The Cleveland Indians enter the All-Star break with a 52-36 record, best in the AL Central by 6.5 games. The final week before the break saw them go just 3-4, but don't blame the offense, which scored 46 runs in those seven games.
- April 4-10: Mike Napoli
- April 11-17: Jason Kipnis
- April 18-24: Francisco Lindor
- April 25-May 1: Carlos Santana (my pick), Tyler Naquin (reader vote)
- May 2-8: Francisco Lindor
- May 9-15: Jason Kipnis
- May 16-22: Rajai Davis
- May 23-29: Jose Ramirez
- May 30-June 5: Tyler Naquin
- June 6-12: Trevor Bauer
- June 13-19: Rajai Davis
- June 20-26: Francisco Lindor (my pick), Lonnie Chisenhall (reader vote)
- June 27-July 3: Carlos Santana
Kipnis hit .407/.467/.889 in 31 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 256. He led the team with 11 hits and with 10 runs scored. His biggest game was Friday night's victory over New York, when he had three hits, including his 13th and 14th home runs of the season. It was his first multi-HR game since 2014. He also homered on Thursday; Kipnis is posting the best power numbers of his career this season.
In a week when the Indians were led by their offense, Kluber turned in the one great pitching performance, giving up just one run on five hits and zero walks in eight innings against the Yankees on Friday, striking out eight. He now gone at least eight innings in four of his last six starts.
Napoli hit .381/.581/.714 in 31 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 244. He had eight hits and ten walks during the week, to reach base an astounding 18 times. He drove in eight runs, scored eight runs, and homered twice, including a late-game blast on the 4th of July to put the Tribe ahead of the Tigers. He also never struck out more than once in a game, something he hadn't done for seven straight games all season until last week.
Santana hit .346/.452/.692 in 31 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 203. He hit safely in all seven games, and is on an 11-game hitting streak. He scored five runs, drove in five runs, and drew five walks, giving him 50 so far this season, tied for 3rd in the American League. He also homered twice, and is the first Indian since Grady Sizemore in 2008 with 20 home runs at the All-Star break.
It's a tough call this week, what with so much offense. Napoli reaching base 18 times is wild, and his Win Probability Added led the team, as some of his production was very well timed. Kipnis posted ever so slightly better offensive numbers though, and plays better defense at a tougher position, so he's my pick. Congratulations for the third time this season, Jason!