Home-run king Stanton edges Canada's Votto for NL MVP
Astros' Jose Altuve adds to hardware with AL award
Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins is the winner of the National League most valuable player award, barely edging Canadian slugger Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds in the voting.
Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros won the American League MVP award later in the day, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.
In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team.
"I just can't believe how close it was," Votto told media following the announcement on MLB Network. "Coming up two points short, you know, it's so cool in a way coming up that short because most of the time it's a landslide or it's clear and this wasn't that. I think that was one of the entertaining aspects of this.
'Still in shock'
"And because Giancarlo and I did things so differently and we were both on losing clubs, it's such an interesting vote and to be in the centre of it — I'm still in shock over the 10 first-place votes. That's really very cool. To receive a third of the votes as first-place votes is a true honour."
Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs. His homer total was the most in the majors since 2001, when Barry Bonds hit a record 73 and Sammy Sosa had 64.
Stanton got 10 first-place votes and 302 points in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Votto also got 10 firsts and had 300 points.
Votto was hoping to win the MVP award for a second time in his career after also claiming the prize in 2010.
The 34-year-old Toronto native made a great case for himself this year, starting all 162 games for Cincinnati and leading MLB in on-base percentage, walks and intentional walks. He reached base an MLB-best 321 times, breaking his own club record of 319 set two seasons before.
Votto also became only the third player in MLB history to produce at least 179 hits, 36 homers and 134 walks with 83 strikeouts or fewer in a single season. The other two are Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, who combined to accomplish that feat seven times.
Stanton, meanwhile, led the majors with 59 home runs and 132 RBI's. His homer total was the most in MLB since 2001, when Barry Bonds hit a record 73 and Sammy Sosa had 64.
"I don't feel terribly disappointed because I think it was just two very, very good seasons that went head to head and the subject was more individual performance than winning," Votto said. "Had the team won — had the Marlins won or the Reds won — this would have been near unanimous. People basically said 'we loved them both,' and that's something I'm grateful for.
"Giancarlo plays in a monster ballpark and he hit all those home runs and I was cheering for him. I played every day and I felt like I put together a very nice, well-rounded season and we did it from the very beginning to the end, we both stayed healthy and I think the fans appreciated it. So disappointed, not really. Truly more grateful."
The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.
The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL rookie of the year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.
Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third.
Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honours was completed before the post-season began.
Cool way to lose
The 28-year-old Stanton is just the sixth player to win the MVP award from a losing team and the first since Alex Rodriguez took the 2003 title with Texas. The last NL MVP from a losing team was Andre Dawson with the 1987 Chicago Cubs.
"We very nearly shared the award, which I definitely would not have wanted," Votto said. "But because it's subjective this doesn't take away from how I view my season. I thought it was a success individually and I was very proud of it and I still feel the very same.
"It wouldn't have taken a plaque to feel better about it. Winning another one would have been cool but I lost in a very cool fashion."