MLB: Every AL Team's MVP This Season
As the 2012 season winds down to another exciting finish, the MLB award season is now just around the corner.
The American League MVP race is another exciting one this year, as LA's Mike Trout and Detroit's Miguel Cabrera battle for baseball's most revered award.
Team MVP's will be officially announced by the BWAA for every club on Tuesday, and here's who I think should be honored from each AL team.
Baltimore Orioles: CF Adam Jones
Season Stats: .288/.337/.509, .363 wOBA, 81 RBI, 32 HR, 16 SB, 4.6 WAR, 128 wRC+
All season long Adam Jones has been a huge—and probably the biggest—part of the Orioles' lineup. His outstanding season has been key to Baltimore's surprising 2012 success.
Jones has also appeared in every single game this season, which is a big reason why he's been so valuable this year.
He's been unarguably Baltimore's best offensive player, leading the team in a handful of categories including runs scored, home runs, stolen bases, wOBA, WAR and wRC+.
Boston Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia
Season Stats: .288/.344/.446, .343 wOBA, 64 RBI, 15 HR, 19 SB, 4.2 WAR, 111 wRC+
It's been just another great season for Dustin Pedroia who continues to be one of baseball's most valuable players year after year.
As you can see see, the offensive numbers are good—especially for a second baseman—but they're nothing incredible. What makes Pedroia such an elite player, though, is his terrific defense.
The two-time Gold Glover is having himself another Gold Glove-worthy year in 2012, leading all AL second basemen in UZR (9.5), ErrR (4.1) and fielding percentage (.992).
New York Yankees: 2B Robinson Cano
Season Stats: .306/.373/.531, .382 wOBA, 85 RBI, 30 HR, 7.0 WAR, 142 wRC+
We just took a look at how well Dustin Pedroia has done for the Boston Red Sox this season at second base, but no second baseman has been as valuable as New York's Robinson Cano in 2012.
Cano is the clear choice for Yankees team MVP, as he leads the team in all the stats listed above (except BA, HR and RBI) and has probably been the team's best defensive player outside of Mark Teixeira.
Tampa Bay Rays: UTIL Ben Zobrist
Season Stats: .271/.378/.471, .362 wOBA, 73 RBI, 19 HR, 14 SB, 5.7 WAR, 135 wRC+
Baseball's best utility man has once again been one of Tampa Bay's most valuable players in 2012.
The decision for Rays team MVP is probably the hardest out of all 14 AL teams, as Fernando Rodney comes in as a very, very close runner-up. Rodney has been baseball's biggest pleasant surprise—as well as best relief pitcher—this season, enjoying a career year as a crucial part of the Rays' successful bullpen.
However, Zobrist's ability to play multiple positions as well as he does gives him the slight edge in my opinion. Unlike most of the Rays' lineup, Zobrist has also managed to avoid injury this season, another reason why he's such a valuable player for the team.
Toronto Blue Jays: 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion
Season Stats: .280/.384/.557, .397 wOBA, 110 RBI, 42 HR, 4.4 WAR, 153 wRC+
After seven seasons in the big leagues, Edwin Encarnacion surprisingly broke out with a monster year offensively with the Jays in 2012.
The huge numbers above really tell the story of how great Encarnacion has been with the bat this season.
Chicago White Sox: LHP Chris Sale
Season Stats: 17-8, 3.05 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 3.28 FIP, 192.0 IP, 4.9 WAR
Chris Sale is the reason why the Chicago White Sox are still in the playoff hunt in the last week of the regular season.
The 23-year-old southpaw has led Sox's rotation with a breakout year in 2012, leading the team in all major pitching categories (except innings pitched) and in WAR.
Cleveland Indians: C Carlos Santana
Season Stats: .255/.368/.426, .343 wOBA, 76 RBI, 18 HR, 3.6 WAR, 120 wRC+
No player really stands out on Cleveland's roster, but catcher Carlos Santana has probably been the most valuable Indian in 2012. Only Shin-Soo Choo has been better than Santana offensively on the Indians, but his big lack of defensive value gives Santana the clear edge.
Santana ranks second among AL catchers in wRC+ and third in wOBA.
