Top 10 AL MVP candidates in a shortened MLB season

With the MLB announcing that there will be a 60 game season, it’s time to see who are the top contenders for the AL MVP and how a shortened season could change the entire field.

Excitement is in the air now that the MLB is officially returning as of Tuesday night. The athletes get to get back on the field and play the sport they love at a high level once again. And while there are plenty of rules in order, including fans not being attendance, the fact that baseball is back is exciting enough. With that being said, it’s time to look to the future and how these players could perform in the shortened season.

The American League is in an interesting spot when it comes to players, as Mookie Betts being shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers saw the top echelon of the AL take a hit. That isn’t to say they are without plenty of talent on their side. It may present a chance for young players to grab a hold of a spot in the attention of the fans.

What is most interesting about this shortened season will be seeing how the Most Valuable Player awards go down. Yes, the constant names will be there, but with 102 games taken away, it could give some players you wouldn’t expect to put their names in the conversation.

That being said, this is a look at the top 10 players who will contend for the AL MVP this season, with No. 10 certainly set to raise some eyebrows right off the bat.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – SEPTEMBER 03: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox smiles during the ninth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park on September 03, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Twins defeat the Red Sox 6-5. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

10

Rafael Devers

3B Boston Red Sox

There’s more than one reason as to why the Boston Red Sox were so comfortable with moving on from Mookie Betts this season. Yes, one reason was to get under the luxury tax and not wanting to pay the big bucks for Betts’ talent, but the other is they see another potential “Face of the Franchise” already on the roster. Rafael Devers had a breakout year in 2019, setting himself up to be the face of the Red Sox moving forward.

After struggling in his first full season in 2018, Devers exploded for the Red Sox in 2019. He led the team in both batting averages and hits last season, getting over the 200 plateau at only 22 years old. Add in the career highs in home runs and RBIs with 32 and 115 respectively and an excellent OPS of .916, you have a complete force at the plate. He also totaled the most bases in all of the Major Leagues with 359.

To go along with his magnificent bat, he vastly improved his defense, becoming a plus defender at the hot corner. The defensive side of the ball had long been his problem, and the fact that he has found the fix makes it even more believable that 2019 was only the beginning of his rise to stardom.

The American League is in need of some star power not named Mike Trout. Another excellent season could help move Devers into the conversation and beyond.

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