At 31 years old, Josh Phegley is having a breakout season, and that's an understatement.
The A's catcher went 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBI in Thursday's 17-3 rout of the Tigers, bringing his season slash line to .295/.321/.514 with five homers and 26 RBI.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin told MLB.com's Martín Gallegos he believes Phegley is deserving of an American League All-Star selection.
Melvin on Josh Phegley's offensive production: “If you’re looking at All-Star worthy catchers at this point, I don’t know anyone that is more worthy than he is."— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) May 16, 2019
In a normal year, Phegley would definitely have a good chance of playing in the Midsummer Classic. Unfortunately, this has not been a normal year for catchers in the AL, with several putting up even better offensive numbers than Phegley.
The Yankees' Gary Sanchez already has 12 home runs and is slashing .263/.346/.663. Minnesota's Mitch Garver has been even better with a .329/.418/.747 slash line, though he just went on the injured list with an ankle sprain.
Houston's Robinson Chirinos leads AL catchers in WAR at 1.7. Chirinos is slashing .268/.398/.546 with six homers and 21 RBI. James McCann of the White Sox leads the way with a .366 batting average, contributing to his .985 OPS.
Phegley does lead AL catchers with his 26 RBI and is tied for second with eight doubles. However, his five home runs are only tied for seventh and his .835 OPS is eighth.
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Here's a more detailed look at where Phegley ranks among AL catchers in each offensive category:
RBI: 26 (1st)
Doubles: 8 (T-2nd)
Hits: 31 (4th)
Batting average: .295 (4th)
Runs: 18 (5th)
Slugging percentage: .514 (7th)
Home runs: 5 (T-7th)
OPS: .835 (8th)
Phegley has also been solid defensively, committing just one error all season. He has thrown out eight attempted base stealers, tied for most in the AL, though he also leads the league with 22 stolen bases allowed.
If Phegley keeps producing at his current rate, he will certainly be in the conversation to make his first ever All-Star Game. Whether he makes it or not, he has unquestionably emerged as one of the A's most valuable players.