After two years of playing runner-up to Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout finally claimed what has been rightfully his by winning the American League Most Valuable Player in unanimous fashion.
That wasn't surprising -- Trout hit .287/.377/.561 with a league-leading 84-extra base hits (including 36 homers) and 111 RBIs. Pair it with his defense in center field, and he led the AL in both WAR measurements (7.9 bWAR, 7.8 fWAR). It's just a little funny, since it qualifies as Trout's worst full season to date, but the Angels won their division, so there you go.
Jose Abreu wasn't all that far behind, finishing in fourth place with 145 points behind Trout (420), Victor Martinez (229) and Michael Brantley (185). Abreu received one second-place vote, and it came from Daryl Van Schouwen. Colleen Kane also voted for the AL MVP, and her ballot matched the results through the first five spots.
Back in September, pnoles tried predicting Abreu's finish, and he hedged his bet well enough. He was only confident about Trout and Martinez finishing ahead of Abreu, but he acknowledged that the White Sox's sub-.500 finish would hurt his candidacy in the "postseason or bust" voters' eyes. Pair that with a lack of noteworthy defensive value, and he said a fourth- or fifth-place finish was more likely.
So that wraps up awards season, and even though Abreu fell a little short for the big individual prize, it's the club's best finish since Frank Thomas finished second to Jason Giambi in 2000 (and the less said about that, the better). Plus, Abreu still received plenty of recognition otherwise, headlined by a unanimous Rookie of the Year selection:
We're proud of this guy. #ROY pic.twitter.com/usEXgEi7fE— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) November 12, 2014
Clayton Kershaw won the National League MVP to go along with his Cy Young Award, taking 18 of 30 first-place votes for 355 points. Giancarlo Stanton finished second (298 points, eight first-place votes)), and Andrew McCutchen third (271 and eight).