Big characters up for Personality of the Year Award

Fans can cast vote for most entertaining stars both on and off the field

Big characters up for Personality of the Year Award

They shine on and off the field. They entertain us with their hitting, pitching and defense, but also their infectious love for the game that transcends base hits and outs.

In a world where social media, memes and GIFs have enabled the stars of Major League Baseball to connect and interact with fans like never before, it's only fitting that the best practitioners of the craft get some hardware for their efforts.

The group of nominees for the Esurance MLB Award for Personality of the Year is a quality quintet that exudes hardball charm. Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Bryce Harper, Francisco Lindor and Yasiel Puig are among the game's best and brightest, and their endless quest to make the game as fun as possible has paid off for everyone.

• Vote for the 2017 Esurance MLB Awards

The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) members.

The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American League and National League from Opening Day through the end of the postseason.

Hall of Famers, team general managers, broadcast-booth legends and you will be among those helping to pick this year's Best Major Leaguer, in addition to the winners in the following categories: Best Pitcher, Best Rookie, Best Defensive Player, Best Manager, Best Executive, Best Personality, Best Postseason Moment and Best Postseason Performer.

Cast your vote for the Personality of the Year Award

One winner in each category will also be recognized for the year's Best Offensive Play, Best Defensive Play, Best Single-Game Performance, Best Fan Catch, Best Call: TV/Radio and Best Player-Fan Interaction.

In addition to the aforementioned categories, a panel of MLB experts will identify and recognize the season's Best Moments and Best Trending Topics.

Beltre needs no introduction in this category. Hardly a day on the 162-game schedule goes by when fans don't see his humorous antics alongside teammate Elvis Andrus and in the Texas Rangers dugout. His quirks are almost as well known as his Hall of Fame-worthy statistics, which received another boost this year when Beltre became the newest member of the 3,000-hit club.

"He brings so much joy," Andrus said. "We want to grow and act like big men, and you stop doing the little things that make you love this game, and everything goes sideways. He always reminds you that if you're getting older or whatever, always enjoy it and always find a way to play every single day."

Personality of the Year: Beltre

Cruz certainly agrees, and it showed in a big way this season when he had his nomination-clinching moment on one of the sport's biggest stages. It came at the All-Star Game in Miami, when Cruz stopped the action for a moment during his at-bat to pose for a photo with home-plate umpire Joe West.

Personality of the Year: Cruz

Then there's Harper, who is one of the best young players in baseball, but who also gets viral appreciation by merely changing up his look. Harper's hair flips are already as legendary as his vicious left-handed home-run swing, and his gear and cornrows only help to contribute to the built-in swagger that he had long before being selected with the first overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft.

Personality of the Year: Harper

And how can we forget "Mr. Smile"? Lindor's love for baseball is contagious, and his clutch hitting and fielding went a long way toward the Indians setting an AL record with their recent 22-game winning streak.

Personality of the Year: Lindor

Meanwhile, Puig always builds a strong case for this honor. The mercurial Dodgers right fielder is a five-tool player and character, and you never know what he'll do on Twitter -- a solar eclipse re-creation, his abundance of hashtags, etc. -- or with fans around the community.

Personality of the Year: Puig

The winners will be announced on the MLB Esurance Awards Show, which will air live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Friday, Nov. 17. Some of the winners who accepted their trophies in person or live on the MLB Awards winners' program last year included Lindor, David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Anthony Rizzo and Corey Seager, so there's star power everywhere you turn.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.