As I did at this time last season, I wanted to get a feel for who Yankees fans see as the most important players on the team. I will briefly list the names I believe people will raise with a brief blurb as to their case, and will then turn the discussion over to you in the comments. The names listed are people that I have heard mentioned in the same sentence as the word MVP. Chime in with your rankings in the comments.
1) Robinson Cano: Depending on the source of your data, he is either first or second (to Josh Hamilton) in the AL in WAR. He has been fantastic at the plate all year, with few slumps sullying his record. His defense has been impressive as well, and I would not be surprised if he won a Gold Glove. I suspect Cano will top most of these lists, as he deserves consideration for AL MVP.
2) CC Sabathia: CC has been a rock in the rotation for the Yankees, giving them quality length every time he touches the hill. He has pitched into the 6th inning in all but one start, and had 14 wins and a 3.14 ERA to show for his efforts.
3) Nick Swisher: According to Fangraphs, Swisher is 12th among all AL position players in WAR. Much like Cano, he has been remarkably consistent this season, and has been a stabilizing force in a lineup that has had some key members struggle for much of the year.
4) Mariano Rivera: The man is simply absurd. .88 ERA, .61 WHIP, 6.0 SO/BB make for another transcendent season. I am starting to believe that he will never age.
5) Brett Gardner: Brett has slowed down of late, but is still among the top 20 AL position players in terms of WAR. He has been excellent defensively while showing an ability to reach base regularly.
Others: Andy Pettitte’s injury kept him off my list for now…..Mark Teixeira is the most likely player to find himself shooting up these ranking over the next few months…..Phil Hughes shows well in many of the advanced statistical categories, but his struggles over the last few months caused me to cut him from consideration.
What does your list look like?