Dark-Horse Candidates Emerging for Major 2013 MLB Awards

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Dark-Horse Candidates Emerging for Major 2013 MLB Awards
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Raise your hand if you picked Chris Davis to finish anywhere near the top five in the voting for American League MVP heading into the 2013 season.

Mr. and Mrs. Davis, you can put your hands down.

Every year, fans and pundits make their predictions before the MLB season gets underway as to which teams are going to play in the World Series and which players are going to take home the biggest individual awards that the game has to offer.

Yet, every year, there's at least one team and a handful of players who do their best to make those predictions look foolish—especially when it comes to the major awards (MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year).

This year is no different.

While some of those races are seemingly between a short list of players (Davis and Miguel Cabrera for AL MVP, for example), there's still a lot of baseball that has yet to be played.

If we've learned anything from following America's pastime over the years, it's that anything can—and usually does—happen, throwing a monkey wrench into the best-laid plans and the most well-thought-out predictions and causing those "favorites" to fall short of winning any awards at all.

So let's take a look at a handful of players who are quietly having excellent seasons and who could figure more prominently in the award voting at the end of the season.

 

*All statistics are current through games of July 26 and, with the exception of wRC+ and QS, are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

*QS (Quality Starts) courtesy of ESPN.

*wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created) courtesy of FanGraphs. For an explanation of wRC+, click here.

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