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Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Posted on: November 22, 2011 2:01 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 8:24 pm

By Matt Snyder

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun has won the National League Most Valuable Player award, garnering 20 of the 32 first-place votes. This marks the first time a Brewers player has ever won the NL MVP. Previous Brewers winners -- Robin Yount (1982, 1989) and Rollie Fingers (1981) -- came when the ballclub was a member of the American League.

Braun, 28, hit .332/.397/.597 with 33 home runs, 111 RBI, 109 runs scored and 33 stolen bases. He led the NL in slugging percentage and OPS. He also helped lead his team to a 96-66 record, an NL Central championship and a trip to the NLCS for the first time in franchise history.

"This really is a dream," Braun said. "This is beyond my wildest dreams to be in this position at this point in my career."

Most Valuable Player
Braun beat out a pretty solid field of sluggers in the Senior Circuit, with Matt Kemp of the Dodgers finishing second.

Kemp's case was very strong, and this felt like a two-horse race for the entire month of September. Kemp challenged for the triple crown (leading the league in batting average, home runs and RBI). He led the NL with 39 home runs and 126 RBI, but finished third in batting average at a .324 clip. He also stole 40 bases, won a Gold Glove and led the NL in total bases.

"Matt's one of the best players in the game. No question about it. The season he had will go down as one of the greatest in Dodgers history," said Braun. "If he had won the MVP I certainly couldn't have argued with him winning. He had a phenomenal year."

Alas, the Dodgers weren't in contention all season, finishing third place in the NL West at 82-79. Ultimately, the difference in team performance seems to be what propelled Braun over Kemp.

"If you honestly assess both of our seasons individually I think his numbers are probably better than mine, and I just feel fortunate to have been on the better team," Braun said. "It's an individual award, but it's a result of being part of a special team, a special organization."

Here are the top 10 finishers, with voting points in parentheses:

1. Braun (388)
2. Kemp (332)
3. Prince Fielder (229)
4. Justin Upton (214)
5. Albert Pujols (166)
6. Joey Votto (135)
7. Lance Berkman (118)
8. Troy Tulowitzki (69)
9. Roy Halladay (52)
10. Ryan Howard (39)

The following players, in order of vote totals, also received votes: Jose Reyes, Clayton Kershaw, Shane Victorino, Ian Kennedy, Cliff Lee, Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval, John Axford, Michael Morse, Carlos Beltran, Miguel Montero, Yadier Molina, Starlin Castro, Craig Kimbrel, Carlos Ruiz, Mike Stanton.

It's worth noting that this was the 11th season Pujols has finished in the top 10 of MVP voting -- and he's only been in the league for 11 years. He's won MVP three times and finished in the top five 10 of those 11 years.

Kemp took home 10 first-place votes, with Fielder and Upton getting one each. Braun had the rest. Only Braun, Kemp and Fielder received second-place votes.

Braun is locked up with Milwaukee through the 2020 season, as he signed a five-year extension in April. The 2011 MVP award will join the 2007 Rookie of the Year in Braun's trophy case.

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Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:20 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

It was racial bias by the voters.  KEMP was the man.
Braun has Fielder, the Brewers are Fielder.  Word to your muther.

Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:18 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Love it.   Mazel Tov!!!!!!!!!

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:17 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

sorry---33 not 39

Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:17 pm

Braun vs Kemp Career Stats

Setting aside the MVP award for this particular year, it is obvious that Braun is the more complete hitter over time.  I will concede that if you go by stats only THIS YEAR....Kemp should have won (I am a Brewers fan) the MVP.  Check out the career statistics:  SMALL DISCLAIMER....Braun has 24 more plate appearances and 17 more at bats (negligible difference):

Batting Avg:  Braun .312  Kemp .294
OBP:     &
Braun .371  Kemp .350
SLG:     &
 Braun .563  Kemp .496
OPS:     &
Braun .933  Kemp .846
RBI:     &
Braun 531   Kemp  457
506   Kemp 464
SB:     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;  Braun 96    Kemp 144
HR:     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp; Braun 161   Kemp 128
2B:     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;  Braun 187  Kemp 140
TB:     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;  Braun 1620 Kemp 1420

It's obvious that Braun has been the much more consistent/powerful hitter over his career.  I will GLADLY take Braun the rest of his career over Kemp.  That said, you have a great player in Kemp....just not quite the caliber of Braun.  Also, Braun and the Brewers signed EARLY in his career (both taking a calculated risk).  Braun rewarded the Brewers with great production and the Brewers rewarded Braun with a near record-breaking contract for a 2nd year pro.  Braun will get his though....from 2016-2021 (2021 is option year) he will make $21MM/year. 

