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Ask an average baseball fan who’s having a great year and names like Chris Sale, Mike Trout, and Ryan Braun will come up.Those three, and some other candidates mostly likely to be mentioned (Josh Hamilton, Matt Kemp), would still probably leave out plenty of other players who are having a good year.
It’s even harder for these “other” guys to get recognised when they are playing alongside teammates who may not just be surpassing them on the field, but in media and fan attention as well.
We’ve chosen to highlight a few of these somewhat forgotten players here.
Stats obtained from Baseball Reference and current as of games played through July 23, 2012.
Thanks to All-Star teammates Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman gets lost in the shuffle
Having the two NL Cy Young candidates for teammates doesn't help Zimmerman's cause. Nor does his 7-6 win-loss record, but he's had a great season.
Stats: 2.31 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 1.15 walks per start
Outfielder Mark Trumbo would be stealing all the headlines in southern California if it weren't for LA Angels rookie sensation Mike Trout
Many give Trout much of the credit for the Angels' resurgence, but the team would be no where without Mark Trumbo.
Stats: .302 AVG, 27 HR, 66 RBI, AL-leading .613 SLG
On top of playing for the mostly-ignored Toronto Blue Jays, first baseman Edwin Encarnacion has to deal with Jose Bautista getting all the attention
But Encarnacion will have to carry a bigger load now that Bautista is sitting out with a wrist injury.
Stats: 26 HR, 67 RBI, .977 OPS
With big boppers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the middle of the lineup, Detroit Tigers centerfielder Austin Jackson will almost always play second (or third) fiddle
Detroit has quickly climbed back atop the AL Central standings and Jackson's great year as their leadoff man is a big reason why.
Stats: .315 AVG, .910 OPS, on average Jackson gets on base nearly twice per game (1.77 walks/hit per game)
Yadier Molina is widely considered one of the best, if not THE best, catchers in all of MLB, but he's been kind of ignored thanks to fellow St. Louis Cardinal Carlos Beltran
Molina is proving last year's offensive explosion to match his phenomenal job behind the plate was not a fluke.
Stats: .309 AVG, .511 SLG, on pace to finish with career highs in HR (25), RBI (83) and stolen bases (14)
Josh Hamilton may have cooled off a bit, but he's still the most feared hitter in the Texas Rangers lineup. That gives Adrian Beltre plenty of opportunities to do his thing
The Rangers third baseman hasn't let age catch up to him, giving opposing pitchers a dual threat when facing Texas.
Stats: .315 AVG, 18 HR, 61 RBI
No-hitter-throwing Matt Cain gets plenty of pub. As he should. But two other San Francisco Giants hurlers are helping them stay in contention
Ryan Vogelsong (left) and Madison Bumgarner (right) are two more in a long line of Giants pitching phenoms.
Vogelsong's stats: 8-4 record, 2.26 ERA, nearly 7 innings pitched per start
Bumgarner's stats: 11-6 record, 1.03 WHIP
Clayton Kershaw is easily one of the five best pitchers in all of baseball, so the fact that he's overshadowing LA Dodgers teammate Chris Capuano isn't surprising
Capuano has rediscovered his youth as a Dodger after so-so seasons with the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers the last few years.
Stats: 10-5 record, 2.81 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is on a short list of AL Cy Young hopefuls, taking attention away from fellow-ChiSox Jake Peavy
Due to injuries, Peavy was having a hard time living up to the giant contract the San Diego Padres gave him a few years ago, but he's settled back in nicely in 2012.
Stats: 3.22 ERA, 7 innings pitched per start, 4.4-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio
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