With the All-Star Ballots now officially open, let’s take a look at which Cardinals are most deserving of a spot in the Mid-Summer Classic through one month in the season.
Today marks the last day of April, which means that we are officially one month into baseball season. We’ve reached a point in the season where the 2016 statistics matter more for a player than their 2015 statistics. Gone are the days where we can dismiss poor stats as a player going through a slump in the beginning of the season. Everything counts now and we must scrutinize every number as baseball fans.
In the first month, the Cardinals were plagued by injuries. However, replacement players have stepped up. We’ve seen some young players shock Cardinal’s nation with their play in the first month of the season and, in some cases, of their careers.. We’ve also seen a mix of veterans starting to have monster seasons. So, that begs the question, through one month, which Cardinals this year are most deserving of a spot in the All-Star game:
Aledmys Diaz. No surprise here. Diaz has been on fire. In the beginning of the season, Diaz found his way onto the field at shortstop due to a series of injuries to Jhonny Peralta and Ruben Tejada. However, when he was given a chance to play, he fully took advantage of the opportunity. As a rookie, he has taken this league by storm and, after one month, he is leading the MLB with a batting average of .420. The next guy behind him is more than 20 points behind him at .397. The one flaw for Diaz is that he hasn’t been very good defensively with a fielding percentage of .907 and already 5 errors. But, we simply can’t ignore how good he has been offensively. He has an OBP of .452 and a slugging percentage of .739 only behind Bryce Harper for best in the MLB. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t supposed to have much of a role on this team other than as a backup shortstop. By the way, Diaz isn’t even officially on the ballot, so Cardinals fans will have to write him in.
Stephen Piscotty. Piscotty has been a little under the radar; however, his impact on the offense has also been impressive. Besides Diaz, Piscotty has been the Cardinals most consistent hitter this year. Piscotty has a team high 90 at-bats and is batting .300 with 4 home runs and 6 doubles. What makes Piscotty’s contributions even more meaningful is the fact that he is helping Cardinals fans forget about Jason Heyward‘s departure in the offseason. Piscotty has manned right field well having not committed an error yet. Though the chances of Piscotty making the All-Star Game are slim due to the fact that the NL is stacked in the outfield, his contributions can’t go unnoticed and he definitely deserves the recognition from the fans across the country.
— SI MLB (@si_mlb) April 27, 2016
Carlos Martinez. Much of the starting rotation has faced scrutiny this year from Cardinals fans; however, not Martinez. He has been absolutely lights out. Martinez is slowly making his case for being the best pitcher in this rotation, even though he is in the 5th slot. Though 4 starts, Martinez has pitched for 28 innings and has an ERA of 1.93. Martinez also has WHIP of 0.86 and has only given up 8 walks thus far, which just proves how dominating he has been. Martinez has had a “quality start” every single time he has stepped on the mound. “Quality starts” might be the most important way to judge the Cardinals starting pitching this year. With the offense first in the league in runs scored at 137, a pitcher going out and delivering a “quality start” puts the team in a very good position to win the game. Martinez has been lights out. If he keeps this up, he definitely deserves a spot in the All-Star Game and he might even be a dark-horse candidate for the Cy Young.
Of course, time will tell of these players can continue their level success or if other Cardinals will emerge as All-Start Game candidates. However, for now, fans should vote Cardinals and vote often. Vote on MLB.com
Photo Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sport