Jose Ramirez leads all third baseman with 443,234 votes; nearly double the votes of the current runner-up, Miguel Andujar. Alex Bregman, Adrian Beltre, and Mike Moustakas all trail to round out the top five.
If Jose can stave off the third-base competition and start in his second consecutive All-Star game, he’d be the first Indians third baseman to start in back-to-back All-Star games since Al Rosen did it four times from 1952 to 1955. After that comes the next mission: Winning the Home Run Derby.
Currently Jose is the only leading Indians vote-getter, but there are others near the top. Some who makes sense, and some who... don’t.
On the side of making sense, Francisco Lindor is second among shortstops with 211,756 votes, still well within range of the leading vote-getter, Manny Machado. This is an outrage, of course, because Lindor has been hands down the best overall shortstop. He trails Manny Machado in home runs and overall offensive production, but it’s not even a competition when it comes to defense and having a great smile. Get Lindor to start in the dang game, already. Delusional New York Yankee fans continue to vote for Didi Gregorius, who is slashing .177/.221/.226 with one home run since his hot start to the season that drew ironic comparisons to Babe Ruth from national writers. Carlos Correa and Andrelton Simmons round out the top five shortstops.
The other logically close Indians players are Edwin Encarnacion, who is fifth in the designated hitter race with 119,526 votes, and fourth-place outfielder Michael Brantley behind Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, and Aaron Judge. As good as Brantley has been, he has no real hope of beating any of those three (even if he does give out king sized candy bars), but Edwin might sneak up the rankings if he follows his traditionally hot months post-April. Not likely he’ll beat out J.D. Martinez and human windmill Giancarlo Stanton, but not impossible either.
Now with those out of the way: What in tarnation?
Jason Kipnis is fifth among second basemen with 68,151 votes and Tyler Naquin is the 15th most popular outfielder with 63,725 votes.
I realize the Cult of Tyler Naquin is strong and able to topple governments with its combined numbers, but I didn’t realize there were this many people who love a platoon fourth outfielder so much. To date, he’s only played in 30 of the Indians’ 64 games slashing .333/.367/.453 with two home runs in the process. I’m not complaining, though. The more Indians players in the All-Star game the better. Ignore his BABIP and vote vote vote!
There is no real explanation for Kipnis being in the top five besides hordes of rabid of Indians fans. His 61 wRC+ is the second-worst among American League second basemen (take that Dixon Machado!), and dare I say his beard has been sub-par this season. Jose Altuve predictably leads this race by a mile — his 421,426-vote lead over second place Gleyber Torres is the largest margin at any position.