The Philadelphia Phillies haven’t had multiple National League All-Star Game representatives since 2013, when Cliff Lee and Domonic Brown represented the team at Citi Field. That streak will almost certainly be snapped in 2019.
And it could be snapped in a big way.
Aaron Nola, who was an All-Star for the first time in 2018, enters the 2019 season among the favorites to win the National League Cy Young Award. General manager Matt Klentak added three players this offseason who were All-Stars in 2018; Bryce Harper, Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto. Both Harper and Segura are multiple-time All-Stars, and Realmuto stands to become even better offensively now that he plays his home games outside of Marlins Park.
Four other Phillies – Andrew McCutchen, Odubel Herrera, Jake Arrieta, Pat Neshek and David Robertson – have a combined 10 All-Star Game appearances. Rhys Hoskins and Seranthony Dominguez are among other players on the roster that, in theory, are All-Star Game candidates.
So we asked some of our Phillies Nation staff how many All-Stars they believe the Phillies will have in 2019. The over/under was set at three-and-a-half.
Tim Kelly, Editorial Director
Since the All-Star Game began in 1933, the Phillies have only had five All-Stars six times. I’m not sure 2019 will be the seventh time, but that’s more likely than the under here.
A year ago, Bryce Harper was an All-Star starter, despite a .214 batting average in the first-half of the season. He’s the face of the sport and barring a major injury, he’ll be an All-Star. I’d also call J.T. Realmuto a pretty safe bet to be an All-Star as well – Phillies Nation‘s Jason Ferrie outlined last month how he’ll benefit from joining the Phillies. And while predicting what pitchers will be in the All-Star Game is less of an exact science because it isn’t determined by fans, Aaron Nola was one of the five best pitchers in baseball last year. At age 25, there’s no reason to think 2018 wasn’t the first of many All-Star seasons for Nola.
That’s already three. And Pat Neshek, Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen, all of whom are multiple-time All-Stars, haven’t been mentioned. 25-year-old Rhys Hoskins may face stiff competition at first base, but he hit 34 home runs a season ago and figures to put up even better numbers hitting between Harper and Realmuto. 24-year-old Seranthony Dominguez, from here, has All-Star potential as well.
It’s not that there’s a fourth Phillie that you can point to as a pretty safe bet to make the All-Star team in the same way that you can with Harper, Realmuto and Nola, but there’s a long enough list of serious candidates to think that at least one will find their way to Cleveland for the All-Star Game.
One additional note: having an abundance of All-Stars doesn’t guarantee team success. Sure, the 2011 Phillies, who won a franchise-record 102 games, sent five players to the All-Star Game. But so did the 1995 Phillies, who finished the shortened season at 69-75.
Matt Veasey, Staff Writer
I’m going to say “under”, and it has nothing to do with the number of players who have All-Star potential. It’s simply too difficult for a team to get more than three All-Stars.
A year ago, the National League had two teams with more than three All-Stars. The Milwaukee Brewers had five All-Stars, thanks to Jesus Aguilar winning the Final Vote. The Atlanta Braves had four. Six teams had three each: the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies. Two years ago, the Nationals had five, while the Rockies had four.
At shortstop, Trevor Story and Trea Turner rank ahead of Jean Segura. Depending on how Corey Seager bounces back from Tommy John Surgery, he may be another. Who doesn’t love Rhys Hoskins? But in the National League at first base you have Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rizzo, Joey Votto and more.
I’m predicting that the three Phillies 2019 National League All-Stars will be Aaron Nola, Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto. Nola seems ready to become a perennial ace. Harper is a good betting man’s choice, having been an All-Star in six of his seven seasons. Realmuto, quite simply, is the best catcher in the league.
My wild card player not yet mentioned above who could push them over the top and get them to four is Jake Arrieta, who I believe will have a strong bounce-back campaign.
Brandon Apter, Staff Writer
The Phillies have drastically improved their roster since the conclusion of the 2018 season, so there’s no questioning that they should have more than one representative in this year’s All-Star Game.
Aaron Nola should be a lock, even if he doesn’t exactly replicate his successes from 2018. Phillies fans alone will likely make Bryce Harper one of the top vote-getters. From there, you have J.T. Realmuto, who should make the game either as a starter or a reserve. Last season, the National League carried three catchers and with Realmuto in a bigger market now, he should get the backing he deserves to represent the Phillies.
Beyond those three, there are not any overwhelming choices aside from Rhys Hoskins. With Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, Joey Votto and others still in the National League, he might find it difficult to crack the roster. But with the new excitement behind the Phillies, you never know how the voting will go.
But, as far as the three-and-a-half over/under, I’m going to take the under just slightly. I think Nola, Harper and Realmuto are overwhelmingly likely to make the National League roster with Rhys Hoskins still a year or two away from being a guy that is there regularly.
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