Ryan Braun was voted the National League’s Most Valuable Player after helping the Milwaukee Brewers win a division title and finish with a franchise-record 96 wins this season.
Braun, a 28-year-old outfielder, finished second in the NL with a .332 batting average and 109 runs scored, sixth with 33 home runs and fourth with 111 runs batted in.
Braun received 20 of 32 first-place votes and 388 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to become the Brewers’ first MVP winner since Robin Yount won the second of his two American League awards in 1989. The Brewers switched to the National League Central Division in 1998.
Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers finished second with 10 first-place votes and 332 points, while Braun’s teammate Prince Fielder was third with 229 points and one first-place vote. Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks received the other first-place vote and finished fourth, one spot ahead of Albert Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals’ three-time MVP.
Two writers from each NL city vote on the award, with 14 points awarded for a first-place ballot, nine for second, eight for third and on down to one point for 10th place.
Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds, last year’s NL MVP, finished sixth in the balloting, while Jose Reyes of the New York Mets was 11th.
Braun won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2007 and becomes the 13th recipient to also capture an MVP award. The most recent previous player to do that was Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies, who won the MVP in 2006, a year after he was the NL’s top rookie.
Braun was named the NL’s player of the month in September, when he had eight home runs and 22 RBI, helping the Brewers win the division title.
Kemp hit .324 with 39 homers, 126 RBI and 40 steals, finishing just short of becoming the first batter to win the NL’s Triple Crown since Joe Medwick in 1937. Kemp led the league in homers and RBI and was third in batting average.
Kemp’s MVP chances may have been hurt because the Dodgers missed the postseason after going 82-79. Voters traditionally favor players whose teams made the playoffs or competed well down the stretch.
Fielder hit 38 home runs and drove in 120 runs hitting behind Braun in the Brewers’ lineup.
Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won the American League MVP Award yesterday, the first pitcher to receive the honor in either league since 1992. Verlander won the AL Cy Young Award last week.