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J.T. Realmuto makes 2018 NL All-Star roster

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By rule, the Marlins were required to have an All-Star rep, but Realmuto earned it.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday night, catcher J.T. Realmuto became the Marlins’ latest homegrown All-Star. He’s a reserve on the 2018 National League roster behind fan-elected starter Willson Contreras of the Cubs.

The former third-round draft pick had a borderline NL All-Star case in 2017, but made huge strides at the plate this season, further distinguishing himself from his peers. Batting .317/.368/.551 with 12 home runs through 66 games, he’s not to be overlooked in the league MVP conversation.

Realmuto’s selection marks the first time since 2005 that a Marlins catcher will participate in the Midsummer Classic.

Across the board, Realmuto has been the superior player to Contreras in 2018. Predictably, though, the perennially contending Cubs were more successful than the Fish in motivating their fans to vote (MLB.com allowed a maximum of 35 ballots per email address). Realmuto was still several hundred thousand votes behind Contreras when the final update was announced at the beginning of the week.

In an more puzzling twist, fellow MLB players picked Buster Posey as the top choice at catcher behind Contreras. The commissioner’s office had to intervene to ensure Realmuto made the roster despite clearly out-performing both of them.

It’s still a significant milestone for the 27-year-old. To celebrate the occasion, here are several Fish Stripes original GIFs from Realmuto’s outstanding first half:

Fish Stripes original GIF
Fish Stripes original GIF
Fish Stripes original GIF
Fish Stripes original GIF