Top 10 AL MVP Candidates at the 2014 All-Star Break

Top 10 AL MVP Candidates at 2014 All-Star Break

Mike Trout Miguel Cabrera
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

We've seen some phenomenal performances over the first half of the MLB season. With so many players having terrific campaigns, it was no easy task narrowing a list down to just 10. Though only one of these athletes can ultimately win the award, the following gentlemen have all thrown their hat into the ring. Check out the list and see if you agree, or disagree, with the rankings.

10. Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners

Robinson Cano Mariners
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

10. Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners

Robinson Cano Mariners
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

.334 AVG, 7 HR, 57 RBI, 49 runs, 7 steals

This veteran 2B ranks third in the AL in batting average, and 12th in RBIs. Cano's stats may not blow your doors off, but one must keep in mind the weak lineup around him. On a better offense he would assuredly pile up far more RBIs and runs scored, and would likely rank much higher on this list. Without Cano, the Mariners' offense would go from "below average" to "inept".

9. Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays

Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

9. Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays

Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

.277 AVG, 26 HR, 70 RBI, 57 runs

Despite having just two HRs and 15 RBI heading into May, this slugger amazingly ranks third in the league in HRs, and fifth in RBIs at the break. A current injury dims Encarnacion's chances for an MVP season, but if he can put together another dynamic two-month stretch like he did in May and June, anything is possible. Had he not been invisible the first month of the season, this 1B would rank much higher.

8. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Miguel Cabrera Tigers
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

8. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Miguel Cabrera Tigers
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

.306 AVG, 14 HR, 75 RBI, 57 runs

Even with admitting that he hasn't been at 100 percent all season, Cabrera still leads the league in RBIs, and ranks 9th in the AL in batting average. While his numbers don't stack up to what he has done in the past, Miggy has the talent to go on a tear and vault up this list in a hurry. Hopefully we get to see him at full strength at some point this season.

7. Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics

Scott Kazmir Athletics
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

7. Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics

Scott Kazmir Athletics
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

11-3, 2.38 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 108 Ks

This southpaw has always had the talent, but had never put it all together until this season. Kazmir's incredible career resurrection has vaulted him to the upper echelon of starting pitchers, as he ranks second in the AL in both ERA and WHIP. With such an explosive offense behind him, a run at 20 wins is certainly within reach.

6. Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers

Victor Martinez Tigers
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

6. Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers

Victor Martinez Tigers
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

.328 AVG, 21 HR, 55 RBI, 45 runs

V-Mart is surprisingly having a career season at the ripe age of 35. He ranks fourth in the AL in batting average, fifth in HRs and if not for Miguel Cabrera hogging all the RBIs in front of him, would likely rank in the top 10 in that category as well. Injuries have held him out as of late, but expect more of the same when Martinez returns to the lineup after the break.

5. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox

Jose Abreu White Sox
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox

Jose Abreu White Sox
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

.292 AVG, 29 HR, 73 RBI, 49 runs

This rookie sensation has taken the league by storm as he leads the league in HRs, and sits third in RBI. With his help, the White Sox have gone from the second worst offense in baseball in 2013, to the 9th best this season. He has his work cut out for him, but Abreu could become just the third player ever to win the MVP in his rookie season.

4. Nelson Cruz, Baltimore Orioles

Nelson Cruz Orioles
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

4. Nelson Cruz, Baltimore Orioles

Nelson Cruz Orioles
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

.287 AVG, 28 HR, 74 RBI, 56 runs

Most teams wanted no part of this slugger after he was suspended for PED use last season. The Orioles hit the jackpot when they took a chance on this outfielder. Cruz is easily having his best statistical season, and is a big reason why the O's surprisingly lead the AL East by four games at the break.

3. Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians

Michael Brantley Indians
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

3. Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians

Michael Brantley Indians
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

.322 AVG, 15 HR, 63 RBI, 63 runs, 10 steals

Brantley has always been a capable hitter, but nobody expected this kind of breakout season. The 27-year-old ranks sixth in the AL in batting average, 10th in RBI and fourth in runs scored. While his HR and RBI totals fall short of others on this list, there's no denying that his overall body of work is superior to most.

2. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

Felix Hernandez Mariners
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

2. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

Felix Hernandez Mariners
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

11-2, 2.12 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 154 Ks

When Justin Verlander won the MVP back in 2011, his numbers weren't even this good. Hernandez is on pace for nearly 20 wins despite a shaky offense behind him, and nobody in the AL really comes close to his peripheral stats. In most seasons, he would be leading the MVP pack, but one fellow bests even Hernandez's exceptional campaign.

1. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout Angels
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

1. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout Angels
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

.310 AVG, 22 HR, 73 RBI, 65 runs, 10 steals

It's hard to believe that this phenom is still just 22 years old. Trout ranks seventh in the AL in batting average, fourth in HR, third in RBI and second in runs scored. Though he's not stealing as much this season, he is on pace to shatter his previous bests in both HR and RBI. There is no better player in the game right now, and nobody more fun to watch either.

Brian Davis is a fantasy writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SportsGuyBrian, ”Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.