Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was named the National League Most Valuable Player today in a vote by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy finished second and Dodgers Rookie of the Year shortstop Corey Seager finished third.
Bryant’s selection was almost unanimous, as 29 of the 30 voters had him first on their ballot. Murphy got the other first-place vote.
Bryant won the Rookie of the Year award last season and the Minor League Player of the Year award the year before. He was the Golden Spikes Award winner for the best college player in 2013. Today he became the first player to win those four awards in consecutive seasons.
Other Cubs to receive votes included first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who finished fourth in the voting. Shortstop Addison Russell received one sixth-place vote and pitcher Kyle Hendricks got a ninth-place vote.
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado finished fifth.
Bryant hit .292 this season with 39 home runs and 102 runs batted in. Bryant had an on-base percentage of .385 and a slugging percentage of .554. Additionally, he led the National League in runs scored with 121. Additionally, he showed his versatility on the diamond this year (or at least Joe Maddon’s crazy machinations) as he played every position this year at least once except second base, pitcher and catcher.
Bryant is the ninth Cubs player to win the BBWAA MVP Award and it is the tenth win overall (Ernie Banks won twice). He’s the first Cubs to take the award since Sammy Sosa won in 1998.
The other Cubs MVP winners were Sosa, Andre Dawson (1987), Ryne Sandberg (1984), Ernie Banks (1958, ‘59), Hank Sauer (1952), Phil Cavarretta (1945), Gabby Hartnett (1935) and Rogers Hornsby (1929). Additionally, Frank “Wildfire” Schulte won the Chalmers Award in 1911, which is retroactively considered an MVP Award by some sources.
Over in the American League, outfielder Mike Trout won his second AL MVP award, getting 19 first-place votes to 9 for Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was third, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson was fourth and Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was fifth. Red Sox DH David Ortiz got one first-place vote and finished sixth while the Rangers Adrian Beltre got the other first-place vote and finished seventh.
Trout has now finished first or second in MVP voting in all five seasons he’s been in the league. He’s the only player to ever do that in his first five seasons.