The three names most commonly bandied about for A.L. MVP honors are certainly worthy candidates–Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, Robinson Cano of the Yankees and the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera.
Here are their numbers:
* Hamilton: 30 homers, 92 RBIs, 38 doubles, a .356 BA, a .405 on base percentage and a .634 slugging mark
* Cano: 25 homers, 87 RBIs, 36 doubles, a .322 BA, a .387 on base percentage and a .563 slugging mark
* Cabrera: 31 homers, 104 RBIs, 39 doubles, a .342 BA, a .436 on base percentage and a .642 slugging mark
With the exception of batting average, Cabrera has the statistical edge with Hamilton second and Cano third. But keep in mind that the voters usually like their top candidate to be on a contender and after a fast start the Tigers have faded and will likely finished third in the A.L. Central. That said, look for Hamilton, on a club that looks like a shoo-in to win the A.L. West, to be crowned the league’s MVP.
As prejudiced I am for the Pale Hose, I’m not saying that Paul Konerko should rank above any of the three mentioned above–although he’s pretty even with Cano. What I am saying is that he deserves to be in the conversation and at least among the top four as a result of the following numbers:
Konerko: 31 homers, 87 RBIs, 24 doubles, a .314 BA, a .393 on base percentage and a
.581 slugging mark. Among the four, he’s tied for the HR lead, tied for third in RBI, fourth in doubles, fourth in batting average, third in on base percentage and third in slugging percentage. And he’s the main offensive force on a serious contender.
Voters, give Paulie some love.