All-Star Break 2012: MVP's for Every American League Team at the All-Star Break
The All-Star break is the perfect time for teams and players to reflect on their season that is more than halfway over. It is the time that teams can take a look at what they have already accomplished and what is still left to be done.
There are many surprises already in the American League through half of the season. The Chicago White Sox have shocked the league and claimed first place at the break while the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers have struggled all season long.
Whether teams have succeeded or sunk to this point in the year, they have all had at least one player that have stood out. Some have propelled their teams to first place while others have kept their teams' heads above water.
Here is a look at each AL team's MVP this season at the All-Star Break. We'll start with the American League East and the division leading New York Yankees.
Robinson Cano: New York Yankees
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As Robinson Cano gets going, the Yankees get going.
Cano has watched his average raise every month since the beginning of the season and is currently hitting .313 while smashing 20 home runs. Cano has also connected for 26 doubles and has driven in 51 RBI.
While the Yankees started the season slow, it was no surprise that Cano was struggling with runners in scoring position. He has broken out of his early season RBI slump and the Yankees have taken a seven-game lead in the AL East and the best record in baseball into the All-Star break.
Adam Jones: Baltimore Orioles
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Adam Jones carried the Orioles for most of April and May as he launched 16 home runs in the two months. Although he has cooled down since, he has still been a key to the Orioles success.
If not for Jones' torrid start, the O's would not be in second place in the AL East.
Fernando Rodney: Tampa Bay Rays
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Fernando Rodney was not slated to be the Rays' closer this season but when the opportunity arose he took advantage of it.
Rodney has saved 25 of 26 games for the Rays and has been lights out in the ninth inning. Rodney has pitched to a 0.93 ERA and has struck out 38 batters in 38.2 innings.
David Ortiz: Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox have had a disappointing season to this point, but they would not even be at .500 if not for the production of David Ortiz.
Ortiz has put up monster numbers this season, hitting at a .312 clip with 22 home runs and 57 RBI. With Ortiz's help in the second half, the Red Sox might be able to salvage this season.
Edwin Encarnacion: Toronto Blue Jays
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Encarnacion could be one of the stand out players in all of baseball this season. It is hard to imagine anyone else being the MVP of a team with Jose Bautista but Encarnacion has done so.
Encarnacion is having a career year with 23 home runs and 58 RBI at the break while hitting .295. Encarnacion is on his way to shatter his career high of 26 home runs this season.
Josh Hamilton: Texas Rangers
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No surprise here. Josh Hamilton is likely the MVP of the league this season and is carrying the Texas Rangers.
Hamilton is atop the league with 27 home runs and 75 RBI. Although Hamilton has not been as hot as he was early on this season, there is no reason to think that he will not become hot again on his way to a 50 home run season.
Mike Trout: L.A. Angels
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Mike Trout is going to push Hamilton in the MVP race at the end of the season, but Trout has certainly been the MVP of the Angels this season.
Although the team is packed with superstars from Albert Pujols to Mark Trumbo, it is Mike Trout who has single-handedly turned the Angels' season around. The Angels are 40-24 in games that Trout has played in this season and 8-14 without him in the lineup.
Trout does it all, leading the league with a .341 average and 26 steals. In addition, he has 12 home runs and 40 RBI. The league MVP might come down to whether the Angels of Rangers come away with the division.
Josh Reddick: Oakland A's
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The Boston Red Sox did not see Josh Reddick turning into the team leader that he has become when they traded him to the Oakland A's.
Reddick has hit 20 home runs, while collecting 15 doubles and 43 RBI.
Reddick has helped the A's to a .500 record through the first half.
Kyle Seager: Seattle Mariners
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On a team desperate for offense, the Seattle Mariners have relied on Kyle Seager to drive home runs. Despite a low .243 average, Seager has managed 52 RBI on one of the worst offenses in the league.
Seager has also added 10 home runs and 21 doubles to the Mariner's depleted offense.
Chris Sale: Chicago White Sox
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The Chicago White Sox sit in first place entering the All-Star break. Chris Sale, the converted reliever, is not only the White Sox best pitcher thus far but he is also one of the best pitchers in the league this season.
The lefty has compiled an impressive 10-2 record while having a minuscule ERA of 2.19 with 98 strikeouts.
Although there are a lot of pieces to the White Sox's success, it has been spearheaded by Sale.
Jason Kipnis: Cleveland Indians
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In his first full season, Jason Kipnis is making a name for himself at second base.
Kipnis is hitting .277 with 11 home runs and 49 RBI this season. He is having tremendous success on the road this year, hitting .321. Once he brings up his .221 home average, Kipnis will be an even bigger asset to the the Indians.
Kipnis is helping the Indians with his speed as well, as he has racked up 20 stolen bases in 2012.
Miguel Cabrera: Detroit Tigers
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Although the Tigers are not having the season they would have liked, Miguel Cabrera can say he has done his part.
Cabrera is second in the league with 71 RBI and is hitting .324 with 18 home runs. He has been essential the Tigers as Detroit has tried to stay in contention in the first half.
Mike Moustakas: Kansas City Royals
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The Kansas City Royals are struggling this season but Mike Moustakas is doing his part to try to get this young team to the point of respectability.
The 23-year-old third baseman is having quite the season. He has already hit 15 home runs, 21 doubles and has driven in 47 RBI. Although Billy Butler is having a great season, it is Moustakas who is leading the way for the young talent in K.C.
Trevor Plouffe: Minnesota Twins
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