Saturday, October 14, 2006


1. Johan Santana
2. Joe Mauer
3. Derek Jeter
4. Grady Sizemore
5. Miguel Tejada
6. Travis Hafner
7. Manny Ramirez
8. Jermaine Dye
9. Carlos Guillen
10. Roy Halladay

I'm totally cool with the idea that two players from the same team can be the two most valuable in the league. Minnesota is so top-heavy--only St. Louis is more reliant on its handful of stars--that they needed multiple MVP performances to make the playoffs. If you replace Santana, Mauer, Liriano, Morneau and Nathan with average players, the Twins would be lucky to win 70 games. This is a team, after all, whose rotation was AWFUL after Santana & Liriano, and gave the bulk of its DH time to Rondell White and Jason freaking Tyner.

The top 3 are close: you can reorder them in any way and I won't much complain. Santana is the most dominant player in the league; Mauer is a catcher who led the majors in batting, picked up over 600 PA, and played great D behind the plate; Jeter managed a .340+ average while playing everyday at shortstop. Those are special accomplishments all around.

Sizemore is the new Jim Edmonds. He put up fantastic numbers and played a solid centerfield. Nobody seems to notice that he knocked 92 extra base hits while scoring 134 runs, both tops in the majors.

Travis Hafner was the best offensive player in the AL. He gets the spot everyone wanted to award to Ortiz. Speaking of, you notice Manny Ramirez is in my top 10, but not Ortiz. That's no oversight; Manny changes that lineup completely. If they ever flipped those two, Manny would be the one getting all the love.

Tejada and Guillen are two more shortstops having great offensive value. People seem to take Tejada's superstardom for granted, but also not acknowledge Guillen's achievements at all.

Dye is a big-time corner slugger, not as good as Manny but better than Morneau. Halladay is the AL's second-best pitcher. He warrants a down-ballot vote.

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