5 Diamondbacks players that could be All-Stars this year
The All-Star Game for the MLB is happening in a few weeks! MLB's annual All-Star Game is happening on Tuesday, July 19th, in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. I'm not looking forward to seeing a Dodgers All-Star festival, but at least we shouldn't have to see it again anytime soon. As per MLB Rules, the Arizona Diamondbacks will have at least 1 representative on the National League All-Star Team. Last year, that was Eduardo Escobar. This year, I can think of at least 5 players that could be voted on the All-Star team by players, coaches, MLB officials, and the king himself, Rob Manfred. I'll rank the 5 Diamondbacks players below in the order of likelihood that it will happen.
While this has been a much better season for the Diamondbacks than 2021, it's hard to say it's been a great season. It's been enjoyable and aggravating, and I've liked almost everything I have seen from the team this year, but perhaps that's because 2020 and 2021 were just so bad. Due to their rather meh record, I wouldn't expect more than 2-3 All-Stars at most. I do think they have more than 1, with it ultimately being 2. Stats are current through July 6th.
Christian Walker: Potential HR Derby Contestant and Arizona Diamondbacks All-Star?
Christian Walker is having one weird season in terms of base stats compared to counting stats like HRs and then compared to analytics. Walker has been the Diamondbacks' best power hitter and one of the biggest sources of runs for the team. The 31-year-old leads the Dbacks in runs (41), WAR (2.7), HR (21), RBI (42), walks (41), slugging (.484), and OPS+ (125). According to Baseball Savant, Walker is among the elites of hitting in terms of xwOBA, Barrel %, Chase Rate, xSLG, exit velocity, and more. His Batting average is .210, but his expected batting average based on the contact he makes should be .271. He's had a ton of bad luck. His Slugging should be .588! Not .484. He's got a terrific K% to walk % of 23.9% to 10.1%.
Walker is 10th in the NL in Position Player WAR, 3rd in HRs, 9th in walks, and 2nd in at-bats per HR (13.2). He's 5th in assists at 1st (45), 5th in errors (3), 5th in double plays turned (51), 1st in Total Zone Runs by 6 (10, 2nd has 4), 5th highest range factor with 8.41, and 5th in Fielding % at .995. He's a stud.
Basically, Walker has been performing amazing aside from his base stats like batting average and on-base percentage. This is annoying as the casual fan wouldn't realize this. His defense at 1st is in contention for the best in the MLB let alone the NL. He's chasing pitches fewer than ever and driving the ball to all fields. So why wouldn't he be an All-Star? Well the MLB might ignore his advanced stats because he plays for the Dbacks. The bigger reason is that he's not as big a name as Paul Goldschmidt, Pete Alonso, Freddie Freeman, or Matt Olsen who each are deserving of All-Star recognition. It's going to be tough for Walker to make it but there's no doubt that he deserves his first All-Star nomination.
Zac Gallen: Could he be a 1st-time All-Star for the Diamondbacks?
Gallen was in the midst of his best season, and still is, but has struggled of late which could drop him from being a potential All-Star. Gallen has the Dbacks' best ERA as a starter (3.40), 3rd most innings despite 2 fewer starts (82), most Ks (77), best ERA+ as a starter (121), a 3.83 FIP, and lowest WHIP as a starter with a 1.049. He is the team's ACE, sorry MadBum. He's on pace to have a career season and is only 26. Considering how great he has been for the Dbacks, you would think that he might have a shot at the All-Star team.
The National Leagues has an overwhelming amount of star SPs so it could be tough and tight for Gallen to make it this year. There's a chance though if the MLB chooses him as the Dbacks rep. He's 10th in the MLB in WHIP, and 5th in Hits per 9IP (6.915).