Top 15 Candidates To Win AL MVP in 2013
15 Candidates To Win AL MVP
Since I put together my list of the top 15 AL Cy Young candidates for 2013 which can be found here, I decided to take a look at my top 15 candidate for AL MVP in 2013. First, let’s take a look at one of the closest MVP races in a long time and one where debate still rages.
The race for MVP was between two players Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera .The race was historic on many levels. I want to take a look at Cabrera first.
Cabrera won the Triple Crown, the first time someone has won that award since 1967. He follows three other players who won the Triple Crown and the MVP those being Frank Robinson, Mickey Mantle, and Carl Yastrzemski. Cabrera became the first Detroit Tigers position player to win the award since Hank Greenberg in 1940.
Cabrera hit .330, had 44 home runs, drove in 139 runs and had an on base percentage of .393. Those are amazing numbers that in most years wouldn’t even make the MVP contest close. Then Trout was called up and he put up historic numbers as well.
Trout hit .326, hit 29 home runs, and also stole 50 bases in 54 attempts. Trout had amazing numbers and if Cabrera didn’t have the year he had then Trout would have won hands down.
The vote wasn’t as close as the AL Cy Young but it was still close in regards to a MVP vote. Cabrera won 362 points to Trout’s 281. It’s too bad that they couldn’t share the award since they both deserved it.
So what about looking into the future and looking into 2013? First, for my candidates I don’t think that a team that the MVP player is on has to go to the playoffs or even has to have a winning record. Its most valuable player for a reason not “lets only look at winning teams.” With that being said, let’s take a look at the candidates.
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I already covered the amazing season that Cabrera had. His numbers were historic. I doubt he will put the same numbers in 2013. Still he could put up fantastic numbers in 2013 and could be a back to back MVP of the American League. If that happens then the Tigers would have three MVP’s in the last three years. In 2011 Justin Verlander won the award. Pretty cool huh?
If Cabrera didn’t win the Triple Crown and put up the numbers he did then without a doubt Trout would have won MVP. He is an instant favorite to win the award in 2013. Trout did seem to hit a wall in 2012. Near the end of the season Trout only batted .287. I don’t think that Trout’s numbers will drop drastically and he will put up numbers that most players crave. We shall see what happens with this young special player.
Lost in the Cabrera vs. Trout debate was Beltre. He finished third in MVP voting with 210 votes. His numbers in 2012 were pretty eye popping as well. Beltre hit .321, hit 36 home runs, drove in 102 and had an on base percentage of .359. Beltre seemed to be the forgotten man in the MVP battle because of the years that Trout and Cabrera had.
Beltre was a key piece for the Texas Rangers in 2012 and if he can put up those same numbers that he put up in 2012 he will again be in the thick of the MVP race in 2013.
Cano put up huge numbers for the New York Yankees in 2012. He was voted fourth in the MVP balloting. Cano hit .313, hit 33 home runs, and had an on base percentage of .379. Cano was also a Gold Glove winner in 2012 and a Silver Slugger award winner. That is some pretty impressive hardware for the second baseman for the Yankees.
Cano is slowly transforming into one of the most valuable players for the Yankees. It is possible for him to win the MVP award in 2013.
Jeter is always on the list for MVP and for good reason. He is one of the best players I have seen play and one of the best players to ever play the game. In 2012 Jeter batted .316, drove in 58 runs, and had an on base percentage of .362. He was seventh in the MVP balloting in 2012.
Jeter doesn’t put up monster numbers every year but he goes about his business and every year he is an important part of the Yankees. He is also their heart and soul. Look what happened in the playoffs when he got hurt.
Did you know that Jeter has never won the MVP award? With all the hardware, World Series, and awards he has won I couldn’t believe that he hasn’t won the award. Jeter is nearing the end of his career. Could 2013 finally be the year he wins MVP?
Hamilton put up good numbers in 2012 that warranted him to be voted fifth in MVP voting. He batted .285, hit 43 home runs, drove in 128 runs and had an on base percentage of .354. Hamilton also won the Silver Slugger award.
Hamilton didn’t have the numbers he did in 2010 when he was MVP but that doesn’t mean that he can’t win it in 2013. Just don’t expect it to be with the Rangers.
