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Team MVP’s: American League Central

Cleveland Indians winning streak

The Game Haus will continue to recognize those MLB names whose talents and success have boosted their teams this season. Our next leg of MVP’s of each baseball club takes us to the American League Central.

Team MVP’s: Cleveland Indians

MVP: Jose Ramirez, Third-Baseman
American League Central MVP's
Jose Ramirez (Image courtesy NEO Sports Insiders)

The 25-year-old infielder has become a premier slugger this season. Jose Ramirez has not only tallied a career high in home runs, but also is approaching a career high in RBI’s. Besides his 34 home runs and 84 RBI’s, he and teammate, Francisco Lindor have turned into the hardest hitting one-two punch in the division. Cleveland will need these two to remain hot as the Indians continue to pull away from the pack. As for Ramirez, he will certainly receive his second consecutive Silver-Slugger award for his 2018 outing.

Team Rookie of the Year: Shane Bieber, RHP

Though he does share the same last name as Justin, there is no relation between Shane Bieber and the Canadian pop star. Besides, we are talking about the much better Bieber. Shane has helped himself to a 6-2 record from the mound in his inaugural season. Though his 4.24 ERA is higher than desired, his rookie outing stands solidly on its own merits. Give a couple more weeks to adjust, and Bieber will become the next elite ace in the American League Central.

Team MVP’s: Minnesota Twins

MVP: Eddie Rosario, Left-Fielder
American League Central MVP's
Eddie Rosario in 2017 (Photo by

A third-year man from Guayama, Puerto Rico, Eddie Rosario leads the Minnesota Twins in almost every major batting category. Rosario has tallied 20 home runs (best on the team) and 67 RBI’s (best on the team). His batting average has dwindled in recent games. Plus, he hasn’t made as much noise as he had before the All-Star Break.

Rosario’s contributions have proven crucial to the ballclub. If Rosario can return to his pre-Midsummer Classic strides, the Minnesota Twins can have new momentum to build off of and close to the distance created by Cleveland.

Team Rookie of the Year: Mitch Garver, Catcher

Mitch Garver has made his path through his defense. His fielding percentage and range factor are on par with some of the elite catchers in the game. Although his stolen base percentage is over .800, his meager two errors this season still show he has defensive prowess. From the batter’s box, Garver has posted six home runs, 26 RBI’s and .261 batting average may not be the best we’ve seen from a catcher. Given enough time, Minnesota could have their next All-Star catcher in Mitch Garver.

Team MVP’s: Detroit Tigers

MVP: Nicholas Castellanos, Right-Fielder
American League Central MVP's
Image courtesy of

Normally we’d see Miguel Cabrera and/or Victor Martinez anchor the offense for Detroit. But 26-year-old Nicholas Castellanos has really stepped up for the Tigers. Castellanos leads the squad in home runs and RBI’s this season. He is also the team leader in Offensive Wins Above Replacement. ESPN projects that number 9 will break 80 RBI’s this season. As for Detroit, they will have a lot of work to do to bounce back from their misfortunes of recent seasons. Castellanos’ part may be a huge one in the near future.

Team MVP’s: Chicago White Sox

MVP: Jose Abreu, First Baseman
American League Central MVP's
Jose Abreu continues to torment pitchers in the AL Central. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Jose Abreu has continued to demonstrate the raw power he showcased in his 2014 rookie season. Not only has he returned to the All-Star roster this year, but he currently leads the White Sox in home runs (20) and RBI’s (67). In addition, Abreu’s batting average stands at a .305 in his last 15 games. Abreu’s age may not play to his advantage, but he has plenty more to say. Unfortunately, the White Sox will need a lot more than Abreu’s returning power to take back the American League Central.

Team Rookie of the Year: Daniel Palka, Right-Fielder

Another slugger Chicago has working for them is Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, Daniel Palka. In his rookie outing, Palka has belted 18 home runs and 47 RBI’s. Eleven of those 18 slams came from his last 30 games. Similar to Abreu, his batting average on the season is not as high as many would like. But his presence in the batter’s box is not to be overlooked. All he needs is a couple more adjustments to his swing mechanics, and he will be collecting Sliver-Sluggers in no time.

Team MVP’s: Kansas City Royals

MVP: Salvador Perez, Catcher
American League Central MVP's
Salvador Perez During the 2017 season (John Rieger, USA Today Sports)

Royals fans do not have a lot to cheer for this season. Kansas City holds the worst record in the American League Central, at 35-82. Plus, with Mike Moustakas now a Milwaukee Brewer, the Royals will need more names to step up on offense. Luckily, Salvador Perez is a threat on both defense and offense. Perez has cashed in 19 home runs and 55 RBI’s so far in 2018. The six-time All-Star is well on his way to another Golden Glove, too. He boasts a 1.000 fielding percentage and no committed no errors.

Team Rookie of the Year: Hunter Dozier, First-Baseman

Hunter Dozier did not have the hottest start in his rookie season. But he is turning it around in recent weeks. In his last seven games, he has posted a batting average of .273. Overall, he does have a .215 batting average on the season. But he no doubt can be a future All-Star from the American League Central, if he makes the right adjustments with his swing.


Featured image courtesy of Getty Images
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