For seemingly the first time in a long time, the Miami Marlins won’t need a pity pick for the All-Star Game. There are several Marlins who deserve to make the National League’s team this season. In fact, I will almost undoubtedly be writing another article in a few weeks covering the biggest Marlins All-Star snubs in 2016. While not even close to all of the Marlins discussed in this article will make it to Petco Park in San Diego this summer, all of them certainly deserve a spot on the team of the National League’s best.
Marlins ace Jose Fernandez is in the midst of an excellent season, as baseball fans have come to expect. He is 9-3 with a 2.57 ERA over 80.2 innings. He has a fantastic 37.5 K% (13.17 K/9) and a solid 7.9 BB% (2.79 BB/9). Some stats show that he might be even better than his numbers show, as his 2.00 FIP/2.33 xFIP are both lower than his ERA by a decent margin. He has also allowed a .327 BABIP against, despite a career number of .280. Jose Fernandez: great, and maybe even better. That’s an All-Star and Jose should be considered the most likely Marlin to make the team.
Marlins closer A.J. Ramos is on pace for the best season of his career so far, saving all 22 games he’s been asked to save and posting a tidy 1.91 ERA. He’s striking out 30.5 percent of batters (11.44 K/9) but walking too many (15.3 BB%, 5.72 BB/9). Still, despite the walks and the occasionally adventurous ninth innings, Ramos has been perfect in save opportunities and deserves to be in the bullpen in San Diego on July 12.
Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna is in the middle of a career year. He has already accumulated 3.1 fWAR; his best full-season mark is 3.7 in 2014, so he’s on pace to completely destroy that mark. He’s currently slashing an impressive .322/.374/.567 with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs. He’s walking at a career high rate (7.7 percent) and striking out at a career low rate (20.3 percent). That seems like a good recipe for a great season and certainly deserving of an All-Star spot.
Another Marlins outfielder deserving of an All-Star spot is left fielder Christian Yelich. The former Gold Glover is hitting .317/.404/.496 with six home runs and 35 RBIs. Yelich’s 2.1 fWAR is second among Marlins position players behind only Ozuna. While it may seem strange to say that two of three Marlin outfielders deserve to make the All-Star team and the one who doesn’t is $325 million man Giancarlo Stanton, that is the case this season.
Setup man David Phelps is having an amazing season, leading all National League relievers in fWAR with 1.3. In fact, he has been the second-most-valuable Marlins pitcher behind Fernandez. While Phelps is certainly deserving of an All-Star spot, he’s unlikely to be named to the team since he isn’t a closer and does not have flashy save numbers. Still, his 10.38 K/9 and 2.08 ERA may give him a chance to end up in San Diego.
Marlins sophomore catcher J.T. Realmuto has been one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, and his .304/.331/.423 line is great too. Still, there are a few big name catchers in the National League that are more likely to nab the spots on the All-Star team. Realmuto deserves it, but is unlikely to make it.
Marlins captain and receiver of every third out Martin Prado is having a great season, slashing .321/.366/.412 and playing his usual solid defense. For a while earlier in the season, he was in the top three in hitting in the league. He has cooled down a bit since then, but he is still having a very good season. His lack of eye-popping power numbers and the depth at third base in the National League make it unlikely Prado will make the team.
Finally, fan favorite Ichiro Suzuki has played a lot more than expected on his quest to 3,000 hits. Besides playing more than expected, he has been much better than expected, slashing .349/.421/.395 and offering solid defense when in the field. He’s striking out (4.8 percent) a lot less than he’s walking (11.0 percent), which is always impressive and difficult to maintain. Ichiro has been impressive indeed, but he did not appear on the All-Star ballot since he is not officially a starter, instead the Marlins fourth outfielder. Still, given his popularity and the attention he is getting in his chase for 3,000, he may end up being named to the team by coaches or players.