Ian Kinsler 2B Texas Rangers
2008 Stats: .325 AVG 13 HR 51 RBI 75 Runs 23 SB
In the past two seasons, Kinsler has been a good second baseman, not great. He had solid power and pretty good speed. This season he has shown much improvement in his power and his base stealing. He has 13 home runs right now and is projected to hit around 25 home runs. He leads the AL in batting average. He is one of best and smartest base stealers in the game. He currently has 23 stolen bases and 1 caught stealing. He also leads the league in runs scored which show his stolen bases are key to his teams success. He is one of the big reasons why the Texas Rangers lead the MLB in runs scored.
Carlos Quentin OF Chicago White Sox
2008 Stats: .273 AVG 19 HR 61 RBI 55 Runs 5 SB
During Spring Training, Carlos Quentin was not sure if he even would make the White Sox roster. He opened the season sitting on the bench. He got his first start of season a couple of games into the season. The team did not have high expectations on him. His second start of year, he hits his first home run of the season. 18 home runs later he is a legitimate MVP candidate. He is on a team that was not expected to contend for a division title; but now his team is first place in the AL Central.
Justin Duchscherer SP Oakland Athletics
2008 Stats: 9-5 1.96 ERA 59 K's 21 Walks 0.92 WHIP
Justin Duchscherer has always been a reliable relief pitcher and set-up man. This year the A's converted him into a starting pitcher. They did not expect him to put up Cy Young type of numbers, but he is putting up those numbers anyways. He leads the majors with a 1.96 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and a .198 opponent's batting average. He has been the most consistent pitcher in baseball and has not had a start where he has allowed more than 3 runs.
Cliff Lee SP Cleveland Indians
2008 Stats: 11-1 2.26 ERA 93 K's 17 Walks 1.03 WHIP
At times in his career, Cliff Lee has looked like one of the best pitchers in baseball and one of the worst pitchers in baseball. This year, he looks like one of the best pitchers in baseball. He is 2nd in the AL in wins with 11 and 2.26 ERA. He is also 7th in strikeouts. He also has one of the best strikeouts to walks ratio 93:17. If his offense were healthy and performing at their expectations, he would probably have 2 or 3 more wins than he has right now. In his past 3 starts he has a allowed a combined 3 earned runs. He also a Cy Young candidate along with Justin Duchscherer.
Honorable Mentions: Milton Bradley, Nate McLouth, JD Drew, Ervin Santana, Ryan Dempster, Joe Saunders
Miguel Cabrera 1B Detroit Tigers
2008 Stats: .281 AVG 12 HR 49 RBI 39 Runs 1 SB
Cabrera in the past five seasons with the Marlins has been one of the best hitters in baseball. In the offseason he was traded in a blockbuster deal to the Tigers. He signed a 8 year $153 million deal with them. This year he was expected to get 153 RBI's with the lineup that he was in. He was on a team that was predicted by many people to win the World Series. He was also predicted by many to win the MVP. Cabrera's usual year with the Marlins was .320 AVG 30+ HR 110+ RBI 100+ Runs. This season he is batting .281 which is 40 points down from last season. His slugging percentage is .463, 100 points down from last season. Even though Cabrera is having a solid year, he has been a huge disappointment and so have the Tigers.
Andruw Jones OF Los Angeles Dodgers
2008 Stats: .159 AVG 2 HR 7 RBI 18 Runs 0 SB
This past offseason, the Dodgers signed Andruw Jones to a 2 year $36 million deal. He came into the year expected to hit 30-35 home runs and add pop to a Dodgers offense that was 2nd to last in the NL in HR last season. In past seasons Jones was a sure 30 HR, 100 RBI guy. This season Jones has a ML worst .159. He also has only 2 HR. Although he has missed around 35 games, his stats are pathetic especially with runners in scoring position. He is batting an abysmal .028 with runners in scoring position and .063 with runners on base. Both of his home runs this year were solo shots. He also has a .261 slugging percentage; 2 seasons ago it was .531. With the addition of Andruw Jones, the Dodgers expected to be contenders in the NL. Right now, the Dodgers are under .500 and are still 0.5 games back of the division leading Diamondbacks.
Barry Zito SP San Francisco Giants
2008 Stats: 3-12 5.99 ERA 50 K 53 Walks 1.84 WHIP
In 2007, Barry Zito signed the richest contract for a pitcher in baseball history (7 year $126 million). In 2007, the Giants thought that the former Cy Young award winner was going to be their ace for the years to come. He had one of the nastiest curveballs in the game. In 2008, it turned all around. He has 9 more losses than wins. He has more walks than strikeouts, which is pathetic. He has a .311 opponents batting average. Back in 2002, he was one of the best pitchers in the game. Now, he is one of the worst.
Aaron Harang SP Cincinnati Reds
2008 Stats: 3-10 4.47 ERA 102 K 27 Walks 1.35 WHIP
In past years, Harang has a been a guaranteed 3.70 ERA 15+ Wins 200+ strikeout pitcher. This year he has been the total opposite. His ERA is almost 1 point up from last season. He is on pace for 6 wins which is 9 less than last season. His strikeouts are the same but ERA is what's most important. He came into the year as the Reds ace, but now Edinson Volquez has taken over as the ace. Harang has had some great starts this season, but he has been very inconsistent. Harang has a been a disappointment for the Reds, when they had high expectation from him.
Honorable Mentions: Jeff Francoeur, Alex Rios, Robinson Cano, Delmon Young, Justin Verlander
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