In the midst of a 19-26 record heading into this weekend’s series with the Philadelphia Phillies, there hasn’t been much consistency for the Colorado Rockies on offense or on the mound. However, one thing that has remained true throughout the season has been the defense of third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Memorable defensive stops have become almost routine for the Rockies’ 24-year-old Gold Glove winner. When Rockies fans tweet out that it’s #NolanBeingNolan, you know another highlight reel-worthy play has been made on the hot corner.
While known primarily for his defense, Arenado has also picked up the pace at the plate in recent games. In his last seven games, he’s batting .370 with three homers and 11 RBIs. For the season, his 10 homers rank second among National League third baseman and his 31 RBIs are tied for third.
He’s having an All-Star caliber season … yet, when the first All-Star voting totals were released earlier this week, he stood fifth in the voting for National League third basemen. He trails Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals, Chicago’s Kris Bryant, Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier, and New York’s David Wright in the fan-friendly voting.
So where does Arenado rank amongst his All-Star competition? Let’s take a look at how each of those five players (in order of votes received so far) have stacked up this season…
Carpenter (Cardinals) … .314 average, 8 homers, 27 RBIs, .969 fielding percentage,
Bryant (Cubs) … .275 average, 7 homers, 31 RBIs, .931 fielding percentage
Frazier (Reds) … .260 average, 14 homers, 28 RBIs, .956 fielding percentage
Wright (Mets) … .333 average, 1 homer, 4 RBIs, not enough attempts to qualify for fielding percentage (Note: Hasn’t played since April 14 due to injury)
Arenado (Rockies) … .287 average, 10 homers, 31 RBIs, .979 fielding percentage
With Wright’s injury situation, there are three full-time third basemen ahead of Arenado in the voting. He ranks second among them in average and homers, is tied for first in RBIs, and leads the pack in fielding percentage. Everyone on the list ranks third or lower in at least one category … other than Arenado.
Does Arenado deserve a spot in the All-Star Game based on his play through the first 45 games of the season? It certainly appears that way, but this is the first year for Major League Baseball to conduct every bit of its All-Star Game voting online. Carpenter has over 1.1 million votes. Arenado has just over 309,000. Somehow, it seems that a player’s stats have been overshadowed by a popularity contest.
Colorado manager Walt Weiss indicated on Wednesday that he believed Arenado will be in the All-Star Game one way or the other. If the fingers of Colorado fans don’t get him there, there seems to be plenty of statistical merit so far to land him a spot on the National League squad.