Curtis Granderson vs. Jacoby Ellsbury: Who's the Real AL MVP?

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Curtis Granderson vs. Jacoby Ellsbury: Who's the Real AL MVP?

Jose Bautista or even Justin Verlander may have something to say about it, but the AL MVP race may very well come down to a neck-and neck duel between two fine center fielders.

These two players, on opposing sides of baseball's classic rivalry, are Curtis Granderson of the New York Yankees and Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox.

They are men arriving at similarly impressive ends through different circumstances. For both Granderson and Ellsbury, however, 2011 has been about putting 2010 in the past.  

The 30-year-old Granderson, in his second season in the Bronx, has reasserted himself among the game's elites after an inconsistent 2010 season. He has never hit this well for power, and he's on pace for a career-high on-base percentage.

Across the line is Ellsbury, who played in all of 18 games last season and came into spring training this February still needing to answer questions about his toughness and desire to play in light of his struggle with rib fractures last season. Ellsbury, who turns 28 next Sunday, answered his critics with a breakout year. Ellsbury's turned on the power this year, bringing to the table the fifth of baseball's classic five tools.

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