Your American League Championship Series MVP comes as no surprise: Yankee-killer Delmon Young.
His performance in 2012 was just impressive: He drove in go-ahead runs in all four games. Detroit never handed back the lead after any of them. (The Tigers never trailed in the entire series.) MLB.com reports, "According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that made him the first player in baseball history to accomplish that feat in three consecutive postseason games." Of course, then he extended that record to four.
His 12th-inning RBI in Game 1 was the eventual game-winner and helped save the Tigers after a blown four-run lead in the ninth of that game. He hit .353 for the series with a .421 on-base percentage and .765 slugging average with six hits, two walks, two home runs, a double, three runs scored and six RBI. Just to put that into perspective, Young was a part of more runs by himself (7) than the Yankees scored (6) the entire series.
A lot of credit for that has to go to Detroit's pitching, of course. The Yankees scored just two runs off the Tigers' rotation -- a solo homer off Justin Verlander on Tuesday and a couple of hard hit balls off Max Scherzer Thursday. (And, as we'll never forget, four off reliever Jose Valverde in Game 1). In more than one game, you had to entertain the thought the Tigers could actually have a no-hitter in the postseason.
Young had some good competition for the award though. Austin Jackson also hit .353 with .706 slugging. Peralta may have had a better series than any of them all. He hit .389 with a pair of Game 5 home runs and .778 slugging. In addition to that, he made several memorable defensive plays -- scampering around better at shortstop than he may have done all year.
For all the disdain pointed at Young during the year -- some of which he brought on himself with the incident in New York City early in the year, some of that borne out of fan frustration when nothing seemed to be going right -- Young's enjoying the last laugh right now.
Young's the franchise's leader in postseason home runs and he's third in postseason RBI behind Hank Greenberg and Miguel Cabrera -- and this is a franchise with a 112-year history that will be playing in its 11th World Series. Safe to say, Young's place in Detroit Tigers lore is secure and will be fondly remembered for years to come.