The Miami Marlins may only get one representative to the 2013 MLB All-Star Game, but that one representative may be one of the most interesting and exciting players the Marlins have ever sent to the game. In our latest and final weekly installment of the Marlins All-Star Power Rankings, we believe that one player has stood out above the rest and earned himself the lone selection for the Fish.
1. Jose Fernandez, RHP (Last week: 1)
Fernandez's latest outing on Monday against the San Diego Padres all but assured himself the bid for the Marlins' All-Star Game representative. Fernandez put up a spectacular 10 strikeouts with just one walk allowed in eight innings of work. He also hid from manager Mike Redmond in an attempt to sneak his way back onto the field and avoid the talk of being pulled out before the ninth inning. Such antics, when combined with ridiculous performance, are what makes Jose Fernandez a blast to watch and a sure-fire fan favorite if he ever gets into the All-Star Game.
Fernandez has all the tools at just 20 years of age to make the game. The youngest player to ever show up in an All-Star Game was a phenom pitcher as well, as Dwight Gooden made it at 19 years and seven months of age. Last year, Bryce Harper became the youngest position player to ever play in the game at 19 years and nine months old. Fernandez will join a list of some of the youngest pitchers to ever be selected and play in the game, and it would be a fantastic honor.
2. Giancarlo Stanton, RF (Last week: 2)
Stanton did hit his eighth home run of the season this week in a victory over San Diego, but otherwise he had a relatively uneventful .238/.385/.429 week. This is not exactly the season Stanton was supposed to have for the Fish, and while his star name may still carry him to an All-Star bid, the spectacular performance of Jose Fernandez is almost certainly going to push him ahead of the stagnating Stanton. On the plus side, Stanton finished the month of June hitting .296/.342/.577 (.393 wOBA) with five home runs, which is exactly in line with what we might expect from him. Hopefully, he comes out strong in the second half of the season.
3. Steve Cishek (Last week: 4)
You would think that, after only pitching two innings this week, Cishek's numbers would not suddenly climb, but then again, such is the nature of the closer. Cishek struck out just one guy in his two innings, but made it through clean with only one baserunner allowed, though he also allowed an inherited runner to score. Ultimately, however, the folks who make these selections really only care that Cishek picked up two saves, no matter how easy they were; those two saves were with four-run leads and two men on, yet somehow still counted as much as the closer one-run games.
Again, Cishek's candidacy is not great, but it is dependent on the fact that he has 16 saves and good enough obvious numbers to show that he is not a bullpen/closer fluke.
4. Marcell Ozuna, OF (Last week: 3)
Ozuna's latest week of struggles at the plate (five singles in 25 plate appearances this week) once again brought his game down after a hot stint in San Francisco the week before. The Marlins are really hoping his power numbers turn up, because the Fish need more pop from the middle of that order, and that was what Ozuna was supposed to bring to the table.
He still has his defense to lean on, at least. Ozuna has recorded 11.5 runs better than average so far this season according to UZR, and such a number would translate into over 33 runs above average for a full year. Obviously, none of that is likely to happen, but we do know that Ozuna is more rangy than expected in center field and looks capable of playing the position. That might not get you into the All-Star Game in 2013, but it might keep you in the lineup easily.
5. Ricky Nolasco, RHP (Last week: 5)
Not only did Nolasco not get traded this week, but he also did well enough in his final start to catch even more attention than he already had. There is an off chance that the Marlins will still have him by the time the selection show comes around on July 6, and if so, there may be enough eyes on Nolasco's solid performance to pick him as the team's lone All-Star, even if he is highly undeserving as the second-best pitcher on the team behind Fernandez. If that happens, unfortunately the Fish will likely not have a representative for the second straight season, because Nolasco is almost certainly going to be dealt before the All-Star Game. If this happens, it will sad face tens of Marlins fans!
Who will make the All-Star Game from the Fish this season? Jose Fernandez has remained at the top of our Power Rankings each of the four weeks, so there is no reason to believe that that would change. The official Fish Stripes prediction is that Jose Fernandez will be your 2013 Marlins All-Star representative!