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Bregman finishes 2nd in AL MVP voting

Albuquerque native Alex Bregman came up just short in making New Mexican history.

The Houston Astros slugger and infielder finished second Thursday in voting for the American League Most Valuable Player award to Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels star who won his third award.

It is Trout’s third time receiving the honor. He had 17 of the 30 first-place votes. Bregman, 25 and an Albuquerque Academy alumnus, finished second and had the other 13 first-place votes. Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien finished third.

No New Mexico-born player ever has been named MVP. One, Santa Rita-born Ralph Kiner, made it to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Another, Portales-born and Carlsbad High alumnus Cody Ross, earned National League Championship Series MVP honors in helping the San Francisco Giants to the 2010 World Series title.

Bregman was quick to acknowledge Trout, whom he plays against often since their two teams are AL West rivals.

“Congratulations to @MikeTrout and Marcus on incredible seasons!! It was an honor to play against y’all all year!! Thanks to my family, teammates, coaches and friends!!! Cant wait for spring training!!!” Bregman tweeted.

 

Trout tweeted in kind, saluting Bregman and Semien.

Bregman was on the cusp of adding an MVP honor to his own World Series ring (from 2017) and the All-Star Game MVP award in 2018. He helped this year’s Astros to 107 regular season wins, the American League crown and to the seventh game of a World Series they lost to the Washington Nationals.

While Trout generally is regarded as the best player in the gamek, the broader debate, statistics and metrics aside, was whether he could win the award when he was injured and out for much of the end of the season — and playing for an Angels team that didn’t contend.

Tweeted MLB Insider reporter Jeff Passan, who  had Bregman No. 1 on his ballot:

Meanwhile, Trout had season-ending foot surgery in September and played just 134 games, but he still set a career high with 45 homers. He batted .291, led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and drove in 104 runs. It was just enough to avoid another second-place finish — he’s tied for the record with four runner-ups.

Bregman took advantage of Trout’s absence to burnish his MVP credentials. While continuing to fill in at shortstop for injured teammate Carlos Correa, Bregman batted .333 with an astounding 1.239 OPS in September. He racked up extra-base hits, including nine home runs, but rarely sacrificed his selective approach. Bregman drew 22 walks and struck out only nine times in his final 25 games.

When the season was over, Bregman had bested Trout in Baseball Reference’s version of wins above replacement (8.4 to 8.3), average (.296), walks (119 to 110) and RBIs (112 to 104).

Trout is the 10th three-time MVP and joins an elite group: Barry Bonds (with seven), Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Schmidt.

Bregman told the Journal in a Wednesday phone interview that winning the award would be “a childhood dream.” As for 2020, “I can improve in every phase of the game, and I can’t wait to get after it this offseason,” he said.

Los Angeles Dodger Cody Bellinger was named National League MVP, beating out the Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich. Bellinger got 19 of 30 first-place votes, Yelich got 10, and Washington’s Anthony Rendon got one while finishing third.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

NEW YORK — Voting for the 2019 American League Most Valuable Player Award, with first-, second- and third-place votes and total points on a 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis:

Player 1st 2nd 3rd Total

Mike Trout, Angels 17 13 – 355

Alex Bregman, Astros 13 17 – 335

Marcus Semien, A’s – – 22 228

DJ LeMahieu, Yankees – – 6 178

Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox – – 1 147

Matt Chapman, A’s – – – 89

George Springer, Astros – – – 69

Mookie Betts, Red Sox – – – 67

Nelson Cruz, Twins – – – 62

Gerrit Cole, Astros – – – 61

Justin Verlander, Astros – – 1 56

Rafael Devers, Red Sox – – – 40

Jorge Polanco, Twins – – – 20

Austin Meadows, Rays – – – 15

Francisco Lindor, Indians – – – 13

Carlos Santana, Indians – – – 9

Gleyber Torres, Yankees – – – 8

Eddie Rosario, Twins – – – 6

Jose Abreu, White Sox – – – 5

Max Kepler, Twins – – – 2

J.D. Martinez, Red Sox – – – 1

Yoan Moncada, White Sox – – – 1

Charlie Morton, Rays – – – 1

Matt Olson, A’s – – – 1

Jorge Soler, Royals – – – 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE

NEW YORK — Voting for the 2019 National League Most Valuable Player Award, with first-, second- and third-place votes and total points based on a 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis:

Player 1st 2nd 3rd Total

Cody Bellinger, Dodgers 19 10 – 362

Christian Yelich, Brewers 10 18 1 317

Anthony Rendon, Nationals 1 1 24 242

Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks – – 3 198

Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves – – 1 155

Nolan Arenado, Rockies – – 1 120

Pete Alonso, Mets – – – 102

Freddie Freeman, Braves – 1 – 90

Juan Soto, Nationals – – – 45

Jacob deGrom, Mets – – – 44

Josh Donaldson, Braves – – – 27

Trevor Story, Rockies – – – 26

Jack Flaherty, Cardinals – – – 9

J.T. Realmuto, Phillies – – – 8

Yasmani Grandal, Brewers – – – 4

Max Muncy, Dodgers – – – 4

Stephen Strasburg, Nationals – – – 4

Eugenio Suarez, Reds – – – 4

Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers – – – 3

Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals – – – 2

Kolten Wong, Cardinals – – – 2

Kevin Pillar, Giants – – – 1

Max Scherzer, Nationals – – – 1

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