Baseball is the most democratic of North American team sports. No one player can dominate the ball or decision-making like an NBA star or NFL quarterback can. No one player can make an impact like a hot-handed goaltender in hockey can. Batters get their turn once every nine plate appearances, while pitchers are limited in how often they can affect games by their health and durability.
Still, there are teams that are more reliant upon single talents than others, and in some cases, teams are even being carried by singular efforts. Let's examine which players are carrying a remarkable share of the burden as we near the midpoint of the season.
In a world without Mike Trout, Ramirez would be perhaps the American League MVP front-runner. Like Trout, Ramirez (along with Indians teammate Francisco Lindor) is carrying a large burden of his club's position-player production. The Indians have voids in the outfield and have endured up-and-down performances at second base, first and DH thus far in 2018. As of Tuesday, the Indians' position players had combined for 12.1 fWAR -- 4.6 wins of which had come from Ramirez. In other words, Ramirez has accounted for 38 percent of the club's position-player production. As Jay Jaffe researched for FanGraphs, Ramirez is having a truly historic season. At his current pace, he would be the first player in major league history to primarily play third base and post a 10-plus-WAR season.