Jones has really turned into a special player for the Baltimore Orioles. In 2012 he played in all 162 games which is a pretty impressive feat in itself. He also hit .287, hit 32 home runs, drove in 82 runs and had an on base percentage of .334.
Jones isn’t talked about a lot because he has played with the Orioles. He was an important reason that the Orioles made the playoffs in 2012 and he is a key part of the Orioles for the future. He placed sixth in MVP voting in 2012.
Not only did Rios have a comeback year in 2012 he also was the MVP for the Chicago White Sox. In 2012 he hit .304, hit 25 home runs, drove in 91 runs and had an on base percentage of .334. He was 15th in MVP balloting in 2012. White Sox fans, think about how many games may have been lost without Rios hitting those clutch hits.
If Rios can have the same year that he had for the White Sox in 2013 not only will he again be MVP for the White Sox but he could be MVP for the American League.
Verlander won the award in 2011 which was pretty amazing. Pitchers don’t usually win the MVP. In 2012 he posted a 2.40 ERA and struck out 239 batters. He placed eighth in MVP voting in 2012. He is the ace of the Tigers staff and he holds that pitching staff together.
Verlander is lights out and I think he will be on the list for 2013 for MVP just like he is on the list for Cy Young. Could he win both like he did in 2011?
Price had a fantastic year in 2012. He won the Cy Young, posted a 2.56 ERA and struck out 205 batters. Price placed 12th in MVP voting in 2012. Price is young and will be 27 in 2013.
The Cy Young award in 2013 might come down to Verlander and Price again. Is it possible that the MVP could come down to those two as well?
Fielder was the other piece for the Tigers in their run to the World Series. He along with Cabrera are the big hitters for the Tigers and it showed in 2012. He played in all 162 games, hit .313, hit 30 home runs, drove in 108 runs and had an on base percentage of .412. He placed 9th in MVP voting and won the Silver Slugger award.
2012 was Fielders first in the American League. He even said that he had to adjust to pitchers. Adjust? The man hit .313. I can’t imagine what he could potentially do in 2013 when he has “adjusted” to pitchers.
Encarnacion had a great year for the Toronto Blue Jays but if you didn’t watch Baseball Tonight or follow baseball closely you would have never heard of him. He was snubbed from an All-Star appearance and I still don’t understand why.
In 2012 he hit .280, drove in 110 runs and hit 42 home runs and his on base percentage was .384. He was 11th in MVP voting in 2012 so at least some of the voters noticed him. If Encarnacion puts up those same numbers in 2013 he is a MVP favorite.
I don’t have to tell White Sox fans how important Konerko has been for the team. He was leading the team in batting average in 2012 until he hurt his wrist. Still his numbers in 2012 were pretty good. He hit .298, hit 26 home runs, drove in 75 runs and had an on base percentage of .371.
It doesn’t seem like Konerko is slowing down and like a fine glass of wine he is getting better with age. He doesn’t get a lot of votes or press since he doesn’t like to talk about himself much. He placed fifth in MVP voting in 2010.
I believe that 2013 might be that year where Konerko wins MVP or finishes in the top five again.
Cespedes is another name that most people haven’t heard of. He is a rookie and plays out west for the Oakland Athletics. He had a very good year in 2012 and if it wasn’t for the amazing year that Trout had he would have won Rookie of the Year.
In 2012 Cespedes hit .292, hit 23 home runs, and drove in 82 runs. He placed tenth in MVP balloting in 2012. It is sometimes difficult to put a rookie in an MVP list during his sophomore season.
His numbers could drop since pitchers will start to adjust to him. However, from what I have seen from Cespedes he is comfortable at the plate and doesn’t look overpowered. He might be few years out of winning the MVP but it is still a possibility in 2013.
This is a name on the list that I’m sure has left some people with their mouths open. He is my dark horse candidate. He is one of the most important players on the Kansas City Royals and without him the Royals probably would have lost more games than they won.
In 2012, Butler hit .313, hit 29 home runs, drove in 107 runs and had an on base percentage of .373. He won the Silver Slugger award as well. Butler is only 26 and is already a threat every time he steps up to the plate.
It will be hard for Butler to win the award in 2013 unless the Royals start winning since most voters gives MVP to a winning team. Still, if voters can put that aside he has the chance to be the first Royal to win the MVP since George Brett in 1980.