No. 1: Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels (Last Week: No. 1)
I wrote on Twitter early Monday that Trout had reached 10.0 fWAR for the second straight season and that it was the least talked-about great season in recent memory. That speaks to just how little we pay attention to bad teams and, possibly, how much we've come to expect from this young star.
Trout was clearly the best player in baseball last year with a .326/.399/.564 line, 49 stolen bases, .409 wOBA, 166 wRC+ and 10.0 fWAR. He's been better this season, with a .330/.437/.558 line, stellar baserunning with 33 steals, .426 wOBA and 177 wRC+ and solid defense in the outfield.
With all due respect to Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis and everyone else, there is no more valuable player in the AL than Trout.
No. 2: Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Detroit Tigers (Last Week: No. 2)
You know what's funny? Cabrera has hit .314/.407/.608 in the second half, and we have been worried about him because of injuries. There are almost no superlatives left to describe what this man can do in a batter's box.
As I have said throughout this stock watch, having Cabrera second in the AL MVP race has nothing to do with him and everything to do with Trout. There is no better hitter in baseball than Cabrera, and anyone trying to dispute that is fooling themselves.
And when the Tigers clinch the AL Central, Cabrera can focus on getting healthy for the postseason.
No. 3: Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland Athletics (Last Week: No. 3)
Josh Donaldson has taken over Adrian Beltre's spot as the best all-around third baseman in the AL this season, which is no easy feat considering Beltre is still having a strong year. But Oakland's best player has been remarkable in 2013.
In fact, it is the all-around aspect of Donaldson's game that pushes him ahead of Baltimore's Chris Davis. Looking at just the offensive numbers, there is no doubt that Davis has the edge, though Donaldson's .386 wOBA and 151 OPS+ are nothing to sneeze at.
But when you combine those numbers with 10 runs saved on defense, 39 plays made out of his zone and a 9.8 UZR, Donaldson becomes the slightly stronger candidate in the MVP field. It also doesn't hurt he plays half of his games in the spacious O.co Coliseum.
No. 4: Chris Davis, 1B, Baltimore Orioles (Last Week: No. 4)
Davis became just the third player in MLB history to record 50 home runs and 40 doubles in a season when he hit his 50th moon shot of the season on Friday.
The only problem for Davis' historic season is the timing. This season, Trout has further cemented his status as the best player in baseball, and Cabrera has had an even better offensive season than he did in 2012.
In an era where power is a luxury that every team wants to find, Davis has a 50-point edge over Cabrera in isolated power (.355 to .305).
No. 5: Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees
If we are just looking strictly at positional value, Cano would have an argument as the No. 2 AL MVP candidate this season. But there is more to the voting than just the position you play, and there isn't anything wrong with being fifth among a group this talented.
Cano sticks just ahead of Max Scherzer for this spot because of the season he's having (5.8 fWAR, .310/.383/.516, five defensive runs saved) in the division he plays in. Just think: We could be seeing his final days in New York. I doubt it, but weird things happen in free agency.
Rising: Max Scherzer (Detroit), Shane Victorino (Boston), Adrian Beltre (Texas)
Falling: Felix Hernandez (Seattle), Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston), Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay)