A new feature here at Windy City Musings are the award previews. Don't forget to vote for the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year in each league.
This year's AL MVP race might be more intriguing than it first seems. The gaudy numbers of Antonio Chapman will be hard to overlook, but a couple of other players have made a strong case.
Chapman, the season 11 MVP and a 4-time All-star, continues to tear apart the league. His 81 HRs this season trails only the 82 he hit last year in Second City history. His 195 RBI's easily led the league. Critics will point out that despite his Herculean contributions, the Riders missed the playoffs. Moreover, he plays a low-value defensive position in first base. Still, 81 HR's is difficult to pass over even in a hitter-friendly park.
Brett Davis played a near gold-glove caliber third base while hitting .333 with 53 HR's and 25 SB's. He knocked in 142 runs and scored the same amount. He and Chapman lead the next generation of AL stars. It's difficult to fault his game. Davis is only 26 and has made the All-star game every season he's been in the big leagues.
Tony Baez played just 130 games, but he made the most of his time, hitting .353 with 30 HR's and 130 runs scored. Most impressively, his 85 steals in 89 attempts is a jaw-dropper. He was about average as a second baseman, but only playing 130 games might keep him from winning.
Kelvim Roa hit .347 with 40 HR's, 144 RBI, and stole 20 bases. Still he was the 2nd best player on a non-playoff team, so hard to call him a contender here.
22-year old Cody Hall was EXCELLENT for Richmond, blasting 47HR's, scoring 134 runs, driving in another 121, stealing 34 bases and playing a solid CF (with a bit of time in RF and at SS). His .296 average pales in comparison to the other contenders, but his position and 5-tool performance makes him worth consideration.