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:16 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Didn't matter if Kemp got a homer in most of their games as they were already so far behind.  He had a good season, but Braun had some better numbers in other areas and more stolen bases.
Wrong -- Kemp had 40 steals, Braun had 33.  Last time I checked 40 was more than 39.  Braun had a higher average, slg% and OPS than Kemp.  Kemp was higher in every other category (H, R, HR, OBP, RBI and total bases).

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:09 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Did Kemp have better stats?  Yes he did.  But did Kemp mean more to his team than Braun?  Nope. 
Yes, actually, he did.  First just look at the obvious. Other than Kemp what do the Dodgers have on offense -- was there another .300 plus guy? Other than slap hitters like Carrol or Miles who were close then No.  Was there another power threat?  No, especially not with Ethier hurt and struggling.  For the Brewers, you need look no further than they guy hitting behind Braun -- Prince Fielder the #3 in the MVP vote.  If you want to be more precise, the "wins above replacement" stats will show you Kemp meant more to the Dodgers than Braun meant to the Brewers by, depending on which method of calculation you use, more than a game to almost 2 games.

Stop thinking that the MVP is somehow the Heisman.  Had the Dodgers made the play-offs, Kemp wins the award running away.  But its hard to be the MVP on a 3rd place team
Believe me, I don't think that at all.  The Heisman is almost as bad as MVP in looking at the team's performance in deciding an individual award.  Fact is, the Brewers were supposed to contend in the Central and they did.  The Dodgers, even before all the injuries, were predicted my many to finish last in the NL West and in fact at one point were 14 below .500 and in last (38-52) then Kemp and Kershaw got hot and the Dodgers finished 44-27 to climb to their 82-79 finish).  The only reason its hard to be the MVP on a 3rd place team is because the voters insist on treating an individual award as a team award and penalizing players like Kemp for the sub-par performance of their teammates.

Since: Nov 9, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:01 pm

No Respect for the Dodgers!

Matt Kemp was very deserving of the award.  Looking at their performances for the year - I find it difficult that Braun's margin of victory was over 50 points.  Understand if Matt Kemp had some protection in the lineup - what would his numbers have looked like?  Granted - Braun also had an exceptional season - and deserves props, too.

Braun did have an MVP season in a season where there were two guys with outstanding numbers.  What I don't get is how he Clayton Kershaw finishes 12th.  JV wins the MVP in the AL - and Kershaw - the NL triple crown winner in the NL doesn't get but a few votes.  Kershaw had 2 less K's than JV, had a better ERA by .18, and only had 4 less wins on a team that was anemic on offense (with the exception of 1 Matt Kemp).  Kershaw ends up behind Halladay (how does that happen?)- 12th in the vote with virtually the same numbers as the winner in the AL - go figure.  Show some respect for players with talent on poor performing teams ... just think how bad the Dodgers would have been without them! 

Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 5:53 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

I agree that both braun and Kemp could rightfully have deserved the honor; the key here is clutch hitting! When Braun came to bat with the chance to help his team win, he delivered. That is what makes a MVP!

Since: Aug 23, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 5:47 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

You think mangers will/can choose the right MVP? They screwed up the 1999 AL Gold Glove award when they gave it to Rafael Palmiero who only played 28 GAMES at first base that year (He was a DH for the most part).

Since: Jul 10, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 5:40 pm

Ryan Braun wins NL MVP

Kemp was easily more valuable to his team. The Dodgers had no one else. No one. Braun and the Brewers had Prince Fielder, who carried a lot of the load and also gave Braun much better pitches to hit all season. Kemp was hitting in front of Rod Barajas and still delivered crazy numbers. He's also a better glove than Braun and plays a more important outfield position.

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