Hitting 33 home runs, driving in 111 runs and totaling 77 extra-base hits is a sure-fire way to help propel one's team to winning ways. Ryan Braun accomplished all of this and had the Milwaukee Brewers just two wins shy of the World Series as he earned the 2011 NL MVP Award.
After leading the Texas Rangers to two straight World Series appearances, Josh Hamilton has continued his frantic pace as one of baseball's most feared hitters. On May 8, 2012, he tied a major league record with four home runs and set an AL record with 18 total bases.
Operating with a quiet West Coast swagger, Matt Kemp led the majors with 126 RBIs in 2011. The Los Angeles Dodgers slugger also tied for third with 39 home runs and was seventh in batting average, hitting .324.
A crafty lefty, Clayton Kershaw did his part in 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kershaw tied for the NL lead with 21 wins. With an ERA of 2.28 and 248 strikeouts, Kershaw led the NL in the top three pitching categories, giving him pitching's version of the Triple Crown.
Tigers righty Justin Verlander ended a stellar 2011 season with AL MVP honors and the Cy Young Award. Verlander was the first pitcher to be MVP since 1992 and just the third AL pitcher since 1956 to have at least 24 wins and 250 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.50 or better.