Hamilton wins MVP
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton has won the American League Most Valuable Player Award. He beat out Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. He is the fifth Rangers player to win the award. Juan Gonzalez won it twice in 1996 and 1998, Jeff Burroughs won it in 1974 and Alex Rodriguez won it in 2003.
Hamilton, 29, won the batting title with a .359 average and also finished first in the league in slugging percentage (.633), on-base percentage plus slugging (1.044) and batting with runners in scoring position (.369). Despite missing 29 games in September due to a bruised ribcage, Hamilton had 32 home runs and 100 runs batted in and also put together the longest hitting streak in the majors of 23 games from June 6-30.
He was listed first on 22 of the 28 ballots cast by two writers in each league city, second on four and fourth on two for a total of 358 points, based on a tabulation system rewarding 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third on down to one for 10th. Hamilton being named MVP of the AL Championship Series had no bearing on this election because balloting is conducted prior to the start of post-season play.
Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera received five first-place votes and was runner-up in the balloting with 262 points. Cabrera led the league in RBI (126) and on base percentage (.420), was second in batting (.328), slugging (.622), total bases (341) and runs (111) and third in home runs (38). Cabrera, who ranked fourth in the 2009 election, has placed in the top five in MVP balloting in four of the past six years.
The other first-place vote went to Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, who finished fourth with 165 points, behind New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who placed second on the most ballots (12) and totaled 229 points.
Bautista led all major leaguers in home runs with 54 and also topped the AL in total bases (351) and extra-base hits (92) while batting .260 with 124 RBI. Cano hit .319 with 29 home runs, 109 RBI and 103 runs and was second in the league in hits (200) and multi-hit games (59) and third in total bases (334).
Hamilton, Cabrera, Cano and Bautista were named on every ballot. In all, 20 players received votes, the fewest since the 2000 election in the AL that had 19.
Also placing in the top 10 were Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko (.312, 39 HR, 111 RBI), Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (.294, 22 HR, 104 RBI), Rays left fielder Carl Crawford (.307, 19 HR, 90 RBI, 13 3B, 110 R, 47 SB), Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer (.327, 9 HR, 75 RBI), Boston Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre (.321, 28 HR, 108 RBI, 49 2B) and Twins left fielder Delmon Young (.298, 21 HR, 112 RBI).