5) Carlos Quentin - Chicago White Sox's Outfielder
I know, many of you are wondering the same thing. "Why is he down so low?" Well, it simple, his stats don't compare up to the other players. Yes, he started out as a top 2 player in the AL, but he got hurt. Also, he would probably be top 3 in this blog if he would have stayed healthy. His 36 homeruns and 100 RBIs are nice, but his .288 batting average is horrendous. The other four players above him in this blog bat for both the power and the average. He has the lowest batting average out of these 5 as well as tied for the lowest RBI total. All in all, if Quentin stays healthy for the entire '08 campaign he is easily a top 3 MVP choice. However, now he is at the bottom of the food chain.
Quentin's 2008 Stats
Total Bases- 274
4) Alex Rodriguez - New York Yankees Third Baseman
The defending MVP could be called a dark horse in this year's race with his team currently in 4th place with the only thing in between them and the basement is the Baltimore Orioles. His team can be slatted as a disappointment. However, A-Rod has put up numbers worthy of MVP consideration. Alex Rodriguez could very well be a top 2 candidate if he would have been healthy in the first half of the season. In 101 less at bats, he already has 3 more homeruns than the quick starting Josh Hamilton. Unlike the other candidates, A-Rod has affectively combined his speed and his power. Alex is the only top 5 MVP candidate that is having a season with 30 or more homeruns (34) and 15 or more stolen bases (17). However, what kills the defending MVP in this year's race is his outrageous strike out total. A-Rod has struck out 109 times in only 479 at bats on the season. Also, his team's overall disappointment in the 2008 season also brings his stock down.
Alex Rodriguez's 2008 Stats
Total Bases- 281
*Note- only 479 at bats
3) Aubrey Huff - Baltimore Orioles Designated Hitter
I know, I know... why Aubrey Huff? Yes, he is a designated hitter. Yes, he does play on the team in the cellar of the AL East. However, his team's woes can not be placed on him. The Orioles offense is one of the best in all of the MLB. The team's horrendous record can be directly place upon the shoulders of their pitching. When your current ace is Daniel Cabrera, you know your team has problems. You cannot blame Aubrey Huff for his team not pitching. The argument that he doesn't play defense is one that can also be beaten. Barry Bonds is a 7 time MVP award winner. Barry Bonds' career fielding percentage is .984. That isn't too hot. MVP is an award that is mainly looked at in the offensive categories. The MVP voters are pretty close to blind to the fact of the defensive stats. Since they are blind to the defensive stats, they should also be blind to the fact that Aubrey Huff doesn't play defense since it is essentially the same exact deal. Huff leads the league in total bases with 320 and has 48 doubles to pair with his 31 long balls. He also has a .314 batting average which is better than any player you will hear about in this blog.
Aubrey Huff's 2008 Stats
Batting Average- .314
Total Bases- 320
2) Josh Hamilton - Texas Rangers' Outfielder
The MVP favorite at the beginning of the second half of the season is slowly sliding down a slope in the MVP race. The only numbers of Josh Hamilton's that stay as a top slot in the MLB is his RBI total of 124. Even that is now being slowly overtaken. Josh is arguably the comeback player of the year this year in the MLB, but he is 2nd banana in the MVP race in the American League. Hamilton's 31 homeruns is a nice total for any MLB player but because of his first half totals, more was expected from him. What was thought was to be a mark not to be reached by any player in the MLB this year is now tied. Justin Morneau now has 124 RBIs as a result of a stomping of the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend. Also, Hamilton's 116 strike outs is not one of those pretty stats; nor is his team's record.
Josh Hamilton's 2008 Stats
Batting Average- .302
Total Bases- 311
1) Justin Morneau - Minnesota Twins' First Baseman
Chalk up MVP number two for the Twins' run producer. Justin Morneau has gone on a silent but deadly tear and he is taking down every other MVP candidate. Justin's power numbers may not be up as high as the other players', but he has some other stats on his side. Justin's RBI numbers are tied for #1 Josh Hamilton with 124. Justin is doing this without the luxury of Ian Kinsler and Milton Bradley batting around him. Also, Justin has a batting average of .310 which is second to only Aubrey Huff in this blog. Morneau also walks more than any other player in this top 5. He also strikes out less than those players. Justin also plays on a team that is currently above .500 and fighting for a playoff spot. His team could very well either win the division or win the wildcard mainly because of his offensive numbers.
Justin Morneau's 2008 Stats
Batting Average - .310
Total Bases- 298