Detroit Tigers: 3B Miguel Cabrera
Season Stats: .325/.390/.601, .413 wOBA, 136 RBI, 43 HR, 6.9 WAR, 163 wRC+
The ridiculous numbers pretty much say it all for Miguel Cabrera. Not only is Cabrera the Detroit Tigers' most valuable player, but he'll probably end up as the AL MVP runner-up as well.
Miggy is currently the AL's leader in batting average, home runs and RBI, and is trying to become the Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
Kansas City Royals: LF Alex Gordon
Season Stats: .292/.362/.450, .351 wOBA, 71 RBI, 13 HR, 10 SB, 5.4 WAR, 122 wRC+
After breaking out with a great year in 2011, Alex Gordon is enjoying his second consecutive impressive season with Kansas City this year.
As you can see, the offensive numbers are solid, but they really only tell half the story for Gordon. The defending Gold Glove winner is having another outstanding season defensively in left field and will likely take home another Gold Glove this fall.
Gordon leads all AL left fielders in UZR (13.3), ErrR (1.8) and assists (16). Most agree that he has the best arm as well.
Minnesota Twins: C/1B/DH Joe Mauer
Season Stats: .323/.418/.452, .377 wOBA, 84 RBI, 10 HR, 5.1 WAR, 140 wRC+
After somewhat of an 'off-year' in 2011 (largely due to injury), Joe Mauer has rebounded in 2012 with a terrific season offensively.
He's indisputably the American League's best offensive catcher, as he leads all AL catchers in every stat except home runs.
Los Angeles Angels: CF Mike Trout
Season Stats: .321/.395/.557, .419 wOBA, 80 RBI, 30 HR, 48 SB, 10.0 WAR, 172 wRC+
I wish there was a word to describe Mike Trout. 'Phenom' is probably the closest one, but even that's an understatement.
The 21-year-old is having maybe the greatest rookie season ever with the Halos this year—leading all of baseball in WAR, stolen bases and wRC+. He's also the AL leader in wOBA.
Yesterday, Trout became the first player in MLB history to hit 30 homers, steal 45 bases and score at least 125 runs. The most amazing part is that he's done all this at the young age of 21.
Defensively, Trout is just as magnificent. He's definitely one of the better outfielders in the league and makes a case for Gold Glove at center field.
Oakland Athletics: RF Josh Reddick
Season Stats: .244/.308/.467, .331 wOBA, 83 RBI, 32 HR, 4.6 WAR, 111 wRC+
Nobody on Oakland's roster really stands out as an elite player, but Josh Reddick has quietly had himself a nice year in his first season with the A's.
As you can see, Reddick hasn't really put up any huge numbers this year, but there are two things that make him the A's most valuable player: His ability to hit well for power and his great defense in right field.
On a team in which the biggest weakness is power, Josh Reddick has hit an impressive 32 homers.
In addition, he has one of the best right field arms in all of baseball. He's thrown out 14 baserunners this season, and leads all AL right fielders in UZR (14.6), RngR (13.1) and DRS (22). Don't be surprised to see him take home a Gold Glove next month.
Seattle Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez
Season Stats: 13-8, 2.86 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 8.58 K/9, 226.2 IP, 5.9 WAR
It's been another outstanding year for one of baseballs top starting pitchers. Now that Ichiro Suzuki is no longer a Mariner, King Felix has become the lone face of Seattle's franchise.
Hernandez is once again a Cy Young candidate in 2012, as he leads all AL pitchers in FIP, is second in WAR and third in strikeouts.
Texas Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre
Season Stats: .319/.357/.563, .386 wOBA, 101 RBI, 36 HR, 6.3 WAR, 139 wRC+
Adrian Beltre has had yet another terrific season with the AL's best Texas Rangers. Offensively, former MVP Josh Hamilton is probably the team's most valuable player, but Beltre's Gold Glove defense at the hot corner gives him the edge overall.
When not raking the baseball in the middle of the sport's most dangerous lineup, Beltre is playing outstanding defense at third. He ranks second among all AL third basemen in UZR (9.8) and leads in fielding percentage (.974).
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