Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds hasn’t been putting up numbers worthy of being a starter for the National League in next week’s MLB All-Star game, but he’s been doing enough to gain the attention required to get into the starting lineup.
Phillips, at .265, isn’t batting well enough to be a National League starter, but he is making up for it in other areas, especially with home runs at 12, RBIs at 64 and runs scored at 45. There are others probably more deserving of being starters, but this is how the system works.
In Phillips’ defense, he’s making the hits he collects count just about every time. Being at 64 RBIs halfway in the season gives him a good shot at being well over 100 by the time the season ends. He had 79 RBIs all of last season.
Phillips, who has three Golden Glove awards, has been hitting the ball much better in recent weeks. He’s the first Reds second baseman to start since Joe Morgan did back in the 1970s. Phillips has said that June was a struggle for for him and he’s started to get back at 100 percent shape.
Overall, this will mark Phillips third All-Stars game. He’s established himself as one of the best second basemen in the National League. He will also be counted heavily the next several weeks to get the Reds on a streak so they can make a move in the division.
The Reds have struggled lately but the All-Star game selection shows how much talent they have, especially in guys like Phillips.