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June 22, 2022

The case for the Phillies having more All-Stars

The first returns came in Tuesday for the 2022 All-Star Game, which takes place in Los Angeles next month, and aside from Bryce Harper having an overwhelming lead to be the NL's designated hitter, there wasn't really anyone else from the Phillies in contention for a spot in the game.

Last season, 40 players made it to each team, and the Phillies sent J.T. Realmuto and Zack Wheeler to the Midsummer Classic. There has to be more than that representing the team, which is on pace to have a much better record at the halfway mark this season, right?

The fans pick the position playing starters, and it looks like they'll have one in Harper. Voting will continue until the first week of July, after which time the reserves and pitchers will be selected by MLB. The game will take place Tuesday, July 19. Which other Phillies deserve consideration?

Aaron Nola, starting pitcher

We'll start with Nola, who is breaking out after a few down seasons and could most likely to be the Phillies' second participant in the game this July. His batting average against is sixth in the NL and his WHIP is the second lowest of anyone in the league. His 99 strikeouts are second only to Corbin Burns and his 89.1 IP is second only to Sandy Alcantara. He's recaptured the form that made him a Cy Young runner up in 2018.

Kyle Schwarber, outfield

Likely the third most deserving of recognition, Schwarber is currently 14th in votes in the NL among outfielders, and his .213 batting average isn't helping his All-Star case. But nearly every other stat of his does. He leads all outfielders in the National League with 18 homers, only Mookie Betts has more RBI (Schwarber has 37, Betts has 40), and his 46 walks give him an on-base percentage of .341, the second highest on the Phillies after Harper.

Zack Wheeler, starting pitcher

Wheeler looks to be in contention to snag a second straight All-Star nomination thanks to a stellar first half. He is 6-3 and his 2.69 ERA is the 7th best among NL Starters. He has the 11th best WHIP and 15th best batting average against. He isn't the same innings-eating monster he was in 2021 but he is no less deserving of recognition.

Rhys Hoskins, first base

Hoskins has been red hot this month as the Phillies have made their push for contention. He is hitting .329 with five homers, 23 RBI and an on-base rate of .434 over 19 games in June. Overall, he is eighth in OPS and fifth in homers among first baseman in the league.

J.T. Realmuto, Catcher

Realmuto has struggled this season both on offense and behind the plate — but he still has played more games and caught more innings than anyone else and it's not even close. He also has thrown out 12 batters, tied for the most of any backstop, has scored the second-most runs and is among the best catchers offensively in most other stats across the board. A strong few weeks with the bat could get him into the mix for the reserve catching job.

Jean Segura, second base

Had he not gotten hurt, Segura might have been the leading second base candidate for the NL All-Star team. In his 44 games, he hit .275 and many of his numbers are still in the top five among second basemen. His finger fracture three weeks ago likely will have him out until August but he can still get an All-Star nod and be replaced by a healthy player.

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