Odubel Herrera; All-Star. Announced Tuesday night by Major League Baseball, Herrera joins the 2016 National League squad as the Phillies’ lone representative in the mid-summer classic.
Leading the team with a .303 batting average and a remarkable .390 OBP, the Venezuela native will serve as a reserve in San Diego next week.
Joining the likes of Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant, Herrera will be in elite company and also representing baseball’s current youth movement. At 24 years old, Herrera is the Phillies’ youngest All-Star since Cole Hamels made the 2007 team at age 23. Looking at only position players, he is the youngest since Jimmy Rollins made the 2001 squad at 22.
While it would have been difficult for many fans to fathom that the Phillies could manage to find an All-Star in the Rule 5 draft at the beginning of last season, the reality is upon us. Even more remarkable is Herrera’s growth from potential league-average starter to full fledged leader, offensive catalyst and All-Star. Both feats are the product of hard work and signs of progress for both Herrera himself, as well as the entire Phillies organization.
This may be Herrera’s first All-Star appearance, but there is little reason to believe it will be his last.