Mike Trout: After a disappointing start to his big league career in 2011, Trout has silenced all of his critics with a terrific first half in 2012. Trout ranks sixth in baseball in terms of batting average, with a very impressive .343 mark. He’s only behind Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Ruiz, Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto and David Wright. He’s also tied for third in stolen bases with Michael Bourn. Dee Gordon leads the league with 28, while Tony Campana has 25 and Trout is tied with Bourn totaling 23 thus far.
Trout’s line: 52 R, 10 HR, 36 RBI, 22 SB, .340 AVG
Honourable mention: Yu Darvish
Bryce Harper: How many 19 year olds can you name that are currently in the big leagues? Just one, Bryce Harper. We’ve heard all about him since the Washington Nationals drafted him as a catcher in 2010 and he’s in the big leagues to stay. The Nationals currently sit in first place in the National League East and should be in contention throughout the year. Harper doesn’t have the stats like Trout, but he is younger and more of a power hitter, so you can’t expect him to hit for a high average like Trout does.
Harper’s line: 39 R, 8 HR, 23 RBI, 8 SB, .267 AVG
Honourable mention: Todd Frazier
Chris Sale: It’s been a seamless transition from a reliever to a starter for Sale, which is very impressive when looking at his stats going into the all star break. Sale has avoided injury problems and become the best pitchers on the Chicago White Sox. If he continues to pitch like an ace, the White Sox will be in contention for a long time. Sale boasts a booming fastball that can reach triple-digits at times along with a great slider. Jered Weaver came very close, but since he did not have as many strikeouts, Sale gets the award.
Sale’s line: 102.2 IP, 10 W, 98 K, 2.19 ERA, 0.95 WHIP
Honourable mention: Jered Weaver
R.A. Dickey: Everything has come full circle for Dickey in 2012, he has released his book and led the New York Mets to a very surprising 44-38 record. The knuckleballer continues to get it done, despite some rough outings against the Yankees, Reds and Braves. Brandon Beachy would have been given the award, but he has undergone season ending Tommy John surgery. Ryan Dempster is very close as well, but Dickey gets the nod. Dickey will have to continue pitching well if the Mets want to stay in contention.
Dickey’s line: 113 IP, 12 W, 116 K, 2.15 ERA, 0.88 WHIP
Honourable mention: Ryan Dempster
Josh Hamilton: Hamilton was not off to good start just before the baseball season and that prevented the Texas Rangers from signing him to a contract extension after he had a relapse. Hamilton has battled all kinds of issues throughout his career and alcohol is one of them. Looks like he’s in the zone now and maybe they should have signed him to that extension? These are the kind of numbers you see in a video game, but they are real. Hamilton is going to get a hefty new contract in the 2012 off-season as he’s in a contract year. The only questions with Hamilton are health related, but if he’s healthy he can easily be one of the best players in baseball.
Hamilton’s line: 51 R, 25 HR, 73 RBI, 6 SB, .316 AVG
Honourable mention: Miguel Cabrera
Andrew McCutchen: This was a tough one for me, but I believe McCutchen has made the biggest different of all the players that would be eligible for this award right now. His batting average is absolutely phenomenal and he has quite a few stolen bases and runs as well. The Pirates lead the NL Central, over the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals. I feel that if you had to take one of these players away from their team, the Pirates would suffer the most and that’s why he’s my NL MVP.
McCutchen’s line: 52 R, 16 HR, 54 RBI, 14 SB, .360 AVG
Honourable mention: Joey Votto