It’s early in the season to be predicting who will win the 2012 MLB MVP award, but it’s always fun. Josh Hamilton is the front-runner through the first month of the season after his four home run game, but there will always be some changes as the season progresses.
Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas Rangers
Saying that Josh Hamilton has been completely dominating the American League over the past week wouldn’t do him much justice. On Tuesday, Hamilton became the 16th player in Major League history to hit four homeruns in a game, but Tuesday’s monster performance was just the beginning of a historical week from the Rangers’ slugger.
Hamilton launched another homerun on Thursday against the Orioles, and he blasted two more against the Angels on Friday evening. So what happened Saturday? Yes, you probably guess it, he hit another dinger adding to his total of 17 on the early season. It’s clear that the Ranger’s star has one of the best power bats in the league, and if you combine that with the ability to go on torrid streaks, you have a recipe for complete dominance (or disaster for his opponents).
Jered Weaver, P, Los Angeles Angels
There haven’t been many bright spots for an Angels team that is currently sitting in last place in the A.L West, but their ace pitcher, Jered Weaver has been one of the few positives. Last year Justin Verlander won the MVP award which was shocking to many fans around the game because pitchers have their own award. But with Verlander winning it last year he might’ve opened the door for other pitchers to take home this honor in the future.
Weaver is certainly off to a stellar start, a start that already includes two complete games with one of them being a no-hitter against the Twins. Despite getting roughed up for eight runs against the Rangers on Sunday night, Weaver is very respectable 5-1 with a 2.83 ERA. Right now he’s one of the frontrunners to win the Cy Young award in the American League, and if he keeps pitching like he has all year, the MVP award isn’t out of the question for the Angels ace.
Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles
At 22-13, the Orioles have the second best record in the American League, and much of that success falls on the back Adam Jones who is having a career year.
Jones has always played a great center field, but now the hitting component is finally starting to come into play with the Orioles budding star. He is hitting .292, but he has jacked ten home runs which is fifth in the American League. Along with the basic stats, Jones has a 2.2 WAR (Win Above Replacement), and that’s the third highest WAR in the American League. There are several factors that go into this stat, but it’s a good barometer for a player’s success.
It would certainly be a shock if a player from the Orioles remains in MVP contention throughout the entire season, but Adam Jones will definitely have an outside chance at the award.