We’ll kick off the American League by checking out who were voted the AL West’s most valuable players.
Los Angeles Angels – Jered Weaver
For the Angels the first half MVP has been Jered Weaver. With the Angels lacking an offensive standout to this point Weaver has been the team’s most important player. Jered has continued last year’s ascend to ace status and has sparkled all year long posting a 1.97 ERA, 2.46 FIP and a ridiculous 0.93 WHIP. While Jered’s K/9 is down a bit from 2010 (7.74 vs 9.35) it has come with the added bonus of an increase in innings per 9. Without Weaver setting the tone at the top of the rotation there is no telling where the Angels might be.
Oakland A’s – Gio Gonzalez
At 9 games under .500 and sitting in last place in the AL West there hasn’t been much to get excited about for the Oakland A’s in 2011 but Gonzalez has been one of the team’s few bright spots. The A’s were counting on the 1-2-3 punch of Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Gonzalez to carry them into postseason contention but Cahill has been inconsistent and Anderson is currently on the disabled list. Gonzalez has a 7-5 record with a sparkling 2.38 ERA to go along with 99 strikeouts this season after holding the Florida Marlins to no runs and just 1 hit in 8 innings in his most recent start. Gonzalez has proven to be the team’s most reliable and exciting starting pitcher and stands out as the A’s first half MVP.
Seattle Mariners – Justin Smoak
There hasn’t been much to celebrate when it comes to the position players on the Seattle Mariners. Smoak though, has been the only consistent presence on the team, leading to way too many “Smoak and mirrors” jokes being made about the team’s offense. While an argument could be made on behalf of pitchers like Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, Erik Bedard or even David Pauley, none of them have individually had the impact that Smoak has had on the team’s win total.
Texas Rangers – Michael Young
My choice for the AL West MVP for the Texas Rangers is Michael Young. Young has been the most consistent ball player since the start of the season for the Rangers. Despite being unhappy at first about moving to DH and the fact that he once asked for a trade, Young has transitioned into this role perfectly. From the start, he hasn’t let his personal emotions with the staff affect his performance on the field or his positive enforcement that he instills in each and every one of his teammates. While Adrian Beltre has been extremely impressive thus far with his glove, I have to stick with Young due to his consistency and attitude.
Be sure to check out our other team MVP picks.
Tags: Adrian Beltre Brett Anderson David Pauley Erik Bedard Felix Hernandez Gio Gonzalez Jered Weaver Justin Smoak LA Angels Michael Pineda Michael Young Oakland A's Seattle Mariners Texas Rangers Trevor Cahill