If you were to sit down and draw up a list of the most under-appreciated players in baseball over the last decade, Paul Konerko's name would have to be atop the list. All he's done over the last 10-plus years is mash. Again and again and again.
People are definitely appreciating Konerko right now. He's as hot as can be, and he's helped the Chicago White Sox move to within a half game of first place in the American League Central. They're playing great baseball, and they wouldn't be doing it without him.
Konerko is probably not going to flirt with the .400 mark all season, but he's certainly on track to have the finest season of his career. If he can keep it up, he's going to feature prominently in the American League MVP race all season long.
Konerko features prominently in it as things stand right now, of course. Here's an updated look at where he and his fellow pursuers stand in the 2012 AL MVP race.
Note: Feel free to check out last week's rankings.