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Brice Turang Deserves An All-Star Nod

Brice Turang has not only been a big piece for the Crew-- he's been one of the best second basemen in the entire National League. The second year player has burst out the scenes this year posting a slash line of .287/.357/.391 according to Baseball Reference. That's 1st in the NL for batting average for second basemen, 1st for On Base Percentage (OBP), and 3rd in SLG percentage. So, why is he ranked 6th in the MLB's all star fan vote?


Brice Turang flying around the base pads

Obviously, there are many outside factors that affect the All-Star process, such as the fan voting. I mean, the leading player in votes at second base according to the first ballot update, Luis Arráez won't even play there primarily the rest of the year. Add in Los Angeles Dodgers player, Gavin Lux who has struggled this year posting a 55 OPS+, currently sits 5th in the voting. There are flaws to fan voting, but that is not this articles point. It's that Brice Turang is having a stupendous sophomore season, and deserves his flowers for it.


Brice Does It On Both Sides

One plus for Brice is his ability to play complementary baseball. Last year, Brice's only upside was with the glove, where he seemingly made play after play. This year, he has added offense to his game-- in a big way. He has improved in basically every category he can, he's walking more, striking out less and hitting the ball harder. Add on his elite glove play, he has quickly turned into someone the Brewers may not be quick to replace. He has the second highest WAR at second base in the NL, only behind Ketel Marte. It is no doubt that he has been a major contributor for the NL Central's leader.


Creator Of Runs

What Brice excels at is baserunning, he is second in the league in stolen bases with 26, only behind Elly De La Cruz-- difference is Elly has been caught stealing 6 times and Brice has been once. That 26-1 rate puts him in first when it comes to baserunning runs above average; according to Fangraphs with 5.8 runs above average.


When Brice steals, it's as closest to a sure thing as baseball has. He forces extra attention when on base and added pressure on the pitcher. He gives his teammates help by making himself 90 feet closer to home plate and creates runs-- not just with his bat, but with his feet. This is his standout feature when compared to other players such as Ozzie Albies and Bryson Stott.



Voters Dig The Long Ball

Unfortunately, one reason why Brice may not see Globe Life Field on July 16th is because he does not often hit home runs. He has been a major part in the Pat Murphy small ball experience this year and can often be seen bunting to move runners, or to simply reach base with his elite speed.


Out of the top 5 in voting, Marte, Stott and Albies have hit more home runs than him. In this age of baseball, it seems the long ball-- or power in general-- is synonymous with popularity, Aaron Judge, Bobby Whit Jr., Elly De La Cruz all have major pop and our among the biggest stars in the game. So, it seems a part of the answer for Turang is to quicken that bat speed (which has been one of the slowest in baseball) and maybe throw the ball 95+ MPH to first base.


There is still time for the young star, but things look bleak as the window closes for his first All-Star appearance. But there is no doubt that he is second in the NL at second base, in a down year for the position. There may be no hope at dethroning Ketel Marte for the starting spot, but he has definitely been reserve caliber. Even if he does not receive the All-Star nod, he has been a revelation for Pat Murphy and the Brew Crew.


 

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