The status of the 2020 MLB season is still in flux due to failed negotiations between the league and MLB Players Association and spikes in COVID-19 cases across the nation. Even so, a scheduled 2020 campaign will likely be for 60 games or less. Despite the significant decrease in the amount of games played, yearly awards are still going to be handed out at season's end. This is the year where players not named Mike Trout can actually win the American League MVP award! In all honesty, it's about time.
Here are three surprise players who can snatch the AL MVP away from the proverbial yearly favorites.
3. Yankees SS DJ LeMahieu
The New York Yankees have ferocious hitters like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. But last season, the Bronx Bombers best hitter was infielder DJ LeMahieu. The former member of the Colorado Rockies shined during his debut season in the Bronx. He slashed .327/.375/.518 while hitting 26 home runs and 102 RBI, with 19 of those bombs coming prior to the league's All-Star break. LeMahieu has shown that he can catch fire quickly, and considering the limited amount of games this upcoming campaign, the Yankees second baseman could run away with the AL MVP.
2. Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers
Mookie Betts is no longer a member of the Boston Red Sox following his trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers. That means the spotlight now falls on rising star Rafael Devers. Boston's third baseman received absolutely no respect from the BBWA, as he finished in 12th place in AL MVP voting last season. Meanwhile, Devers slashed a ridiculous .311/.361/.555 along with 32 home runs and 115 RBI that year -- not to mention he's the youngest player in franchise history to record a 200-hit season! Maybe baseball writers will open up their eyes and put some respect on Devers' name. He has the full potential to become Boston's second coming of David Ortiz.
1. White Sox 3B Yoan Moncada
Chicago White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada is the epitome of a sleeper MVP candidate. The former international signing by the Red Sox failed to catch on during his first three seasons in the majors, but 2019 was a different story. Through 132 games, Moncada hit 25 home runs and 79 RBI all on a .315 batting average and .915 OPS. But more importantly, Moncada showed discipline in the batters box. In 2018 (his first full year), the former top prospect in all of baseball struck out 217 times, the most in the league. But last year, Moncada only recorded 154 strikeouts. We won't be shocked to see Moncada win the MVP after helping the White Sox clinch a postseason berth. Yeah, we said it!