in after Jacob DeGrom, who is very likely going to be the National League starter.
If there was a utility spot in the game, then Descalso’s chances of playing in it would probably go up a bit. We’ve written about his chances before. While his numbers on the year aren’t overwhelming (.250 average, .351 on-base), he’s second on the team in ISO (.231). He’s hitting .302 with runners on and .250 with runners in scoring position. He’s a long shot, but if the Diamondbacks are in dire need of representation and other positions are filled on the roster, he could be under consideration. For more on his performance, check out our past piece on him.
When it comes down to it, playing in the smaller West Coast market doesn’t do the Diamondbacks any favors. They lack overall name recognition, and inconsistencies in their performance doesn’t help. We know they’ll have at least one, though. Smart money says Paul Goldschmidt. But it would be cool for a different name to get some national recognition for a change. Either way, it won’t be long before we find out.