The more I think about it, the more frustrated I am with the fact that Joe Girardi picked Ty Wigginton to represent the the Orioles in the All-Star game over Nick Markakis. Nothing against Ty, I know he played well in April and May, but no one on this team is more deserving (yes, deserving even on a 25-58 team) than Markakis.
Markakis’ defense has been Gold Glove caliber for the past three or four seasons, yet he continues to fly under the radar. On a team that is setting the pace for one of the worst records in Major League Baseball history, Markakis stepped up as a vocal leader with his quotes in the Baltimore Sun about his frustrations with the Oriole bats.
Nick has received a lot of criticism for lack of power numbers this season, but a closer look at his stats may change your opinion. Markakis has hit to a .308 batting average this season and hit two home runs and driven in six in six games in July.
What about hitting in the clutch? No one does it better on the Orioles. Markakis is hitting .338, with a .448 on base percentage, 4 doubles and 24 RBI with runners in scoring position this season. He’s performed even better with runners and scoring position and two outs, .370 average, .514 on base percentage and 14 RBI.
Are Markakis’ power numbers lower than most club’s number three hitters? Yeah they sure are, Nick has 30 RBI compared to Mark Teixeira’s 54, David Ortiz’s 54 and Evan Longoria’s 60. However, Nick has only had 87 plate appearances with runners in scoring position this season. You compare that to Teixeira’s 108, Ortiz’s 110 and Longoria’s 127 and you start to see what Markakis’ power numbers could be if he had a solid line up around him. Put Nick in a power line up and he will produce, he’s proved that this season and that’s why he should be an All-Star.
But if that comparison still isn’t enough for you, I’ve got more. The five American League outfielders chosen over Nick Markakis were Ichiro Suzuki, Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford, Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells. Nick is hitting .034 higher than Vernon Wells on the season and .088 higher than him with runners in scoring position. His total average is higher than both Hunter and Wells and his RBI with runners in scoring position are four more than Ichiro’s and the same as Wells (23).
There are always All-Star snubs, but Nick Markakis was terribly over looked by manager Joe Girardi. For a guy that has to manage against Nick 18 times a year, it’s embarrassing to me that he accepted Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells over Nick Markakis and selected Ty Wigginton instead. If Girardi truly wanted to take the player on the Orioles that will give him to best chance of securing home field advantage, then he messed up. No one has performed to that level on the Orioles like Markakis has, maybe Girardi wants to get a look at Wigginton for a future trade.