For the first time in many years, there is no clear-cut best player in baseball. Barry Bonds held that honor for the first half of the 2000s before passing the baton to Albert Pujols, with the two combining to win seven of nine NL MVP awards from 2001 through ’09.
Now though, there are a handful of players in contention for the title of the best in the game but no obvious winner. Ask five people and you’re very likely to get five different answers. The usual aspects were weighed for this article with batting average, slugging percentage and OPS rating high along with home runs, stolen bases, defensive excellence and of course the ever-popular WAR (Wins Above Replacement).
Players weren’t completely dropped off the list for struggling in 2012, although I did focus heavily on what the player is doing this year. Injuries hurt the ranking, as it is imperative that a team can count on a guy to be able to play, and that’s a big reason why Chase Utley didn’t make the cut.