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Dusty Baker on Nationals' catcher Wilson Ramos: "To me it's no doubt he should be an All-Star."

Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker thinks Wilson Ramos deserves to be an All-Star this season, in something of a next-level breakout campaign thus far. "To me it's no doubt he should be an All-Star," Baker said on Tuesday.

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When the first update on voting for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game was posted on @MLB_PR's Twitter feed on June 1st, Washington Nationals' catcher Wilson Ramos had received 209,949 votes.

That was good for fifth among National League catchers, behind Arizona Diamondbacks' backstop Welington Castillo (249,159), the Cubs' Miguel Montero (286,494), the Giants' Buster Posey (439,239) and Cards' catcher Yadier Molina (517,825).

"[He's] working on game-calling, working on blocking. He's already one of the best throwers. He's already the best-hitting catcher this year so far, correct?" -Dusty Baker on Wilson Ramos's case for being an All-Star

A week later, Ramos was up to (366,531) votes, moving into fourth in the voting, behind only the Montero (417,224), Posey (631,799) and Molina (694,204), with Castillo falling to fifth after receiving 34,186 votes between updates.

There were 156,582 votes cast for the Nationals' 28-year-old catcher between updates.

The next update on the voting for the National League's All-Star Game comes at some point this afternoon.

After he went 0 for 2 on Tuesday in the Nationals' 4-3 loss to the Cubs, Ramos still didn't qualify for the major league leader board, but he led all major league catcher with a minimum of 180 plate appearances in batting average (.333), on-base percentage (.382), slugging percentage (.557) and home runs (10, tied with the Royals' Salvador Perez and the Brewers' Jonathan Lucroy).

In eleven games so far in June, Ramos is 13 for 36 (.361/.415/.750) with two doubles, four home runs, three walks and four Ks in 41 PAs.

Ramos is setting himself up nicely with free agency looming at the end of this season should the Nationals not pursue an extension with the veteran catcher, who has managed to stay healthy for the last season-plus after dealing with an assortment of injuries throughout his first five major league campaigns.

Nats' skipper Dusty Baker told reporters recently, as quoted by MASN's Byron Kerr, that he's been impressed with the way Ramos has handled himself in his contract year.

"Just the fact that he’s not worried about free agency," Baker said. "We had a conversation in spring training, I told him just go out and play, don’t worry about free agency, don’t worry about the money because the money will come if you go and play.

"That’s what has really impressed me the most. I haven’t seen him put any pressure on himself about being a free agent."

On Tuesday afternoon, Baker was asked if he thought Ramos deserved to be an All-Star?

"I think he's one of the best and he's getting better," Baker said.

"He's working on it. Working on game-calling, working on blocking. He's already one of the best throwers. He's already the best-hitting catcher this year so far, correct?

"To me it's no doubt he should be an All-Star. I mean, here we are 15 over .500 in first place and we only have a couple guys that they're even talking about being All-Stars." -Nationals' manager Dusty Baker on Wilson Ramos as an All-Star

"And I mean, he should be an All-Star. To me it's no doubt he should be an All-Star. I mean, here we are 15 over .500 in first place and we only have a couple guys that they're even talking about being All-Stars.

"I like Miguel Montero, but there's a whole bunch of Cubs there, that if we stopped today it would be a Cub All-Star team.

"I think it's only right that you reward the guys that -- cause I've been slighted before and I knew I should have made the All-Star team, that's going to happen -- but in this case it shouldn't happen to Ramos."

While winning the vote/popularity contest might be tough, it's hard to imagine Ramos being ignored when the rest of the roster is filled out.

His manager also talked about the growth he's seen from Ramos as a leader on the field and in the clubhouse.

Baker asked Ramos this Spring to take on a bigger leadership role, which is not necessarily natural for the quiet catcher.

But, Baker explained, on the field he's an extension of the manager, who can handle some things so the skipper doesn't have to do it himself.

"My catcher is kind of shy," Baker said, as quoted by Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell.

"I tell [Wilson] Ramos that he is an extension of me now. I don’t want to go out [to the mound] all the time. He should go out there when he sees something’s not right."

Asked yesterday how that was going and if Ramos was making progress as a leader, Baker said, "He's still a little shy. He don't say much, but that's fine. That's better than a guy talking too much if you ask me."