The baseball season is two months old, and there are a few players who have established themselves as major stars for their teams. Here is the updated list of candidates for the American League and National League MVP awards.
1. Raul Ibanez, Philadelphia Phillies: .333 17 HRs 46 RBI
Ibanez has been a great addition to the Phillies team. There were expectations coming in, but he has exceeded those expectations and more. He has been the Phillies' best player all year.
2. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals: .329 16 HRs 42 RBI
Pujols is a close second behind Ibanez. He is continuing to have a tremendous impact on the Cardinals. Without him, the Cardinals would be at the bottom of the competitive NL Central.
3. Carlos Beltran, New York Mets: .352 6 HRs 31 RBI 7 SBs
Beltran is on this list because he is leading the NL in hitting. That is not usually the case for him. He has been a major player for the Mets so far this season. The Mets are glad he is.
4. Orlando Hudson, Los Angeles Dodgers: .335 3 HRs 30 RBI 37 Runs
Hudson was one of the last free agent signings of the offseason. The Dodgers are certainly glad they got him. He has been an unbelievable addition to their roster. He is one of the league leaders in batting average and runs scored.
5. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres: .287 20 HRs 40 R
I realize Gonzalez is on a home run tear. I have him lower on the list because his batting average is much lower than the other candidates. If his batting average goes up and the Padres continue to play well, look for Gonzalez to go to the top of the list.
Prince Fielder, Chase Utley, Ryan Braun, Justin Upton, Freddy Sanchez
1. Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins: .344 14 HRs 46 RBI
Morneau is a former AL MVP. He is looking like a good candidate this year too. The Twins have been inconsistent, but Morneau is not the reason. He is having another fantastic season.
2. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays: .332 13 HRs 55 RBI
Longoria has been an RBI machine this season. He has not suffered the dreaded sophomore slump. He is keeping the Rays afloat in the crazy AL East.
3. Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox: .362 7 HRs 29 RBI
Youkilis is continuing his hot start for the Red Sox. His home run and RBI total have slowed a bit, but his .362 average is enough to keep him high on this list.
4. Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles: .350 11 HRs 36 RBIs
Jones has become a great player for the Orioles. I thought he would cool off after his torrid start in April. That is definitely not the case. The Orioles are playing better, and Jones is one of the main reasons why.
5. Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays: .338 12 HRs 37 RBI
The Blue Jays have struggled recently, but Hill is not the reason why. He is having a great season. He doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Jason Bartlett, Victor Martinez, Carl Crawford, Robinson Cano, Torii Hunter