Josh Hamilton is about to find out two things this season. He is going to first find out how difficult it is going to be for his Texas Rangers to repeat as the American League Champions. He is also going to find out that repeating as AL MVP is a hell of a tall order. Frank Thomas was the last American Leaguer to win back to back MVP’s. He won the distinguished award in 1993 and 1994. Roger Maris won it in 1960 and 1961.
I have compiled a list of the players I believe have the best chance of winning this year. Of course, we all know that every once in a while a player like Joey Votto, (last years NL MVP) appears out of nowhere.
There are plenty of candidates. Just between the Boston red Sox and New York Yankees, there are many worthy candidates.
Let’s break them down:
Baltimore Orioles: Is this the year that Adam Jones finally breaks out fully? Luke Scott had a great season last year and now that he will see the majority of time on the field and not as DH, it will help him. The veteran presence of Vladimir Guerrero is going to guide these two young stars emerge.
New York Yankees: Robinson Cano has already established that he is the best all around player on this team loaded with superstars. You can never count Alex Rodriguez out of any MVP talk. Can Mark Teixeira shake the early season slump this year? His power numbers are always up with the best of them.
Tampa Bay Rays: Evan Longoria is arguably the best all around third baseman in all of baseball. It looked dim when Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena took their bats elsewhere, but the additions of Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez will provide good protection around the Rays superstar.
Toronto Blue Jays: Was last year a fluke for Jose Bautista? Most people think that Toronto is going to surprise a few teams this year. The only way they are going to do that is behind the big bat of Bautista. If Toronto does show off their winning ways then expect Jose to be in the mix for MVP.
Minnesota Twins: Joe Mauer is the best catcher in the American league. There is a man named Buster Posey, for the San Francisco Giants, that wants to compete with Mauer as the best in all of baseball. Mauer needs the other half of the M & M duo to be healthy. If Justin Morneau can bounce back fully, then expect another great year out of Mauer.
Chicago White Sox: The new “Bash Brothers” are in Chicago this year. Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn are going to be depositing many balls into the stands this season. I think Dunn will actually have the better numbers, but he will have a disadvantage as most of his swings will come as DH.
Detroit Tigers: Has Miguel Cabrera recovered from his outside problems? If so, then he might possibly be better than last year with Victor Martinez batting behind him. There is also Magglio Ordonez to consider if healthy.
Texas Rangers: They too have a few impact players to watch. Of course Josh Hamilton leads the pack on this team. Watch for continuous improvements from Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz. The question is, which Adrian Beltre is going to show up? The player we saw last year or the non-contract years? This team and ball park is a good fit for Beltre; it will be interesting how he responds this year.
Oakland Athletics: I think their pitching staff makes them a contender more than their starting position players. But, none of their pitchers will be competing for the MVP. One of them will have a difficult time winning the CY Young, never mind the MVP.
Los Angeles Angels: Can Kendrys Morales bounce back from his ankle injury? It appears slow going right now but this slugger can heat up quickly when he gets on a roll. Can Vernon Wells make the transition from Canada to the City of Angels? I personally think he can and his going to make an impact with this team.
Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners: These teams are going to be so bad that even if one of their players has a tremendous year, they will be overlooked in the MVP voting. I think the days of A-Rod and Andre Dawson winning the award on last place teams is behind us.
I knocked the list down to the 10 candidates I feel will be in the hunt. This was very difficult considering some of the players who didn’t make the cut but certainly can win it. Players like Pedroia, Youkillis, and Teixeira.
I predict that Carl Crawford with be this year’s MVP, especially if the Sox win the Division. I think he has too many weapons for the opponents to deal with.
Now its your turn. Who do you think? I will leave a spot open for “other” for a player I failed to name, but you thought deserved to be considered. Please comment with the name of the player I failed to list on the ballot.
Regular season is only a week away. Cast your vote early
Don’t miss out on the 2011 Cy Young award winner. Vote here by clicking thie link http://bosoxinjection.com/2011/03/24/will-felix-again-be-king-in-the-al-this-year/
Topics: A-Rod, Adam Dunn, Adam Jones, Adrian Beltre, Adrian Gonzalez, Alex Rodriguez, Andre Dawson, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Buster Posey, Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Dustin Pedroia, Elvis Andrus, Evan Longoria, Frank Thomas, Ian Kinsler, Jacoby Ellsbury, Joe Mauer, Joey Votto, Johnny Damon, Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton, Justin Morneau, Kansas City Royals, Kendrys Morales, Kevin Youkilis, Luke Scott, Magglio Ordonez, Manny Ra, Mark Teixeira, Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Paul Konerko, Robinson Cano, Roger Maris, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Vernon Wells, Victor Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero