MLB Awards: Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton named NL MVP after 59-homer season
Stanton edged out Joey Votto by a slim margin
Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America announced the 2017 Most Valuable Player Awards on Thursday night. Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the National League trophy. Joey Votto finished two points behind in second, and Paul Goldschmidt finished third.
Stanton led NL hitters in Wins Above Replacement, albeit narrowly, according to Baseball Reference. His 7.6 figure trumped Votto's 7.5 and Nolan Arenado's 7.2 by the slimmest of margins. Of course, it's more likely that voters were swayed by the facts that Stanton homered 59 times (the most in baseball), finished first in runs batted in, and slotted in second behind Votto in OPS. The Marlins also won more games than the Reds did (nine), which couldn't have hurt.
Even though Stanton finished with more home runs and runs batted in, Votto was likely the best hitter in the NL. He led the league in OPS by 25 points, due in large part to his ridiculous .454 on-base percentage -- Stanton, for reference, failed to finish in the top 10 of that measure. Votto also had a higher batting average than Stanton. (Stanton ranked first in slugging, as compared to Votto's seventh-place finish.) For all intents and purposes, Votto essentially tied Stanton in Wins Above Replacement too.
It's worth noting that six different players received first-place votes, including a stray one for Kris Bryant, who took home last year's trophy. Add it all together, and that's why the voting was so close. How close? According to the BBWAA, it was the third-closest NL MVP vote of all-time, and the fourth closest overall:
There was a tie in the NL in 1979 when first basemen Keith Hernandez of the Cardinals and Willie Stargell of the Pirates each received 216 points.
There have been two one-point margins, one in each league. In 1944, Cardinals shortstop Marty Marion won over Cubs outfielder Bill Nicholson, 190-189. The closest American League vote was in 1947 when Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio edged Red Sox left fielder Ted Williams, 202-201.
As a reminder, voting for all major awards takes places after the regular season and before the postseason. These are regular season awards only. The full 2017 NL MVP voting results can be seen at the BBWAA's site.
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