Aaron Judge won the HR derby for the AL, but Indians All-Star Jose Ramirez made sure Francisco Lindor treated it just like any other win.
Francisco Lindor took the super highway to the Major Leagues. He was the eighth overall pick of the 2011 draft. He got a big signing bonus. He was carefully managed through each level of minor leagues. From the day he joined the organization, it was clear he was the shortstop of the future.
Jose Ramirez got noticed playing on field where goats were grazing in the Dominican Republic. He signed for $50,000, which is nothing in the world of bonuses, baseball and prospects.
Lindor climbed the promotional ladder as you’d expect a first-round pick should. Each year he got better and was promoted to a higher level of the minor leagues. Surprisingly, Ramirez did too. He just seemed to hit .300 at every level he played at.
Now, the former minor league teammates, make up perhaps the best left side of the infield in the big leaguess, when both are going good, and even though they’re performing on the highest level, not much has changed.
Lindor’s meteoric rise, has basically made him one of the faces of baseball. His passion, flare and enthusiasm is contagious. It’s no surprise New Balance chose him to represent their brand. Many gripes have been made about how MLB markets its superstars. That hasn’t been a problem with Lindor. He was watched closely after being drafted with the Indians eyeing him as the future. Now that he’s “made it,” he’s being watched more closely because he IS the future.
Ramirez hasn’t changed either. He just continues to hit .300. Actually, he’s batting .332 right now. He’s one of the best hitters in baseball.
And even though he’s an All-Star, he’s not going to change either. Just take a look at the hijinks Ramirez pulled on Lindor following Aaron Judge‘s victory in the home run derby.
Ramirez chased Lindor down the right field line looking to throw some water on his teammate in celebration.
It’s might as well have been the Indians beating the Twins on summer night in July on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
Both players should be Indians for several more years.
Last offseason, Ramirez signed an extension that could keep him in Cleveland through the 2023 campaign.
Lindor could be tricker to sign, as he’s reportedly already turned down a $100 million offer. With that said, he still has to go through all his arbitration years. He can’t be a free agent until 2022.
The 2016 All-Star game marked the second nod for Lindor, while Ramirez selection as a starter is the first ASG game for the 24-year-old Dominican native.