Josh Hamilton: Your 2009 AL MVP

Mike KentSenior Writer IApril 1, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 24:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers at bat against the Cleveland Indians on August 24, 2008 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Yesterday, I wrote about who will most likely end up being the National League MVP.

At the end of the article, I said that if I get 200 reads, than I would write a similar article on the AL's best player.

Sure, the article did not get 200 reads, but it did get over 110 comments, so not bad!

Here we are again, looking at potential candidates for this award. There are many great players in the AL and many fans and critics (I am not one of them) consider the American League's teams as having a better offense overall than the NL.

And it's a strong argument. You have stars like Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Derek Jeter, Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Cabrera, and many others who have turned in fantastic seasons as of late.

But my pick is the great Texas Rangers right fielder...yep, that outfielder named Josh Hamilton. He is only 28 years old, but look out, because he looks to be at the prime of his career.

If Hamilton had a competitive team to back up his offense last season, he would have won this award last year. With numbers like 130 RBI and 32 homers and a .304 average, those are basically calling for the superlative for this  Silver Slugger Award winner.

So why do I think he will win the MVP this year if he did not win last year?

It's simple: The Rangers are going to win the AL West.

The Angels are not as good as they were last year, with their star players in Vladimir Guerrero and and Torii Hunter aging and Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez no longer in the LA fold.

Now, I am not saying that they are a bad team, as the Angels will probably have over 85 wins.

It just appears that the Rangers will capitalize on the Angels' weakness, as I project them to have over 90 wins.

While I understand that the Rangers lack a solid pitching staff, they have decent hurlers like Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla, who had 14 wins in 2008.

Also, they have the best batting order in baseball with guys like Ian Kinsler, Michael Young and shortstop Elvis Andrus. With Josh Hamilton's amazing offensive skills, he will inject life into the Rangers. 

It may just be enough for Hamilton to get MVP votes, as he is one of the most likable guys in baseball. Speaking as a non-Rangers fan, I can safely say that even this Mets fan loves the way Hamilton plays the game!

Good luck to Josh Hamilton!

Please let me know who you think will be the AL MVP by leaving a comment and voting in the poll!