Bryant and Trout win baseball’s MVP awards
Orioles’ Machado is fifth, Britton 11th in AL voting
CHICAGO — While the Los Angeles Angels stumbled, Mike Trout soared again. Just too good to ignore. Trout won the American League Most Valuable Player award Thursday for the second time in three years, and Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was voted National League MVP in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“To win it one time, it’s hard to do,” Trout said. “Twice, I guess you saw my emotions tonight; it was something special.”
While the Angels finished fourth in the AL West, Trout was his usual brilliant self. The center fielder hit .315 with 29 homers, 100 RBIs and 30 steals. He scored 17 percent of Los Angeles’ runs, the highest percentage in the AL since Rickey Henderson with the 1985 New York Yankees.
Trout, who was a unanimous winner in 2014, had finished second in three of the past four years. He becomes the first MVP from a losing team since Alex Rodriguez for the Texas Rangers in 2003 and just the fifth player ever to accomplish the feat, joining Hall of Famers Ernie Banks (1958 and 1959), Andre Dawson (1987) and Cal Ripken Jr. (1991).
Bryant hit .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs in just his second year in the majors, helping the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. The No. 2 overall pick from the 2013 draft becomes just the sixth player to win rookie of the year and MVP in one or consecutive seasons.
“This year has certainly been one of the best years of my life,” said Bryant, who is set to get married in January. “I mean winning a World Series, now this. It’s just icing on the cake.”
The Las Vegas native is the first NL MVP from the Cubs since Sammy Sosa in 1998 and the eighth player from the club to win the award since 1935. The onceforlorn franchise enjoying its best run in decades also had two of the top MVP candidates, with first baseman Anthony Rizzo finishing fourth.
Voting by BBWAA members was completed by the start of the playoffs.
Bryant was a runaway winner, with 29 of 30 first-place votes and 415 points. Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy, who batted .347 for the NL East champions, was the runner-up with the other first-place vote and 245 points. Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was third after he was the unanimous winner of the NL Rookie of the Year award Monday.
Bryant was the unanimous NL Rookie of the Year after he hit .275 with 26 homers and 99 RBIs last season. Bryant joins Dustin Pedroia (2007-2008), Ryan Howard (2005-2006) and Ripken (19821983) as the only players to go Rookie of the Year-MVP in consecutive seasons. Ichiro Suzuki (2001) and Fred Lynn (1975) are the only players to win the awards in the same year.
Trout received 19 first-place votes and 356 points. Mookie Betts, who batted .318 with 31 homers, 113 RBIs and 26 steals in 158 games for the Boston Red Sox, was second with 311 points, and AL batting champion Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros was third, followed by Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado finished fifth after placing fourth a season ago. Machado, 23, who set career highs by batting .294 with 37 home runs, 96 RBIs and an .876 OPS, was one of six players listed on every ballot.
Retiring Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who got one first-place vote, finished sixth in his final year in the majors.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished 11th, higher than any other pitcher. Britton converted all 47 of his save opportunities and had a 0.54 ERA in 2016.
The Cubs’ Kris Bryant hit .292 with 39 homers in his second year in the majors.
The Angels’ Mike Trout hit .315 with 29 homers, 100 RBIs and 30 steals.