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Real or not? Jose Ramirez is an MVP candidate, Brewers not going away

Often overshadowed on his own team, Jose Ramirez has been one of baseball's best players over the past year. Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez went 3-for-5 in an 11-2 rout of the San Diego Padres, raising his season line to .330/.382/.597. He has been on fire for more than a month:

He's hitting .381 since June 1 and slugging .739 thanks to 27 extra-base hits in 33 games. Here's something maybe even more amazing: FanGraphs has a filter on their site that allows users to break down stats over a year's span. Here are the leaders for position players in their version of WAR over the past 365 days:

1. Mookie Betts, 8.1

2. Mike Trout, 7.7

3. Joey Votto, 7.7

4. Justin Turner, 7.2

5. Corey Seager, 7.1

6. Kris Bryant, 6.6

7. Jose Ramirez, 6.5

8. Freddie Freeman, 6.5

9. Anthony Rendon, 6.4

10. Paul Goldschmidt, 6.2

We love to talk about underrated players, and while Ramirez was voted to start the All-Star Game, he certainly feels like one of those guys just starting to get some recognition. He's even stealing the spotlight away from Francisco Lindor. In a normal year, we'd say Ramirez is in the discussion for first-half MVP, but Aaron Judge isn't having a normal season.

My favorite thing about Ramirez goes back to the tweet. This isn't just another guy trying to knock the ball 500 feet on every swing, although he does have 16 home runs. He's on pace for 93 extra-base hits -- and just 75 strikeouts. This doesn't look like a hot streak to me: Jose Ramirez has become one of the best players in the league.

Random thoughts on a Brewers-Cubs game

The Milwaukee Brewers hammered the Chicago Cubs 11-2, leading to this Joe Maddon gem: "That game goes in the trash can as quickly as any we've ever played." Hmm ...

1. The Brewers are not going away.

The lineup is solid from one to eight, especially with the emergence of Domingo Santana, who had four hits on Thursday and now has a .380 OBP, and No. 8 hitter Orlando Arcia, who has raised his average from .208 on May 16 to .291. Maybe there isn't an MVP candidate here, but there are no easy outs, they're second to the Astros in home runs, and Eric Thames, Ryan Braun and Travis Shaw aren't an easy three to navigate in the middle of the order (Thames and Shaw actually sat out this game with lefty Mike Montgomery going for the Cubs).

2. I know, I know: The Cubs will win 15 of 20 at some point. Maybe everyone will still be saying that on Sept. 28.

3. Kyle Schwarber was back. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Don't rule out that he's just not that good.

4. Zach Davies was one of my breakout pitchers heading into the season, and while he's 10-4, he hasn't been that good, with a 4.90 ERA. He doesn't really have the strikeout stuff to become an elite starter, but with Chase Anderson out for a bit with an oblique injury, they just need Davies to continue chewing up innings. I still like him, just not quite as much I did in spring training.

5. The Brewers absolutely should make some deals to add pitching help. You don't know how many chances you'll get like this. Maybe the Cubs go back to winning 100 games next season. Go for it while you can. They can make a trade or two without blowing up the farm system.

6. Jon Jay threw a 46 mph curveball. Jon Jay is an outfielder. He retired three of the four batters he faced in pitching a scoreless ninth. Baseball is awesome.

Justin Turner, Mike Moustakas voted in as the final All-Stars

Congrats to Turner on his first All-Star selection, and he was certainly appreciative of the honor:

Turner is the ultimate example of how you can turn your career around, a guy who first came up with the Orioles in 2009, was viewed as a utility infielder, changed his swing, finally became a full-time starter at 30 and is now hitting .380 with an OPS over 1.000 at age 32. Great story and the kind of player you love to see make the All-Star Game.

Worst play of the day

Keep your eye on the ball ...