How he can win: Robbie Cano has risen to stud status over his past few years with the Yanks, boasting great batting numbers, silky smooth fielding and a number of consecutive injury-free seasons (he’s missed no more than a few games per season since 2007). While other Yankee batters have aged and taken a turn for the worse, like ARod and Mark Teixeira, Cano has continued to improve—last year, he won his second Gold Glove award and posted a career-high 33 home runs. Who’s to say he can’t continue on his way and make an MVP run while anchoring a questionable Yankee lineup.
Why he might not: That (surprisingly) uncertain-looking Yankee lineup could also hurt Cano’s chances at making an MVP run—no matter how well a player does, it’s rare to see it go to someone on an unsuccessful team. Cano won’t shine too brightly if the Yanks’ stars like Derek Jeter, Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner play like their age. There’s also Cano’s sub-.100 average from the 2012 postseason, which must have left a bad taste in his mouth.