Two members of the Baseball Writers Association of America covering each American League team vote annually for the MVP.
In the spirit of transparency, here is how I voted.
A few notes: I saw nine of the 10 players live at least six times, with Jose Bautista the lone exception. I look at all kinds of stats but don't use them as the sole basis for my voting. A player's case was bolstered if he played on a winner. Defense is a factor. There are several other things I consider, but let's not go crazy here.
Ultimately, I chose Josh Hamilton as most valuable because he carried the Rangers as they moved from tied for first in the AL West on June 1 to 8 games up Sept. 4, the day he broke three ribs. He had the numbers, the defensive skills, speed and other intangibles that made him the choice. The fact that he played only five times after Aug. 31 -- and games played is part of the criteria voters contemplate -- didn't penalize him because he had proven his value in June, July and August.
1. Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas Rangers
2. Robinson Cano, 2b, New York Yankees
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1b, Detroit Tigers
4. Carl Crawford, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
5. Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota Twins
6. Jose Bautista, 3b/OF, Toronto Blue Jays
7. Evan Longoria, 3b, Tampa Bay Rays
8. Adrian Beltre, 3b, Boston Red Sox
9. Paul Konerko, 1b, Chicago White Sox
10. Vladimir Guerrero, dh, Texas Rangers
-- Jeff Wilson