With Opening Day just over a month away, baseball fans everywhere are asking the same question: Who's going to be my team's MVP this year?
Baseball writers and analysts, meanwhile, are asking a slightly different one: Who's going to be the league's MVP this year?
Well, I've decided to ask both questions.
Instead of presenting you with the same top five list you've seen over and over (the one projecting the top AL MVP candidates to be Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera and the top NL MVP candidates to be Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen), I've chosen one player from each MLB team with the best chance of winning the award in 2014.
As a baseball fan, I understand the frustration that comes with constantly hearing about the same big-name players, while guys you watch on a nightly basis get completely ignored. We all want our favorite players to get some recognition, and that's what I've tried to do here (making an incredibly early MVP projections list is the best kind of recognition, by the way).
Each player was labeled as one of the following types of candidates:
- Front-Runner: The most likely player to win the award at this point
- Top 5 Contender: One of the top five candidates in his respective league
- Contender: A solid argument could be made as to why this person should be in the MVP conversation heading into April
- Long Shot: I'm not willing to bet any money on this player winning the MVP award in 2014, but he's the most likely candidate on his team
- Extreme Long Shot: Little to no chance of winning MVP, but he's on the list for a reason
I've also included one dark-horse candidate for both the AL and NL. This is the player that I feel is currently flying under the radar and is poised to have a huge 2014.