Published On: Wed, May 30th, 2018

AL MVP Power Rankings: All hail Mike Trout

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At the end of each month, theScore’s MLB editors will break down the leading candidates for the MVP and Cy Young awards in the American and National Leagues. On Wednesday, we’re ranking the early favorites for the 2018 AL Most Valuable Player.

5. Andrelton Simmons, Angels


AVG OBP SLG WRC+ WAR
.335 .403 .477 146 2.8

The knock for years against Simmons has been that he’s all glove and no bat. Even as his bat has started to catch up to his defensive skills, the first thing anyone thinks of is his ability to field the baseball. It’s not without reason, as he’s the game’s best defensive infielder, but he’s also hitting better than ever. Simmons is a contact monster who has struck out less often than any other qualified batter (4.5 percent).

4. Manny Machado, Orioles


AVG OBP SLG WRC+ WAR
.326 .394 .614 166 2.7

Contract-year Machado is gearing up for a major payday. His plate discipline has improved greatly compared to the last two seasons, as he has reduced the strikeouts and bumped up his walk rate (10.4 percent). His approach most closely resembles his 2015 campaign, when he hit the cover off everything remotely close to the strike zone. While his May hasn’t been quite as superhuman as his April, he’s still hitting at a rate that could keep him in the MVP hunt long term.

3. Jose Ramirez, Indians


AVG OBP SLG WRC+ WAR
.296 .389 .616 168 3.7

He’s for real, folks, and he’s added a new wrinkle. Ramirez is walking 12.8 percent of the time – well up from his 8.1 percent walk rate from a year ago. The power hasn’t dissipated, either, as he’s already cranked 16 long balls in only 52 games. After a decent April, he put his foot on the gas pedal in May, with 21 of his 32 hits going for extra bases.

2. Mookie Betts, Red Sox


AVG OBP SLG WRC+ WAR
.359 .437 .750 212 4.1

Betts sat out the Toronto series with an ailment, but after being one of baseball’s most exciting players through the season’s opening two months, he’s earned a breather. His 17 home runs are only seven off his total from a season ago, and he’s already halfway to his career high in stolen bases.

1. Mike Trout, Angels


AVG OBP SLG WRC+ WAR
.302 .447 .672 201 4.5

Trout and Betts are neck and neck, but only one is superhuman. Let’s not forget Trout’s amassed these ridiculous numbers despite a career-worst 0-for-21 slump earlier this month. No one has gotten on base at a better clip, and no one has hit more home runs. It’s possible the only thing that will ever get in his way is an injury.

Honorable mentions: Francisco Lindor (Indians), Aaron Judge (Yankees), Jose Altuve (Astros)

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)



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