The Miami Marlins have been getting regular contribution from its first baseman this season. He deserves to go to the All-Star game, but won’t.
Despite his best efforts, Bour will struggle to appear in the mid-summer classic. He would need to continue to produce at the most petrol rate of his career to even be a remote consideration. The reason? Baseball rockstars and fan voting.
The split between his first two months is drastic. In April, Bour slashed .222/.297/.407, while hitting four home runs and driving in 14 RBI’s. He’d still have been on pace for a 29 HR, 106 RBI season, but .222 isn’t an All-Star batting average.
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Since the month turned over, Bour has exploded. Not only has he put up All-Star caliber numbers, year-long performance at this rate could justifiably net him an MVP award. That isn’t likely to happen, but it’s fun to dream.
In May, Bour is hitting .329/.412/.682, a remarkable improvement. He has bopped nine home runs, and has accounted for 18 runs batted in.
Combining the two has him hitting .277 with 13 home runs and 33 RBI’s. Good for 1.2 WAR, Bour currently sits at seventh in the National League. Sixth if you exclude Freddie Freeman, who will be sidelined for an extended period of time due to a wrist injury.
By all accounts, Bour will be watching from home
Barring a miracle, Justin Bour will be excluded from the mid-summer festivities. An unfortunate consequence of a number of factors. With the Miami Marlins hosting the festivities this season, they’d like to see as many of the hometown team involved as possible. With all that considered, there are too many things standing in his way.
Consider the fact that Bour would have to keep up this pace through June, and into July. All-Star voting for fans closes on June 29th, exactly one month from the publication of this article. That is a lot to ask of a player who has a career average of .267, and a career WAR of 2.8
If Bour were to match his May totals, it would bring his season average to .294. He’d have 22 home runs and 51 runs batted in at the end of June. This would surely enough to put him near the top of every major statistical category for first basemen in the National League.
Fan voting is the main reason Bour won’t be participating. He isn’t a household name. With players like Anthony Rizzo, Paul Goldschmidt, and now Ryan Zimmerman playing first base for the Nationals, it’s an uphill climb for Bour.
With household names abounding at first base, Bour’s best path lies in being selected by Cubs manager Joe Maddon. The coach of the team for each league selects players to round out the roster. He faces a similar issue here. With only two first basemen selected at this point, and other Miami Marlins posting years that make them qualified to represent the team, the honor likely goes to those mentioned above.
There is a last ditch effort that Bour will make the list of five players selected by the manager for a fan vote. But it’s highly unlikely that the team will carry three first basemen. There is a chance he’d make it as an alternate, but you’re essentially rooting for someone to be injured and unable to play. Nobody wants that.
Bour posted a career month of May. Hopefully it’s a step towards a career year. If he can string a few career years together, he might compete for an All-Star nod before too long.