A frenetic week of fan voting, spurred on by his own tremendous month of June, has landed Jose Ramirez the role of the American League’s starting third baseman for the 2017 MLB All-Star game. Ramirez is the first Cleveland Indians player to be voted as an All-Star game starter since Juan Gonzalez started in right field in 2001.
Ramirez was roughly 200,000 votes behind the Minnesota Twins’ Miguel Sano as recent as June 26, but Indians fans (and probably fans of good baseball players) rallied around the Angry Hamster, helping him surpass Sano to start at the hot corner in Florida in a couple weeks.
Lest you think Sano deserved the All-Star nod because of dem dingers, note that Jose Ramirez leads all American League third basemen in FanGraphs WAR (3.0), batting average (.319), on-base percentage (.373), slugging percentage (.561), and of course wRC+ (145). The only third baseman to have better defensive numbers — as finicky as they can be in less than half a season — is Manny Machado, who has been a black hole on offense.
Ramirez, who is always a great follow on Twitter, immediately took to the social media platform to thank fans.
Thank you Cleveland!!!— Jose Ramirez (@MrLapara) July 2, 2017
I'm just a kid from the Dominican Republic
You’re the best, Jose, and I couldn’t be prouder to have you representing the Indians and the city of Cleveland to an international audience.
Joining Jose in Florida as second selections will be Corey Kluber as a starting pitcher, Andrew Miller as a reliever; and Michael Brantley and Francisco Lindor as positional backups. Quite the crew for the Tribe. And of course Terry Francona will be managing the whole dang thing.