Since every team must have an All-Star, picking the representative on some of the lesser teams can be challenging. The All-Star game too frequently recognizes players for half a season of success. The All-Star game is a big marketing event, for the casual fan to see the 30 or so best players in each league. The league must consider this factor when selecting the representative from a team. There should be a huge bias towards players that are entering their peaks and are expected to make many more All-Star games in the future. Rewarding an average player for 75 strong games is not the best use of the All-Star platform.
This principle can be perfectly applied to the Miami Marlins. They have only three players with a WAR above 0.8, but only Marcell Ozuna among them has any upside. SP Ricky Nolasco has the greatest track record of any Marlin, and an All-Star selection could in theory inflate his trade value. It would be a poor decision to place either of these players in the game. Ozuna could be demoted upon the return of Giancarlo Stanton, and Nolasco will likely be traded away before the July 31 deadline.
The Marlins All-Star representative should actually be Jose Fernandez. After being unexpectedly thrust into the major leagues, the 20-year-old has a 3.34 ERA with a 9.10 K/9 in 59.1 innings. Fernandez had never pitched above A-ball before this season, but was considered one of the Marlins top prospects. Fernandez is having a strong start to the season, but this is expected to be just the beginning of his success.
The casual fan has little knowledge or interest in the Marlins, but the league could use this marketing platform to display Fernandez. Though many of the current Marlins may not be in the major leagues in coming years, Fernandez is just beginning his ascension into the ranks of stardom. The league should take advantage of the opportunity to display Fernandez’s electric stuff and undeniable talent, rather than rewarding a mediocre player on baseball’s worst team.
Gabe Isaacson is a RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @gabeisaacson.