Phillies have just one All-Star in J.T. Realmuto, which few would have guessed a month ago


When June began, it looked like the Phillies might have four or five All-Stars. Andrew McCutchen was one of the five most productive leadoff hitters in baseball, Jean Segura was hitting over .300 with an OPS over .800, J.T. Realmuto was around .275 with an OPS just below .800 at a thin position, Hector Neris was rolling, Rhys Hoskins' OBP was over .400, and Bryce Harper remained a solid candidate to get many votes to start because of his popularity.

Turns out, the Phillies have just one All-Star: Realmuto.

Pitchers and reserves were announced Sunday night and Realmuto was the Phillies' lone representative.

He has not quite lived up to expectations yet offensively, but Realmuto has still been one of the more productive catchers in the National League and his defense has been outstanding. He leads the majors with a 47 percent caught stealing rate, having thrown out 24 of 51 base stealers. And he plays at a position where the only two better players in the NL in 2019 have been Willson Contreras and Yasmani Grandal.

There was a chance Hoskins could make it, but Freddie Freeman, Josh Bell and Pete Alonso have simply been better. Hoskins' 19 home runs and .915 OPS were not enough.

As for Neris, his gratifying moment will have to wait, if it comes at all. A year ago yesterday, Neris allowed five runs and three homers to the Nationals and was sent to Triple A. Today, he was a strong candidate to make the All-Star team but too many relievers were more deserving.

In 34 appearances this season, Neris has 16 saves in 18 chances with a 3.18 ERA. He's struck out 46 batters in 34 innings and has been better at avoiding home runs in the year of the longball.

If a reliever has to drop out with an injury, Neris shouldn't be far down the list of replacements.

For Realmuto, it is his second consecutive All-Star appearance. He left Sunday's game with what is believed to be a minor hamstring injury.

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