As we are about 40% into the 2019 MLB season, the American League Most Valuable Player award race is getting more and more competitive. From regular faces and previous winners to younger players that are beginning to make a name for themselves in this league.
Different from last year, in the 2019 MLB season the Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, and the Tampa Bay Rays could all be playing meaningful baseball at the end of September, and even into October. This adds younger, emerging stars into the conversation for the first time.
Reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts is missing from this conversation, for now. He has not been as dominant as he was last season. Still performing at an impressive caliber, Betts might become a factor for the award later in the season.
Through June 10th, here are the honorable mentions and top five frontrunners in the AL MVP race thus far.
On the verge of his first All-Star appearance, Rosario is having the best season of his career. The Twins are on top of the AL Central Division and have been one of the most consistent teams in baseball. Currently, in the lead for RBI with 52, he exhibits much more power this year than in seasons past. Through 61 games, he has 19 home runs and is batting .272.
His power would make him a top-five candidate, but his lower average limits his chances. If he raises it as the 2019 MLB season goes on and keeps his power consistent, he could emerge as more of a frontrunner for this year’s hardware.
Just joining Houston in the offseason, Brantley has become one of their more valuable players due to injuries of All-Stars George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa. Possibly viewed as a less likely MVP candidate, the 32-year-old is hitting .317 through 63 games. His 78 hits are third-most in the AL.
Currently, he is a major factor on the team with the best record in the AL. He leads the team in average and hits while playing stellar defense in the outfield.
Out of all the players on the New York Yankees’ roster, nobody would have predicted DJ LeMahieu to be their most valuable player through June. The absences of Miguel Andujar, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge have created more of an opportunity for LeMahieu to emerge as a real candidate.
He has 74 hits through 32 games. His .321 average is currently fourth in the AL. He has been playing both second and third, making him more versatile for New York. He has been one of the biggest steals of the offseason, and a huge reason why the Yankees are second in the AL East.