There is no debate about the American League's Rookie of the Year this season. That award will go to Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout.
However, the Angels have players involved in the debates surrounding the AL's other major awards -- MVP and Cy Young.
Trout has been the leading MVP candidate for most of the second half, bidding to join Fred Lynn (1975) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001) as the only players to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season. However, Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera has come on strong in the final two months, turning up the heat on the MVP debate.
Meanwhile, Angels ace Jered Weaver is one of six strong candidates for the AL Cy Young Award -- along with reigning Cy Young winner Justin Verlander of the Tigers, Chicago White Sox lefty Chris Sale, former winner Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners, and the Tampa Bay Rays duo David Price and Fernando Rodney.
Going into his scheduled start Friday against the Rangers, Weaver had a strong case with 18 wins, the lowest WHIP in the majors (1.00), the lowest OPS against in the AL (.597) and the third-lowest ERA in the AL (2.74).
"There's no doubt he's right in the middle of the conversation. I don't think there's anyone who can deny that," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Weaver's Cy Young worthiness. "I think Weave has meant more to our team than probably any pitcher on any staff just for the fact for us even to be talking about a pennant race, Weave had to step up and do what he could do.
"For a while, he was a lone soldier out there start after start while the rest of our staff was trying to find itself."
The case of both Trout and Weaver might be hurt if the Angels fail to make the postseason. The team took a wrong step in that regard Thursday, losing 9-4 to the Mariners. The Angels and Rays stand two games behind the A's in the race for the second AL wild-card spot.