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Joey Votto named NL MVP with 31 of 32 first-place votes

Nov 22, 2010, 2:13 PM EDT

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Leading the league in OPS and leading the Reds to the playoffs for the first time since 1995 has earned Joey Votto the National League MVP award, as the 26-year-old first baseman easily topped Albert Pujols and Carlos Gonzalez by receiving 31 of the 32 first-place votes cast by Baseball Writers Association of America members.

I wrote this morning that Votto and Pujols should share the award, as their individual performances were nearly identical, but Votto actually winning the MVP was expected. His being atop all but one ballot comes as a surprise, but BBWAA voters have always placed a great deal of emphasis on team success and Votto and the Reds beat Pujols and the Cardinals by five games to win the NL Central.

Beyond that, BBWAA voters also tend to lean toward good stories whenever possible, and for better or worse Votto emerging as a superstar in his third full season was certainly a bigger story than Pujols’ 10th straight MVP-caliber campaign, particularly after he won the award in each of the past two years. In addition to his three MVPs, this is the fourth time Pujols has finished runner-up.

Carlos Gonzalez finished third, followed by Adrian Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. Roy Halladay was the top pitcher at No. 6 and the Cy Young winner received one second-place vote. For the complete voting totals, see the BBWAA’s official website.

Votto led the league in on-base percentage and slugging percentage while also ranking among the NL’s top three in batting average, homers, and RBIs. He also took his game to another level in high-leverage spots, batting .369 with a 1.129 OPS with runners in scoring position and .370 with a 1.138 OPS in “close and late” situations. He joins Larry Walker and Justin Morneau as the third Canadian-born MVP and is the first Reds player to win the award since Barry Larkin in 1995.

  1. BC - Nov 22, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Wow! 31 of 32? I figured he’d win comfortably but I didn’t think he’d blow everyone off the map….

    • mcsnide - Nov 22, 2010 at 2:50 PM

      I’m with you. When you consider how close his numbers were to Pujols, I figured it’d be 20-12 or something like that. Wonder if we’re witnessing the same fatigue that caused NBA writers to find reasons to give the MVP to people not named Jordan in the mid-90s. Not saying Votto doesn’t deserve the award; just didn’t think it was quite THAT obvious.

  2. proudlycanadian - Nov 22, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    Congratulations for a great season by the native Torontonian.

  3. Utley's Hair - Nov 22, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    I’ll bet they’re falling back on the old “he plays in the AL” excuse to rob Jeter of this. Typical.

    • mcsnide - Nov 22, 2010 at 2:51 PM

      You, sir, win the thread.

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:04 PM

        I agree! Therefore I will not mention how Votto was inspired by growing up in a City that had an abundance of maple trees and even some wild beavers.

      • mcsnide - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:55 PM

        A city with abundant wild beaver sounds like a great place to grow up.

    • solidzac - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:29 PM

      I know he won the Gold Glove and all, but you do realize that Jeter’s never won an MVP and has been arguably the most worthy player only to be screwed out of it twice, right?

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:41 PM

        I disagree. Morneau beat Jeter fair and square. Morneau and Walker come from a part of Canada that is famous for its lumber.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:42 PM

        Put this at the top of the “Cry me a river” list.

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:53 PM

        No. I was unaware that he won the gold glove in 2010. I was, however aware that he was GIVEN the gold glove in 2010.

      • solidzac - Nov 23, 2010 at 5:10 AM

        Yeah, no one’s asking you to weep at night for Jeter’s lost MVP trophies. But maybe it’s time to put aside the tired “Jeter wins everything and deserves nothing” trope that wasn’t funny or accurate even the first time around.

  4. metalhead65 - Nov 22, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    hooray for Joey and baseball!the guy who deserved it won it! sabermetrics and any other stupid new stats you can come up with be damed!

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