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Ezequiel Tovar is deserving of your All-Star vote

As the 2024 Major League Baseball season unfolds, fans and analysts alike are turning their attention to potential All-Star candidates. One name that stands out is Colorado Rockies shortstop Ezequiel Tovar. In the first ballot update, Tovar ranked 10th in shortstop voting despite being one of the best all-around shortstops in the league. This young talent has shown exceptional skill, determination, and performance, making a compelling case for his inclusion in the 2024 All-Star lineup.

Tovar’s rise to prominence is a story of talent and hard work. Born on August 1, 2001, in Maracay, Venezuela, Tovar was signed by the Colorado Rockies as an international free agent in 2017 at the age of 16. His early years in the minor leagues were marked by steady development, showcasing his defensive prowess and improving offensive capabilities.

Tovar’s journey through the minor leagues was characterized by consistent improvement. His defensive skills, particularly his range and arm strength, quickly became his standout attributes. However, it was his offensive development that truly set him apart. In 2021, he posted a .287 batting average with 15 home runs and 72 RBIs across two minor league levels, indicating his potential as a two-way player.

Tovar made his MLB debut in the final week of the 2022 season before taking over as the everyday shortstop in 2023. It was certainly a year of learning and growth for Tovar but by the end of the season, he was not only a Gold Glove finalist at his position but turned in a fantastic offensive rookie season in Rockies history, including tying Hall of Famer Todd Helton for most doubles in a season by a rookie in franchise history. By the end of the 2023 season, Tovar had begun to find his rhythm, setting the stage for a breakout year in 2024.

Ezequiel Tovar’s performance in the 2024 season has been nothing short of spectacular. His improvements at the plate, coupled with his already elite defensive skills, have made him a standout player in the National League. The defensive metrics were to be expected (more on that in a bit) it’s been the improvement at the plate that has been drawing critical acclaim.

Entering a Thursday finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tovar is batting .281/.308/.477 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI in 306 at-bats over 73 games. A recent slump has hurt him a bit but it hasn’t changed the fact that he is one of the better offensive shortstops in the NL.

Among shortstops in the NL offensively, Tovar ranks first in:

  • Hits (86)
  • Doubles (23)
  • Total bases (146)
  • Extra-base hits (36)
  • BABIP (.359)

and Top 5 in things such as :

  • Home runs (2nd)
  • OPS (3rd)
  • Slugging (3rd)
  • Average (3rd)
  • wRC (2nd)
  • wOBA (2nd)
  • ISO (3rd)
  • RBI (5th)
  • Runs (5th)

His approach at the plate has matured significantly. Tovar has demonstrated some improved plate discipline, stabilizing his strikeout rate while providing plenty of contact. While strikeouts and a lack of walks are always worrisome, it’s the fact that Tovar is putting the ball in play more often in significant ways that make up for the strikeouts. This patience and ability to get on base have been crucial for the Rockies’ already struggling offense.

While Tovar’s offensive numbers are impressive, his defense remains his calling card. His range, quick reflexes, and strong arm make him one of the premier defensive shortstops in the game. According to advanced defensive metrics, Tovar leads all  MLB shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved (8) while placing second in Ultimate Zone Rating (5.1), leading the NL. These metrics highlight his ability to prevent runs and make plays that others cannot.

No other shortstop in baseball as more assists than Tovar at 221, with the next closest being Gunnar Henderson of the Baltimore Orioles with 187. Tovar’s 116 putouts are second in the league, just one behind Cincinnati’s Elly De La Cruz at the time of writing. He has turned more double plays than anyone else as well.

Tovar’s defensive prowess is not just about numbers; it’s also about the intangibles. His ability to turn difficult double plays, his instincts in positioning, and his leadership on the field have been invaluable to the Rockies as a mature 22-year-old. His defensive skills not only prevent runs but also inspire confidence in his pitching staff and teammates. There is no doubt that he is arguably the most complete defensive shortstop in the league.

Beyond statistics, Tovar’s impact on the Rockies is profound. He has emerged as a leader both on and off the field. His work ethic, attitude, and dedication have set a standard for his teammates. In a sport where clubhouse dynamics are crucial, Tovar’s presence has been a stabilizing and inspiring force.

Tovar’s leadership is evident in his interactions with teammates and coaches. He leads by example, consistently putting in extra work and maintaining a positive attitude. His journey from a young prospect to a key player for the Rockies serves as a testament to his determination and commitment and he is the new foundational building block the Rockies will need if they want to turn things around as a franchise.

Ezequiel Tovar’s exciting style of play has also made him a fan favorite in Colorado. His defensive highlights, clutch hits, and overall personal have made him one of the most popular players for the Rockies. However, his success and skill set remain unknown to the wider baseball audience because the Rockies are not popular or very good. Tovar’s accomplishments often go unnoticed, especially in the popularity vote that the All-Start voting process is built on. There is no doubt he could get in thanks to the votes of fellow MLB players, but he deserves more recognition from the wider population.

Tovar’s performance in the 2024 season makes a compelling case for his inclusion in the All-Star Game. His offensive breakthroughs, defensive excellence, and leadership qualities combine to make him one of the most complete players in the league. As the first instance of fan voting to choose the All-Star starters draws close to the end, Tovar’s name should be at the top of the list to make a surge in the polls. His journey, impact on the Rockies, and standout season deserve recognition on baseball’s biggest stage.

He has emerged as a true star in the making. His combination of skill, determination, and impact on the game make him a deserving candidate for the 2024 All-Star Game. Rockies fans have witnessed his growth and excellence firsthand, and now it’s time for the broader baseball community to acknowledge this rising star.


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