On Sunday, the handshakes were reserved for shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and closer Chris Perez, who were each named to the American League All-Star team for the second straight year. Kipnis was left off the league's elite squad, and that was disappointing news for Indians manager Manny Acta.
"I'm a little sad that Jason is not going to have an opportunity to make it," Acta said. "We made sure we told him that in our heart he's an All-Star. He has played [like] an All-Star."
Following Cleveland's 6-2 victory over the Orioles on Sunday, Kipnis declined comment when approached by reporters. If he was upset about what can easily be viewed as a snub, it would certainly be understandable.
In only his first full season in the big leagues, the 25-year-old Kipnis has hit .275 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs for the Indians. The left-handed-hitting second baseman has also compiled seven doubles, three triples, 20 stolen bases, 27 walks, 47 runs scored, 85 hits and 131 total bases. Kipnis also boasts a .336 on-base percentage and a .424 slugging percentage.
A year ago, Kipnis played in the Futures Game and went 1-for-2 with a home run in the U.S. team's 6-4 win over the World team. A second-round pick by Cleveland in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Kipnis entered this season as a two-time winner (2010-11) of the organization's Lou Boudreau Minor League Player of the Year award.
Kipnis enjoyed a 36-game taste of the Majors last season, but was named the full-time starting second baseman heading into 2012.
Against Baltimore on Sunday, Kipnis went 1-for-4 with an RBI single and a walk. In the ninth inning, following his lone hit of the game, Kipnis promptly stole second base. With that swipe, Kipnis became the first Indians infielder since Roberto Alomar (21) in 2000 to steal at least 20 bases before the All-Star break.
Heading into Sunday's game, Kipnis ranked first in the American League at his position in stolen bases and RBIs, second in homers and third in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, hits, runs and total bases.
"His numbers are there," Acta said. "But historically in this game, so many guys have had the numbers. But you only have so many spots. In his case, having so many great second basemen in the American League really hurt him."
Throughout the fan balloting process, Kipnis worked his way into fourth place behind New York's Robinson Cano, Texas' Ian Kinsler and Boston's Dustin Pedroia. Cano was voted in as the AL's starter at second base and Kinsler was named to the All-Star team as a reserve player through peer balloting.
Cano has hit .310 with 20 home runs and 46 RBIs through 78 games for the Yankees, while Kinsler has hit at a .276 clip with nine homers and 40 RBIs through 77 games for the Rangers.
The only other way Kipnis might have had a shot was if he would have made the cut as one of the AL's Final Vote candidates. This year though, that crop was limited to five pitchers: Jonathan Broxton of the Royals, Yu Darvish of the Rangers, Ernesto Frieri of the Angels, Jason Hammel of the Orioles and Jake Peavy of the White Sox.