The National League Most Valuable Player Is...
The Baseball Writers Association of America announced the winner of the National League Most Valuable Player is Milwaukee Brewers’ leftfielder Ryan Braun. The Granada Hills native became the first MVP for the Brewers since Robin Yount won the honors in 1989.
Braun earned 20 of the 32 first-place votes for 388 points while the Dodgers' centerfielder Matt Kemp took second place in the voting with ten first-place votes for 332 points. Braun's teammate Prince Fielder was third with one first-place vote while Arizona Diamondbacks' Justin Upton got the last first-place vote coming in fourth place.
Notably Dodgers' ace and Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw came in 12th place in the voting.
It was a two-man race between Kemp and Braun. It was Kemp who flirted with the batting Triple Crown. While he led the National League with 39 home runs and 126 runs batted in, he came in third in batting average with .324 behind the New York Mets’ Jose Reyes with .337 and Braun with .332. Kemp also led the National League with 115 runs scored and 353 total bases. But Braun's 33 homers and 111 RBI was not chopped liver.
Braun, while helping the Brewers to their first National League Championship Series and first LCS since 1982 when they were in the American League, led the National League in slugging percentage (.597), on-base plus slugging (.994) and extra-base hits (77). However Kemp was second in the League in each of those categories.
The debate amongst fans and writers between the two is that Braun’s team was a playoff team whereas Kemp’s team never had a sniff of hope for October. However all is not lost for Kemp. After winning the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards, Kemp signed an eight-year, $160 million deal to stay with the Dodgers until 2019.