The Most Valuable Player is annually one of the most debated about topics in baseball. Below are predictions for how the voting will turn out on Thursday.
Miguel Cabrera – Third Baseman, Detroit Tigers
A season after winning the first Triple Crown in 45 years, Cabrera had another campaign for the ages. He hit .348 with 44 home runs and 137 runs batted in. What is most impressive about these numbers is that Cabrera played through a groin and hip flexor injury down the stretch. Expect him to collect his second MVP Award in a row.
Mike Trout – Outfielder, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Trout, the Rookie of the Year Award winner and MVP runner up last season, put up better numbers in many offensive categories this year. While his average dipped 3 points to .323 (from .326), his hits rose to 190 (from 182) and his walks jumped to 110 from 67, improving his on base percentage to .432 (from .399). Defensively, Trout is the best of the other two finalists. Despite these numbers, he will finish second to Cabrera, just as he did last season.
Chris Davis-First Baseman, Baltimore Orioles
Through the first couple months of the season, Davis made American League pitching staffs look as if they were coming up from high school. He finished the year with a .286 average while leading the league with 53 home runs and 138 runs batted in.
Andrew McCutchen– Outfielder, Pittsburgh Pirates
McCutchen was six years old the last time the Pirates finished with a winning record before this past season. While the magic of the regular season did not last through the postseason, McCutchen was a big part of why there was playoff baseball in the Steel City for the first time since 1992. He batted .317 with a .404 on base percentage. It could be argued that he was the most valuable player in all of baseball this season.
Yadier Molina– Catcher, St. Louis Cardinals
Molina only added to his lore with a stellar season, both offensively and defensively, as he won a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove. He hit .319 while leading a young Cardinals pitching staff to the World Series. He would be the favorite to win the award if McCutchen did not lead Pittsburgh back to the postseason.
Paul Goldschmidt-First Baseman, Arizona Diamondbacks
Goldschmidt can flat out rake. The third-year player batted .302 with 36 home runs and 125 runs batted in for the Diamondbacks as he collected a Silver Slugger. However, Goldschmidt is not just a one way player. He was awarded a Gold Glove for his defense at first base. Expect him to be in the MVP conversation for years to come.