No Cleveland Indians advanced past the first phase of All-Star voting
The first phase of the All-Star Game has come and gone and no Cleveland Indians advanced to the second step. Being a fan vote, this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but it still begs the question if Jose Ramirez is already being snubbed from the game. There’s a chance that Ramirez will still make the roster, but not being part of the top three third baseman in the American League voting still comes across as shocking.
Since only position players are voted on by fans for the All-Star Game, the pickings were slim for Tribe players to have in the conversation. Due to the injuries the team sustained, it seemed like Ramirez was the only real candidate, but he had a strong resume that should have at least pushed him into the second round of voting.
Among third baseman in the American League, Ramirez has been one of the best statistically across the board. The three finalists at third in the American League, being Rafael Devers, Alex Bregman and Yoan Moncada, have also put together solid seasons, but Ramirez’s still seems deserving of top three consideration in the voting process.
Note: All the following stats were taken from MLB.com on June 27 and were filtered by American League third baseman only.
For the group, there’s one position that Ramirez tops the list and that would be stolen bases with six, but he comes in at second for multiple stats, amplifying his case to be in the final three.
We’ll start with one of the more important offensive stats in the game, RBI. Strong batters are able to drive in runs and Ramirez can do it with the best of them with 44, tied for second with Kyle Seager. The only player on the list with more is Devers with an incredible 64.
Similarly, Ramirez is second in home runs as well with 16 blasts this season, behind only Devers with 19. That trend continues as you dive into more stats like slugging percentage and OPS. For slugging percentage, Ramirez is in second at .512 with Devers in first at .577. As for OPS, Ramirez is at .854 behind only Devers at .926. Even for runs scores, Devers and Ramirez are once again one-two with 52 and 50, respectively.
Now, that’s only a handful of stats. For the rest, Moncada and Bregman have to be higher than Ramirez to advance past him, right? Well, not exactly. Is Moncada higher than Ramirez on a few stats, yes. However, Alex Bregman is higher on the list than Jose Ramirez in exactly one offensive stat, and that’s batting average.
What’s even more shocking about that fact is that Bregman wasn’t the last one in. He was second in the fan vote behind only Devers despite both Moncada and Ramirez having far more impressive stats through the first half of the season. Just take a look at this comparison.
Jose Ramirez (73 Games, 260 at-bats)
50 runs, 67 hits, 16 doubles, one triple, 16 home runs, 44 RBI, 31 walks, .258/.342/.512
Alex Bregman (59 Games, 229 at-bats)
37 runs, 63 hits, 14 doubles, zero triples, seven home runs, 34 RBI, 29 walks, .275/.359/.428
Now if you want to make the case that Bregman had fewer at-bats, then that’s a good point, but the fact remains that he was somehow propelled up to second in the vote.
This is the problem with the fan vote. In terms of who is having the most impressive season, Bregman shouldn’t be second. Ramirez should be on the list considering that he is first or second in six offensive stats to this point in the season. However, the fanbase of the Cleveland Indians isn’t as strong as the Houston Astros at the moment, so Bregman advances instead.
The argument here isn’t that Jose Ramirez should be the starting third baseman for the American League. That is clearly going to be Rafael Devers. It’s an argument that Ramirez should have easily advanced to the second phase of voting.
Now, the road doesn’t end here for Ramirez on the way to the All-Star Game. He could still be selected to represent the Cleveland Indians in Colorado as a reserve. The Tribe don’t have many other healthy options, so that still seems like a high possibility. Unfortunately, that’s the only chance he now has.