On Thursday, we will find out the MVPs in the National League and the American League. When you win an MVP, you instantly go down in your team’s history. (Sorry D-backs, Rays and Mets: You still haven’t had an MVP.) It’s something both you and your franchise will have forever. Terry Pendleton will be beloved in Atlanta forever after winning an MVP. You don’t have to be a Hall of Famer to live forever when you’ve won an MVP.
Today, we take a look at the player in each organization most likely to someday win an MVP for the team they're with now. Even if they’ve already won one, they’re still the best bet. Some teams … it was tough to find someone. But then again: No one ever thought Pendleton would win one either.
• Complete 2019 awards coverage
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays -- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B: His first year might not have been the total world domination everyone was hoping for … but Mike Trout’s first year wasn’t like that either.
Orioles -- Adley Rutschman, C: He’s obviously years away from having his name even remotely in the conversation, but so is everyone else on the Orioles.
Rays -- Wander Franco, SS: He’s the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, and he’s getting close to the Majors. Evan Longoria couldn't end the Rays’ MVP drought. Maybe Franco can.
Red Sox -- Mookie Betts, RF: Assuming Boston doesn't trade him before he can win them another one. If he’s gone, this becomes a toss-up between Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts.
Yankees -- Aaron Judge, RF: If he can stay healthy for another whole season, it’s on the table for him. If Gleyber Torres doesn’t get one first.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Indians -- José Ramírez, 3B: If he can be what he was in 2018 all the way through a season and the Indians get back in the playoffs, he’s a stealth '20 candidate. (Francisco Lindor is also an acceptable answer, but he’s also a candidate to get traded at some point in the next 18 months.)
Royals -- Jorge Soler, RF: There isn’t a clear candidate in this organization, but maybe he goes nuts and hits 60 homers or something.
Tigers -- Casey Mize, RHP: Yes, it’s a longshot, but maybe he’ll be the next Justin Verlander. There isn’t another clear candidate in this organization. Miguel Cabrera isn’t winning any more Triple Crowns.
Twins -- Jorge Polanco, SS: If the Twins and Polanco somehow get better next season, he’s a funky dark horse candidate.
White Sox -- Eloy Jiménez , LF: They were calling him Babe Ruth last Spring Training. And by September, he seemed to have finally figured it out. Look out.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Angels -- Mike Trout, CF: What’s the over/under on how many more MVPs he wins the rest of his career? 3.5?
Astros -- Alex Bregman, 3B: He might just win one this week. Maybe not. But one’s coming.
Athletics -- Matt Chapman, 3B: The A’s need to lock him up, just to make sure he doesn’t win one of these for someone else.
Mariners -- Jarred Kelenic, OF: Again, it’s the Mariners: There’s no clear answer here. So to bet on the future, we’ll go with their No. 1 prospect. (Julio Rodriguez, their No. 2 prospect, would also have been a legitimate answer.)
Rangers -- Joey Gallo, OF: If he had stayed healthy and hit like he did in April and May all year, he might have won it in 2019.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves -- Ronald Acuña Jr., OF: So overwhelmingly talented that the question isn’t if he’s going to win an MVP, but how many?
Marlins -- JJ Bleday, OF: Did you see this guy during the College World Series for Vanderbilt? He looked like he was ready to hit cleanup in the Majors right now. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 Draft is big enough (and old enough; he's only two weeks younger than Juan Soto) to make his presence felt sooner rather than later.
Mets -- Pete Alonso, 1B: The Mets have been around since 1962 and still don’t have an MVP. The only other teams without an MVP (the D-backs and Rays) have only been around since 1998. If David Wright wasn’t going to win one, there might not be a better Flushing folk hero to end the drought than Alonso.
Nationals -- Juan Soto, LF: Remember when we were worried Soto’s genius was being lost among his higher-profile teammates, and even fellow NL East-er Acuña? That won’t be a problem again.
Phillies -- Bryce Harper, RF: One of these years, he’s going to have his 2015 season again out of nowhere, and we’re all going to lose our minds.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers -- Christian Yelich, RF: It feels like he’s going to be a perpetual contender deep into the next decade.
Cardinals -- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: There aren’t a ton of future candidates on the roster, so maybe Goldschmidt rebounds in 2020 and has the MVP season many projected for him in 2019.
Cubs -- Javier Báez, SS: You don’t want to change who he is, but if he could just get a little more plate discipline, he could be one of the best three players in baseball. (Rather than just one of the best 10.)
Pirates -- Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B: Another club without a clear candidate, so we’ll go with Charlie Hayes’ son, who is the Pirates' No. 2 prospect and the best bet among position players currently in the organization to be the star of the next great Pirates team.
Reds -- Eugenio Suárez, 3B: If the Reds are the contenders they think they will be in 2020, Suárez will be the guy leading the way.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs -- Ketel Marte, 2B/CF: The whiplash of what Marte has become is disorienting, but we’re looking at a guy who will almost certainly get MVP votes this year and just turned 26.
Dodgers -- Cody Bellinger, CF: He might just win one this week.
Giants -- Joey Bart, C: If he’s the next Buster Posey, he’ll end up with one of these on his mantel, just like Posey did in 2012.
Padres -- Fernando Tatis Jr., SS: If he progresses (and stays healthy) enough to compete for one as early as next year, we’re looking at a Hall of Famer.
Rockies -- Nolan Arenado, 3B: It’s looking more and more like he’s going to be the primary jewel in Denver for a long while.