MVP: MIGUEL CABRERA, TIGERS
Last season Cabrera flirted with the Triple Crown for part of the season, set career highs in home runs (38) and slugging percentage (.622) and led the league with 126 RBIs and a. 420 OBP. If the 27-year-old can get control of his troubles with alcohol abuse, his best years may still be ahead of him.
CY YOUNG: JUSTIN VERLANDER, TIGERS
With Zack Greinke gone from the Royals and in the National League, the horse of the Detroit rotation (with more than 200 innings in four straight seasons), is the best pitcher in the division. Verlander is one of the hardest throwers in the game and, at age 28, the righthander is in his prime.
MR. IRREPLACEABLE: JOE MAUER, TWINS
The former MVP saw his power dip with the move to Target Field—28 home runs in 2009, nine in '10—but the Gold Glover is still the best-hitting catcher in the game. With Justin Morneau trying to bounce back from a lost season, Mauer is more important than ever to the Twins.
ROOKIE TO WATCH: CHRIS SALE, WHITE SOX
The 6'6" lefthander's future is in the rotation, but for now the White Sox' plan is to use him in the bullpen. Whether he's closing games or setting up Matt Thornton, he'll be key for Chicago. In two months in the majors last year he had a 1.93 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings. Closer stuff.
STAR ON THE RISE: SHIN-SOO CHOO, INDIANS
Shin-Soo Who? One of the league's most overlooked talents has hit .300 with 20 home runs and 20 steals in each of the past two seasons and plays Gold Glove--caliber defense in rightfield. If the 28-year-old Korean played on a winner, he'd already be widely recognized as a star.