As the 2010 Major League Baseball season nears its' halfway point a few players stand out above the rest. Five AL players performances have created MVP buzz talk. Their on field contributions have directly led to their teams success. It's too early to declare any one player a front runner. Anything can happen with over 80 games to play. Time for a quick look at the AL's leading first half candidates.
Justin Morneau (1B-MIN) - AL 2006 MVP is perhaps the major factor behind Minnesota leading the Central. Morneau's numbers are outstanding. Batting .340, 1.070 OPS, 20 2B, 15 HR, 47 RBI and AL best .448 OBA. He's been getting it done without much lineup protection. His defense has been nearly flawless with only 1 error in 63 starts at 1B.
Robinson Cano (2B-NYY) - Cano has been a hitting machine while playing Gold Glove caliber defense at 2B. Heading into '10, a few wondered if Cano would be a productive #5 hitter in New York's prolific attack. He's been sensational. AL leading 100 hits &.365 BA, 21 2B, 14 HR, 49 RBI & just 1 error in 367 chances. Cano has developed into AL best 2B. Perhaps, the best 2B in the majors.
Josh Hamilton (OF-TEX) - How hot is hot? Hamilton is on fire. His numbers are getting better each month. June will be hard to duplicate (.474 BA, 14 extra base hits in 19 games). 3rd in AL in hits (91), HR (16), RBI (52) & top 5 in most other major statistical categories.
Miguel Cabrera (1B-DET) - Detroit's 1B is one of the most consistent heavy hitters in the majors. He's on pace to exceed his career seasonal averages. If one equates MVP candidates by how their teams perform, Cabrera might be tops on the list. AL leading 19 HR, 60 RBI, .632 SLG. He's never finished higher than 4th in MVP voting.
Keep an eye on... Vladmir Guerrero, Kevin Youkilis, Evan Longoria, Adrian Beltre.