New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce has delivered an All-Star performance in 2017. So why isn’t he a National League All-Star?
Major League Baseball’s All-Star game is right around the corner. Players who aren’t yet part of the Midsummer Classic are hoping that they can get in, either through MLB’s Final Vote or as an injury replacement.
New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce is one of those players.
Bruce finished 13th in the fan voting. He’s not part of the field for the Final Vote, so the only way he can still participate would be as an injury replacement.
The All-Star game is supposed to be about rewarding players from both leagues that are having good seasons. It shouldn’t be, as ESNY’s Zachary Weisleder recently noted, a popularity contest.
This season he is hitting .261 with a .334 on-base percentage and .854 OPS, which would be the highest of his career if the season ended today. His 20 home runs rank fourth in the National League, while he leads the Mets with 55 RBI.
After this past Thursday’s game, Bruce told Dan Martin of the New York Post that the team’s record, and not his stats, could be his biggest problem.
“If we were playing better, we’d have an opportunity to send more guys, but I know every team needs at least one representative. I feel like I’ve played well enough to make it. It would mean so much to me. I’ve been able to get to three so far and every one has been one of the coolest memories of my career. I would love to go.”
It looks like he was right. Michael Conforto, the only Met selected to be at the All-Star Game, deserves to be there. He’s hitting for average (.293), power (14 home runs) and has an impressive .953 OPS.
But Jay Bruce has done enough to join his teammate in Miami for the All-Star Game festivities. While we’re not hoping another All-Star gets injured, Bruce should be the first player that commissioner Rob Manfred calls if a spot on the NL team opens up.