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American League MVP - Mike Trout
I went back and forth on this one, but settled for the old gut check.
Both Trout and Miguel Cabrera have statistical backing for their MVP bids.
Trout not only hit 30 home runs, but also stole close to 50 bases, and had a success rate of more than 90 percent.
Cabrera, however, has the elusive Triple Crown in sight and has been unstoppable in big situations.
But despite Cabrera's incredible and unprecedented year at the plate, Trout has been the guy all year long that I just could not stop talking about. Every day, I just had to see what ridiculous, game-saving play he made the night before and just had to tune in to see if he could maintain his insane WAR numbers.
He ignited a team that could have easily collapsed under the weight of Pujols' poor start. Trout's emergence took some of the pressure off the highly paid superstars and let them concentrate on baseball.
Because of his electric play, the Angels are a very different team right now.
Statistically, it's a coin toss, but Trout wins on intangibles. Congratulations, Trout, on the first of many.
AL MVP Top 5:
1. Mike Trout
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Adam Jones
4. Adrian Beltre
5. Josh Hamilton
National League MVP: Buster Posey
Buster Posey simply does it all for the San Francisco Giants.
Not only did he lead one of the most dominant pitching staffs in all of baseball from behind the plate, he also owned the plate offensively, earning the batting title honor (once you scratch out Miguel Cabrera) and surpassing 20 home runs. He also started close to 30 games at first base.
Posey has been rock solid all season long and recorded his best stats when it mattered most, posting absolutely insane numbers since the All Star break to lead his team to the postseason.
He has put together an incredible season at a critical position and has more than earned this honor.
His two primary competitors, Ryan Braun and Andrew McCutchen, both have had stellar years as well.
Braun, despite the increased attention due to his unprecedented win in a drug suspension case this offseason, put together an even more impressive stat line than his MVP season a year ago. He hit more than 40 home runs for the first time in his career and ended the season in the top four for—among other statistics—home runs, average, runs and RBI.
If the Brewers make the playoffs, Braun has a strong case to repeat, but Posey's contributions to the Giants' playoff run give him an edge.
McCutchen was arguably the first half MVP, posting outlandishly high numbers at the plate and making stellar defensive plays in center day in and day out. More importantly, he led Pittsburgh to one of the best records in the league through the first half and excited a loyal fan base that had not seen success for almost two decades.
But sadly, as McCutchen's production fell off in the second half, so did his team's. If he had maintained his early season numbers and if the Pirates make the playoffs, he runs away with this award.
NL MVP Top 5:
1. Buster Posey
2. Ryan Braun
3. Andrew McCutchen
4. Adam LaRoche
5. Yadier Molina