The Texas Rangers are well-represented on the list of five AL MVP finalists, which were announced Wednesday by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
A look at the candidates, in order of predicted finish by yours truly...
1. Miguel Cabrera, OF, DET — Everyone loved Mike Trout this year, and with good reason, but Cabrera needs just two words on his resume: "Triple Crown". Yep, that about does it. Move on.
2. Adrian Beltre, 3B, TEX — Beltre carried the Rangers through the final two months of the season after the entire team slumped in June and July. Aside from the fact he's the best defensive player in the league at his position, Beltre caught fire down the stretch and finished with 36 home runs and 102 RBIs while playing through some tremendous abdominal pain.
3. Mike Trout, OF, LAA — Trout was unreal this year, and is possibly the best rookie in MLB history. He hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs and had a .399 on-base percentage as the Angels' leadoff hitter. Oh, and he was a great centerfielder and stole 49 bases — all of that despite missing the first month of the season because the Angels had him in the minor leagues in favor of Vernon Wells? Go figure.
4. Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX — Through the first two months of the season, it seemed the line was forming well behind Hamilton in the MVP race. He had a historic start to the season, which included his 4-homer game in Baltimore. But in June and July he barely hit .200 and missed five games down the stretch because he drank too much caffeine. And that drop in Oakland? Don't even get me started. Hamilton had some great numbers, but they were bolstered by his April and May.
5. Robinson Cano, 2B, NYY — Cano had a great season. He hit over .300, had 33 homers and 94 RBIs for the team with the best record in the American League. But his season was well below the other four. Sorry, Robby.