3 Pirates who are deserving of an All-Star selection in 2024

Let's take a look at three Pirates who are deserving of a spot in the All-Star game.
Minnesota Twins v Pittsburgh Pirates
Minnesota Twins v Pittsburgh Pirates / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The All-Star break is about a month away and the voting for players has begun. Now that voting has started, it's officially time for us to confidently state that there are three players on the Pirates who deserve to represent Pittsburgh in the All-Star Game.

The 2024 All Star Game is taking place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. First pitch will be at 8:00 PM EST on July 16.

3 Pirates players who deserve All-Star nods

Mitch Keller, Starting Pitcher

Mitch Keller has been absolutely dominant over the last month and it may put him into his second straight All-Star Game. He is leading the Pirates rotation with an 8-3 record and an earned run average of 3.16 in 79.2 innings pitched and has struck out 74 batters. Opponents are hitting .249 against him and he has a WHIP of 1.24.

Last year, Keller was striking out everyone, as he finished the season with 210 strikeouts, but this season, he has focused more on limiting walks and home runs. This has made him more of a pitch-to-contact pitcher. Nonetheless, he has still be at the top of the rotation with his ace-like numbers.

Keller is ranked second in the National League in wins, as well as 15th in earned run average and strikeouts. His great start to the season may get him into his second All-Star Game.

Colin Holderman, Reliever

Colin Holderman is the setup man in the Pirates bullpen and has been one of the only consistent relievers for Pittsburgh in 2024. Despite starting the year on the injured list, Holderman has stepped up big this year as a top reliever, which could get him into his first career All-Star Game.

In 23 games, Holderman has a 1-0 record with an earned run average of 0.83 in 21.2 innings pitched and has struck out 27 batters. Opponents are batting just .130 against Holderman, and his WHIP is solid at 0.88. He also has 10 holds.

Holderman has been excellent in limiting hard contact this season, as the average exit velocity of his opponents is just 83.2. This places him in the 100th percentile in that statistic. Despite both his expected earned run average and expected batting average being slightly higher, both rank in the 98th percentile.

This great start to the season may get Colin Holderman into his first career All-Star Game. Setup men traditionally struggle to earn such honors, but if anyone deserves it, Holderman does.

Oneil Cruz, Shortstop

Oneil Cruz has been exciting since returning from an injury in 2023. Not only has Cruz been one of the top hitters in the Pirates lineup, but he has also been one of the top shortstops in the National League. He is battling with Mookie Betts and Elly De La Cruz for a spot in the All-Star Game. Even if one of those two are voted in before the Pirates' star, he can still get in.

This season, Cruz has improved his overall hitting profile by going opposite field more and hitting more doubles. In 59 games, Cruz has a batting average of .247 with nine home runs and 25 runs batted in. He also has an OPS of .738, which includes an on-base percentage of .303 and a slugging percentage of .435. His wRC+ is solid at 106 and his fWAR is at 1.2.

Cruz has always been known for his impressive bat, and this year, he ranks towards the top of the league for average exit velocity (95.4), bat speed (77.9), barrel percentage (18.9), and hard hit percentage (53.8). Cruz does strike out frequently at 33.2%, but when he puts the ball in play, he can do damage.

Although these numbers are not getting Cruz an MVP, but they could get him a spot in his first All-Star Game.

All three of these Pirates are deserving of a spot in Arlington for the All-Star Game. Let’s see if these three Pirates can continue their good seasons to become All-Stars.