Adam Dunn celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run. (photo: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE)

A.L. Central Mid-Season Leaders

 

As we wait for the second-half of the 2012 season to get going this evening, I thought it might be fun to go through the league leaders in different offensive categories and break them down for just the American League Central. Here are the division’s leaders at the All-Star Break:

 

Hits:

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) – 111

Alex Rios (White Sox) – 101

Prince Fielder (Tigers) – 96

Paul Konerko (White Sox) – 94

Alejandro De Aza (White Sox) – 93

Michael Brantley (Indians) – 93

Shin-Soo Choo (Indians) – 93

Joe Mauer (Twins) – 93

Cabrera seems a good bet to hold onto his lead here, seeing as how he also leads the division in hits since joining the Tigers in 2008.

 

Home Runs:

Adam Dunn (White Sox) – 25

Trevor Plouffe (Twins) – 19

Josh Willingham (Twins) – 19

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) – 18

A.J. Pierzynski (White Sox) – 16

Billy Butler (Royals) – 16

The return of Dunn’s power after his dismal 2011 has been great; take a moment to also notice the two guys tied for 2nd, neither of whom would have been on anyone’s list of contenders before the season.

 

Stolen Bases:

Jason Kipnis (Indians) – 20

Ben Revere (Twins) – 18

Alejandro De Aza (White Sox) – 15

Jarrod Dyson (Royals) – 15

Alex Rios (White Sox) – 13

Alcides Escobar (Royals) – 13

Not a lot of big base thieves in the Central this season, but the last 2B to steal 30+ in the division was Roberto Alomar in 2001. Kipnis has a very good shot at joining him.

 

Runs:

Alejandro De Aza (White Sox) – 59

Shin-Soo Choo (Indians) – 57

Austin Jackson (Tigers) – 54

Jason Kipnis (Indians) – 53

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) – 52

I hadn’t noticed just how many runs De Aza was scoring. The last member of the White Sox to lead the division in runs was Magglio Ordonez in 2002. We’ll see if Alejandro can hold his lead.

 

RBI:

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) – 71

Adam Dunn (White Sox) – 61

Josh Willingham (Twins) – 60

Billy Butler (Royals) – 52

A.J. Pierzynski (White Sox) – 49

Alex Rios (White Sox) – 49

Jason Kipnis (Indians) – 49

Also not a surprise to see Cabera leading here, as he’s easily tops in the division in RBI since he signed with Detroit.

 

Batting Average:

Austin Jackson (Tigers) – .332

Paul Konerko (White Sox) – .329

Joe Mauer (Twins) – .326

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) – .324

Alex Rios (White Sox) – .318

Quite a race is taking shape for the division’s batting crown. Jackson’s speed brings an ability to collect hits on grounders the others in this list aren’t likely to beat out.

 

On-Base %:

Joe Mauer (Twins) – .416

Austin Jackson (Tigers) – .408

Paul Konerko (White Sox) – .404

Shin-Soo Choo (Indians) – .384

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) – .382

Another close race; Mauer holds the highest OBP in the American League over the last five years, so this is familiar ground for him.

 

Slugging %:

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) – .557

Austin Jackson (Tigers) – .545

Josh Willingham (Twins) – .536

Paul Konerko (White Sox) – .528

A.J. Pierzynski (White Sox) – .527

I think Cabrera has been the best hitter in the division this year, just as he was in 2011… and in 2010… and in all of the American League during his four and a half years in Detroit.

 

Finally, here are my picks for the A.L. Central player of the first-half at each position:

C) Joe Mauer (Twins)

1B) Paul Konerko (White Sox)

2B) Jason Kipnis (Indians)

3B) Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)

SS) Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians)

LF) Josh Willingham (Twins)

CF) Austin Jackson (Tigers)

RF) Shin-Soo Choo (Indians)

DH) Adam Dunn (White Sox)

 

 

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