As crazy as it may seem, the all-star-week festivities are right around the corner. The Phillies will play their eighty-first game of the season on Tuesday, marking the halfway point in the regular season. With this said, many fans have begun speculating which players will represent our Phillies in the all-star game, home run derby, and futures game that all take place between July 16 and July 19.
The Phillies do not have too many players considered “locks” for either event, but they could have multiple representatives in the all-star game. They should also have a representative in the Home Run Derby, given the Phillies’ abundance of power hitters at the top of their lineup.
The 2021 NL MVP is the one player who was a definite all-star prior to his injury. He was hit by a pitch in the Padres series, and he is now sidelined until the end of the summer.
A majority of the all-star voting is done by the fans, so it is likely that Harper still gets the nod as the starting designated hitter. He was a finalist for the honor, meaning his name went on a ballot in the second round of voting as he went up against Braves utility player William Contreras—a younger, lesser-known player in the league. Because of his injury, the manager of the NL team, Brian Snitker, will choose another player (likely Contreras) to start in his place.
Before Harper went on the IL, he had a slash line of .318/.391/.599, putting him near the top of many leaderboards for batting average, home runs, OPS, and slugging percentage across the league. He was even considered a possible home-run-derby participant since he won it all in 2018.
Harper has never been selected to an all-star game as a Phillie, but he attended six as a Washington National.
With where the Phillies are right now, Wheeler is the only other player on the Phillies that I can guarantee will be present for the all-star game.
He has been an ace ever since joining the Phillies. Wheeler lowered his ERA to 2.66 after he threw seven scoreless innings in the Phillies’ win over the Cardinals on Sunday Night Baseball. Opponents are hitting only .225 against him, and he boasts a WHIP of just 1.07.
Wheeler doesn’t just have the stats; he has the accolades, too.
He was named the NL Pitcher of the Month in May, where he struck out 40 batters and had an ERA of 1.65. He was an all-star in 2021, but his appearances in all-star week date way back to 2010, when he participated in the Futures Game. He participated again in 2012 when he was a member of the Binghamton Mets.
Quietly, Aaron Nola has found his 2018 form. He has posted a 3.13 ERA in 16 starts. He has a WHIP under one and has struck 117 batters out over 103.2 innings of work. Nola has used his curveball more effectively and has had excellent command of his fastballs.
While Nola’s statistics make it look like he should be a definite all-star, there are a few red flags.
Nola struggled in 2021, as he posted a 4.63 ERA in the 32 games he started. He only had 11 quality starts, which is much different from his 25 in 2018. He already has nine this season, so he is on track to match his 2019 number of 18.
While he has been able to get them under control recently, the long ball is a problem that Aaron Nola has always had. He has allowed 12 home runs this season and 130 home runs in his 187 career starts. Wheeler, on the other hand, has allowed just five homers through 15 starts.
Seranthony Dominguez returned from Tommy John surgery and has been about as good as you can ask. He started the season as a middle reliever, but an excellent start to the season got him put into some higher-leverage situations. Now, he gets the task of facing the heart of the opposition’s order in the eighth or ninth inning.
Dominguez has posted a 1.8 ERA in 30 innings of work. His WHIP sits at just .83, and he has even recorded two saves thus far.
Unfortunately for Dominguez, closers get the majority of the attention when it comes to selecting all-stars, so he could easily be looked over. But if a Phillie reliever is considered, he will likely be the one.
While Schwarber’s .215 batting average will shy the all-star voters away, his power numbers should certainly get him a ticket to the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. He leads the National League with 23 home runs and has a .826 OPS.
For the Derby, Schwarber deserves to be a lock, but you never know who the league will choose to invite. Rhys Hoskins was invited in 2018 and had just 14 home runs before the all-star break. Schwarber was also a participant in the 2018 Home Run Derby and ended up beating Hoskins in dramatic fashion. He eventually lost to Bryce Harper in the final round.
At the end of the first round of all-star voting, Schwarber had 373,533 votes, putting him in thirteenth place among NL outfielders.
Hoskins has not been talked about much across the league, but he has had an excellent season offensively. He is known for a low average paired with a lot of home runs, but he has been more consistent in 2022. He has a .257 average and .850 OPS through his 292 at-bats.
Hoskins’ 17 home runs could get him an invite to the Derby, but the league would not want to put two players of the same team in the competition. So if Schwarber was to accept an offer, Hoskins would probably not get an invite unless they are struggling to find qualified participants.
While he could be worthy of making the all-star roster, the competition at first base is steep. With Pete Alonso, Freddie Freeman, Josh Bell, and Paul Goldschmidt, it would take a few rejected offers for him to get in.
Whether he is deserving or not, it is possible that Realmuto could make his fourth all-star appearance.
He is having one of the worst offensive years of his career, but there aren’t too many options at the catcher position. Yadier Molina and Wilson Contreras are battling injuries, and many of the NL catchers have been sidelined for a portion of the season. Realmuto has the lowest percentage of successful base stealers against him in all of baseball, so that could get him some consideration.
Realmuto has a .259 average and a .791 OPS over his last seven games, so it is possible that he could raise his slash line closer to the league averages if he keeps swinging well over the next week.
Out of all the potential all-stars on this list, Hand is the least likely to be on the NL roster for the midsummer classic. His stuff has been inconsistent, and he is atrocious when coming in with runners on base. Hand has 2.16 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP, but he is coming off a 2021 season where he posted an ERA of 7.27 after being traded to the playoff-contending Blue Jays.
Hand was an all-star every year between 2017 and 2019, but he has not been the same since.