With the Allstar game just around the corner, we’ve pretty much reached the midpoint of the MLB season. Some teams are already completely out of it, like the Baltimore Orioles and other teams are starting show signs of the wheels falling off, like the Tampa Bay Rays. And then there are those teams that seem to be putting it all together and getting poised to make a post-season run, like the Boston Red Sox and the Texas Rangers. As far as players go, there’s some early standouts who might be hoisting some hardware at the end of the season.
Josh Hamilton is probably the hottest hitter in baseball right now. He’s on a 22-game hitting streak and he’s hitting the cover off the ball. Hamilton recently hit the second furthest ball in Rangers history, a ball that sailed 468 feet. His power numbers rival any hitter in the MLB and his team is thriving. You put Hamilton’s numbers together with him being 4th in the MLB in batting average and 5th in RBI’s and just behind the league leaders in homeruns and what you have is a serious MVP candidate.
There might not be a smoother cool cat in baseball than Robinson Cano. Cano is another one of those homegrown Yankee studs that came up through farm system and was destined to be a superstar. It took a while, but Cano’s sweet swing and sneaky power has allowed him to blossom into the Yankees best hitter. The Yankee second baseman leads the majors in batting average at a ridiculous .358 and he might be taking home the batting title if he keeps it up.
He’s may not be the best pitcher in the game, but he’s the best pitcher in the majors this season and he’s almost running away with it. Most people hadn’t heard about the Colorado Rockies stud pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez until this season. His sparkling ERA of 1.83 and his 14-1 record will definitely put him in the running for the CY Young award, barring a late season collapse of course. If you’re betting on baseball, anytime you see this cat’s name as a starter, its damn near a lock, particularly if the opposing team is a sub .500 team, Jimenez has been untouchable.
They should just give this kid the Rookie of the Year award right now, because the first time you watch this kid pitch, you can tell he’s got some special stuff. Too bad he won’t win as many games because the Nationals offense is anemic. But this kid will be breaking records for the rest of his career and I wouldn’t even be surprised to see a no-hitter in his rookie season, he’s that good.
If they had an award for comeback player of the year it would have to go to the impaler, Vlady Guerrero. He’s always been one of the most talented and exciting hitters to watch in the MLB, as he will swing at and more impressively, hit almost anything thrown at him. I once saw Vlady hit a ball that bounced in the dirt for a base hit and all I could think to myself is, how the hell do you pitch to a guy like that? Pitchers still haven’t figured it out, and now that Vlady is healthy he’s raking again. Guerrero leads the MLB in RBI’s at 68, and he’s a huge reason for the success of the Texas Rangers this season.