They won’t be in the leaguewide conversation, but the AL Central had some excellent performances this season. Here’s the MVP of each team:
Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis give Cleveland a terrific combo up the middle, and the pitching staff was solid again. But in addition to being a superior outfielder, Michael Brantley is a sophisticated hitter. He entered Saturday leading MLB with 45 doubles, batting .313 and collecting more walks (60) than strikeouts (51).
A true five-tool player, Lorenzo Cain is batting .307 with 16 home runs and 28 stolen bases and has played terrific, occasionally spectacular defense in center field.
Tougher call than you’d think, since J.D. Martinez has had a break-out season (38 home runs and 101 RBI entering Saturday). But Miguel Cabrera, even in missing six weeks because of a calf strain, still will win his fourth batting title in five years and lead the AL in on-base percentage.
Jose Abreu remains the centerpiece of Chicago’s offense, reaching 30 homers, 100 RBI and an .850 OPS for the second straight season.