I am a sports and music fanatic from Farmington, CT, currently attending Saint Joseph's University in Connecticut. I am mainly interested in College Basketball, CIAC High School Basketball, and Major League Baseball, though I follow just about all sports closely.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Top Five AL MVP Candidates

I will be starting a series on the top five candidates of each of the major awards in baseball.  

First will be the American League MVP Award, which was won by Joe Mauer last year. Mauer is in contention again this year, but will need to get real hot, and hope his team makes the playoffs, in order to attempt a repeat. Here we go:

#5 Josh Hamilton OF Texas Rangers
After his magical 2008 season with Texas, which included his unbelievable performance in that year's Home Run Derby, I sensed a possible drop-off in Hamilton's performance throughout the rest of his career, as it seemed like pitchers were starting to figure him out by the end of 2008. After an injury ridden 2009 made my prediction seem like a good one, Josh is back as one of the most scary hitters in the Major Leagues. He leads all of major league baseball with a .362 average, and has contributed 23 HR's as well. Josh's contribution has largely helped his team be one of the best in the AL this year.

#4 Adrian Beltre 3B Boston Red Sox
It's obvious Adrian couldn't stand hitting in Seattle, because everybody who knew baseball knew he was a better hitter than he showed in his tenure here. As a Sox fan, I was expecting Beltre to be a major contributor, but I don't think anyone could have predicted this. Adrian is hitting .336 with 19 HRs, and has been the steady piece for a Boston offense that has been injured all year. Also, the guy, despite his relatively high error numbers, is no less than a magician at third base, where he displays an incredible amount of range.

#3 Evan Longoria 3B Tampa Bay Rays
While Evan's numbers may not necessarily stack up with the other member's of this list, his value for his team is right with the best of them.  Longoria is only hitting .292 with just 15 HRs, but he is the best position player on the best team in the American League. He is a strong candidate for the Gold Glove at third base, while he also strikes fear in every American League pitcher, and is a leader in the clubhouse. Longoria has pretty much been the one player who turned around this franchise, and he deserves to be honored for that. Oh yeah, and Longoria only made 950,000 dollars this year.

#2 Miguel Cabrera 1B Detroit Tigers
Miguel Cabrera battled back from alcoholism to become pretty much undoubtedly the most dominating hitter in the American League this season. He is 2nd in baseball with a .351 average, and is also in the top two in the league in both the other triple crown categories. The only things holding Miguel back from his first of possibly many MVP awards is his average defense, and average team. If he can lead the Tigers into the playoffs somehow then the award is definitely his, but for now it will go to...

#1 Robinson Cano 2B New York Yankees
 In a year in which the overpayed, aging veterans that were supposed to be on this list have struggled (Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixiera), their young Dominican second baseman has been the one to lead them back to another fantastic season. Cano has supplied all five tools from the second base position, one that only recently has seen five-tool players with power play there, and has consistently been a force in the Yankees line-up. Robinson's youthful energy was a big part of the changing of personality in the Yankee clubhouse, and a reason why they have a good chance of repeating in 2010.

Honorable Mention: 
Justin Morneau 1B Minnesota Twins (injury)
Kevin Youkilis 1B Boston Red Sox (injury)
Dustin Pedroia 2B Boston Red Sox (injury)
Nick Swisher OF New York Yankees
Carl Crawford OF Tampa Bay Rays
Joe Mauer C Minnesota Twins
Jose Bautista 3B Toronto Blue Jays
Paul Konerko 1B Chicago White Sox
Michael Young 3B Texas Rangers
Alexei Ramirez SS Chicago White Sox


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