Numbers Support Diaz

With the recent update of National League All-Star voting results, the gap between Chicago’s Addison Russell (1,489,998) and Colorado’s Trevor Story (1,110,002) is one of the tightest races in the balloting. But there’s another young shortstop worthy of consideration–Aledmys Diaz.

Even before delivering a .545 (6-11) performance at Wrigley Field over the last three days, the St. Louis Cardinals had begun a subtle campaign urging fans to write-in Diaz at shortstop on the All-Star ballot.

“It’s very exciting for me,” said Diaz recently. “To be in my first year and be in the conversation for the All-Star Game is amazing. I know I have a lot of support from the Cardinals fans and I’m very happy for that.”

St. Louis Cardinals Aledmys Diaz hits three run home runThe 25-year old rookie got off to a historic start and enters the day with a .312 batting average–third highest amongst all ML shortstops and tops in the National League.

“Not really,” said Diaz of paying attention to his numbers. “I just try to enjoy the game everyday and give my 100% in the field to help my team to win. I try not to look at the stats because I know it’s a long season–it’s tough to keep every stat level. I just try to prepare myself and be ready for every game.”

He also ranks in the NL Top 3 in OBP and OPS, while ranking Top 5 in home runs and runs batted in. Another interesting note, Diaz has struck out 34 times–by comparison, Trevor Story is at 102 strikeouts and Addison Russell has 71.

When the stats are rattled off to him, a smile almost breaks out from the low-key Diaz.

“At the end of the day it’s about wins, play for the team,” he replied, noting he’s settling in to a big league routine. “I’m feeling more comfortable. My team, my coaching staff, they’re done a great job with me this year. Trying to learn from everybody and they’ve helped me a lot.”

Meanwhile, the tightest race in the NL All-Star voting is at catcher where Yadier Molina (1,205,497) is hanging on to a slim lead over  Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants (1,130,084).  The duo of  Molina and Posey have combined to win each of the last four fan elections and six of the last seven as the NL’s starting catcher at the Midsummer Classic.

Voting remains open online via MLB.com, Club sites and mobile devices, will be accessible until Thursday, June 30th at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI

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