Every year there’s a player deserving of an all-star nod who unfortunately doesn’t make it. Some can argue that player last year was Marcus Stroman who was a more than worthy 9-5 with a 3.28 ERA in the first half.
Normally it’s important for me to write an article just prior to the all-star game that encourages fans to vote for a particular Blue Jay who deserves to be an all- star. Back in 2016, that player was Michael Saunders. Then last year it was Justin Smoak. Considering that no Blue Jay is really having a stand-out performance in 2018, I’m mixing things up this year and throwing my support behind a player who actually plays for another team, Nick Markakis of the Atlanta Braves.
For 13 seasons, Markakis has been a wonderful player with as complete a skill-set as any other right fielder in baseball. Incredibly, despite his 2,156 career hits (6th amongst active players), a lifetime .289 AVG, and two gold gloves, Markakis has never played in a single all-star game. If ever there was a year he deserved to go however, it would be this season. In 82 games with Atlanta this year, Markakis has a .323 AVG (3rd in the NL), an OBP of .389 (7th in the NL), and leads the entire National League in hits with 104. When it comes to right field, there isn’t another player in the NL that comes even close to what Markakis is doing.
In previous years, despite being a consistent and solid player, Markakis’ inability to become an all-star had a lot to do with him never having that monster year that’s normally a sure-fire way of booking ones ticket to the midsummer classic.
As voters, we the fans have a responsibility to do what’s right. No disrespect intended, but Bryce Harper and his .219 AVG this season is not cut-out for the all-star game (even though it’s taking place in Washington). Yet Harper currently sits 3rd in voting for NL outfielders. Although Markakis leads all National League outfielders in votes, lets leave nothing to chance by throwing our overwhelming support behind him and start making-up for all those years he was slighted.