Harper, Donaldson win Baseball ‘Most Valuable Player awards’
NEW YORK: Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson were named Thursday as winners of Major League Baseball’s 2015 Most Valuable Player awards. Harper captured the prize for the National League unanimously, garnering all 30 first-place votes and a perfect 420 points from a media panel, while Donaldson took the honor in the American League with 23 first-place ballots and 385 total points. Harper, 23, became the youngest unanimous Most Valuable Player, the youngest NL Most Valuable Player since Cincinnati Reds catcher Johnny Bench in 1970 and third-youngest NL MVP overall after Bench and St Louis Cardinals legend Stan Musial in 1943.
Harper led the NL with 42 home runs, sharing the top spot with Colorado’s Nolan Arenado, and 118 runs scored and was second in batting average (.330) and walks (124). The only other player in National League history to finish in the top two in all four of those areas in the same season was the late 1920s star Rogers Hornsby, who did it twice. He becomes the first Most Valuable Player in the history of the Nationals franchise, which began in 1969 as the Montreal Expos and moved to Washington before the start of the 2005 season. Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was second in the NL voting on 234 points with Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto third on 175.
All three National League vote leaders for the MVP award were from teams that failed to make the playoffs, something that hasn’t happened since 1959. Donaldson joined George Bell from 1987 as the only MVPs in Blue Jays history as Toronto reached the playoffs for the first time since winning the World Series in 1993. Donaldson led the major leagues in runs scored with 122, led the American League with 123 runs batted in and shared third in the AL with 41 homers while batting .297. Trailing Donaldson for the AL award were Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, with seven first-place votes and 304 points overall, and Kansas City Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who had 225 points but helped his club capture the World Series for the first time in 30 years. — AFP