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Thursday, July 12, 2012

The American League MVP Award Race

This season there are many American League players who are having a great season.  All of these players in my top five were selected to the All-Star Game, and they have a good chance of receiving many MVP Award votes.  This race will come down to the last game of the season, and this is how I feel the race is shaping out through the first half of the season:

1st - Mike Trout - Los Angeles Angels:  Mike Trout has definitely been the first half MVP.  He is hitting .341 with 12 homeruns, 40 RBI's, and a .397 on-base percentage.  He ranks first in batting average and stolen bases (26), and he ranks in the top six in runs (57), slugging percentage (.562), and OPS (.959).  Mike Trout has been a huge difference in the Angels lineup.  Since being called up, the Angeles are 40-24, which is a huge improvement; because before he was called up they had a record of 8-14.  Mike Trout has really energized the Angels, and he can best be compared to Ichiro when he was a rookie with the Mariners in 2001.  He won the Rookie of the Year Award and MVP Award that season, and I expect Trout to do the same.  Right now there is no question he has been the MVP in the first half of the season, and it will be his award to lose.

2nd- Josh Hamilton - Texas Rangers:  Josh Hamilton is having another productive season.  He is an All-Star again this year, and he is having a MVP caliber season.  Hamilton is hitting .308 with 27 homeruns, 75 RBI's, and an on-base percentage of .380.  At the All-Star break he ranks first in homeruns, RBI's, slugging percentage (.635), and OPS (1.016).  Josh Hamilton got off to a very hot start this season, but in the last month he has cooled off a lot.  Even though he has been inconsistent throughout the first half of the season, he is still putting up MVP numbers.  If he wants to win the A.L. MVP Award, he has to be more consistent throughout the rest of the season.

3rd - Robinson Cano - New York Yankees:  Robinson Cano continues to show why he is one of the best players in the MLB today.  He is having another great season, and has been the best offensive player on the Yankees this season.  Cano is hitting .313 with 20 homeruns, 51 RBI's, and a .374 on-base percentage.  He is ranked in the top ten in the American League, in average, homeruns, runs (57), slugging percentage (.578), and OPS (.953).  Robinson Cano is a huge reason why the Yankees are having a good season this year.  He will continue to make a strong case to be the American League MVP Award winner if he and the Yankees continue to play well in the second half of the season. 

4th - Adam Jones - Baltimore Orioles:  Adam Jones is one of the only few reasons why the Orioles have been so good this season.  If it wasn't for Adam Jones, the Orioles would not have a record anywhere near to what they currently have through the first half of the season.  Adam Jones is having a breakout season, and he is hitting .289 with 20 homeruns, 44 RBI's, and an on-base percentage of .330.  He currently ranks in the top ten in homeruns and runs scored (54) in the American League.  His stats might not be as good as some of the other MVP Award candidates, but because of the way he has carried the Orioles this season, it will definitely put him in the MVP Award picture. 

5th - David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox:  David Ortiz has been the only player on the Boston Red Sox who has had a great first half.  At age 36, Ortiz is having another great offensive year.  Ortiz is hitting .312 with 22 homeruns, 57 RBI's, and a .406 on-base percentage.  He currently ranks in the top ten in batting average, homeruns and RBI's, and he ranks in the top five in runs (62), walks (51), slugging percentage (.607) and OPS (1.013).  The Red Sox have struggled in the first half of the season, but they managed to end it with a .500 record at 43-43.  If it wasn't for David Ortiz, who knows how bad the Red Sox would have been. 

Players who are still in the MVP Award Race: Jose Bautista, Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera, and Mark Trumbo.

The American League has many players who are deserving of winning the MVP Award.  I think there also will be some players who I didn't even list, that will make a strong case to be in the MVP Award conversation by the end of the season.  Mike Trout is leading the race so far to be named the best player in the American League, and it should be interesting to see if he can win the MVP Award as a rookie.

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