When it comes to the chase for the 2022 AL MVP, it’s New York Yankees’ slugger Aaron and then everyone else.
It’s Aaron Judge‘s world, and we’re all just living in it. The New York Yankees‘ outfielder has been wrecking havoc on opposing pitchers this season and is unquestioned No. 1-ranked player in the chase for the AL MVP.
But while Judge currently has a strangle hold on the pursuit of the American League’s most prestigious trophy, there are others in the hunt. If the Yankees’ slugger stumbles, there are those who could swoop in and overtake him as the season goes along.
Yankees’ Aaron Judge leads the way in the race for the AL MVP.
Aaron Judge leads the American League in OPS and trails only Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals for the major league in the that category. Judge’s 25 round trippers on the season are best by a wide margin and his 6.8 slugging percentage leads MLB as well.
Not only is Judge dominating at the dish, but his team is dominating in the standings. Judge and the New York Yankees are nine games in front of their closest competition in the AL East. While team success isn’t necessarily a qualifier for the AL MVP, it sure as heck can’t hurt. Let’s look that the other candidates vying for the trophy.
- Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
- Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Guardians
- Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox
- Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
- Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays
Jose Ramirez come in at No. 2 in our power rankings. After signing a massive contract extension this offseason, J-Ram is showing the Guardians why they inked him to such a lucrative new deal.
The third baseman ranks just behind Aaron Judge in OPS this season and leads the American League in triples. Ramirez has an outstanding 198 OPS+ and will be a player to watch closely as the season moves into the heat of the summer.
The Boston Red Sox are on a tear of late, and a good deal of their success can be attributed to third baseman Rafael Devers. While J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts are playing at a very high level as well, it’s Devers who’s powering Boston to victory.
Devers trails both Martinez in Bogaerts in batting average and on-base percentage, but the 25-year-old owns a .617 slugging percentage and 16 home runs. Devers leads the league in doubles (23) this season.
You can’t have a discussion about the best player in the American League without including Mike Trout. Arguably the best player in baseball, Trout is putting together another MVP-type season.
While the Los Angeles Angels are struggling, very little of those struggles can be attributed to Trout. The nine-time All-Star is hitting .289 with 16 round trippers and an OPS+ of 186. Trout’s 1.010 OPS ranks fourth in the AL.
Shane McClanahan may well be on his way to winning the AL Cy Young in 2022, though Justin Verlander may have something to say about that. McClanahan owns a sparking 1.84 ERA in 13 starts this season.
Tampa Bay’s hurler leads the American League in strikeouts (105) with last year’s NL Cy Young Award-winner Corbin Burnes joining him as the only pitchers to hit triple-digit punch outs so far this season.