These four Cleveland Indians are MLB All-Star Game worthy and deserve your vote. Vote for the Tribe here.
1. Francisco Lindor: This is the only no brainer on the Tribe’s roster, as Lindor is arguably already the best shortstop in baseball. He’s fifth in the AL in batting average (.337) and his 2.3 WAR is among the top 10 marks in Major League Baseball.
Not only is Lindor good, but he’s fun to watch, and plays the game with the type of enthusiasm that is a true pleasure to watch.
2. Jason Kipnis: Kipnis isn’t scorching hot as he was at this time one year ago, but he’s been very, very good. He’s slashing .285/.337/.456 with a .793 OPS. He’s still not a household name, which means he continues to fly under the radar, but his 1.4 WAR is the seventh best mark among MLB second basemen.
Another reason to vote for Kipnis? His 4.5 defensive WAR is the best among all MLB second basemen. The JK Kid faces stiff competition on the ballot with bigger names such as Jose Altuve and Robinson Cano having stellar seasons.
But if Kips keeps it up, he’ll be on pace for 100 runs, 100 RBIs and 180 hits. That’s an All-Star season.
3. Jose Ramirez: Write this man in. He’s not on the ballot. Maybe it’s because MLB’s electoral college didn’t know where Ramirez should play.
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He’s been positioned at third base and left field. There’s been talk the Tribe would even try him out in center.
Ramirez is among the top 10 American League WAR leaders at third base (0.8), according to FanGraphs.com, and he’s batting .297 with a .758 OPS. His versatility has given the Indians options in the outfield with Michael Brantley still dealing with an injured shoulder.
4. Yan Gomes: I know what you’re thinking. How is a guy who’s batting .185 deserving of an All-Star vote? You’ve got to consider the field. There just aren’t any great hitting catchers this season in the AL. Baltimore’s Matt Wieters is the best on the ballot, batting .274. After him, it’s the Royals Salvador Perez (.245). Beyond Perez, there’s a bunch of backstops batting in the low .200s.
Which brings me back to Gomes. His six home runs and 21 RBIs are tied with Perez among MLB’s catching leaders.
Defensively, Gomes ranks second (3.4) behind Perez in defensive WAR. Nineteen players have attempted to steal a base off Gomes, and seven have been picked off. Perez has thrown out 15 of 26 would be base stealers.
Perez will probably get the nod from the fans because he’s more recognizable playing for the World Series champs, but don’t discount Gomes when you cast your ballot, especially when you factor in his power-hitting statistics.
Salazar has become the ace of the Indians staff and is among baseball’s pitching WAR leaders. His 1.80 ERA is second in the AL to the White Sox’s Chris Sale (1.58). He’s second in strikeouts (61) and first in opponents batting average (.157).
Tomlin is 6-0 with a 3.56 ERA. He strikeout statistics and ERA aren’t going to catch your attention, but wins should count for something, and the Little Cowboy has six of them in seven game started.