Jose Altuve of the Astros is the fifth American League second baseman to win the MVP, which has been awarded only 11 times to a second baseman.
Other AL winners were the Tigers’ Charlie Gehringer in 1937, the Yankees’ Joe Gordon in 1942, the White Sox’ Nellie Fox in 1959 and the Red Sox’ Dustin Pedroia in 2008. The award has been won by a second baseman in the National League six times, including two-time winner Joe Morgan of the Reds in 1975 and 1976. The others were the Cardinals’ Frankie Frisch in 1931, the Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson in 1949, the Cubs’ Ryne Sandberg in 1984 and the Giants’ Jeff Kent in 2000.
No position has had fewer MVP winners.
At 5-foot-6 in height, Altuve tied Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto, the 1950 winner, and Athletics pitcher Bobby Shantz, the 1952 winner, as the shortest MVPs. The shortest MVPs in the NL were Morgan and Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, the 2007 winner, both 5-foot-7.
Altuve, who won his third batting title in 2017, is the second Astros player and the first in the AL to win the MVP. Houston’s only other MVP was first baseman Jeff Bagwell in the NL in 1994. The Astros moved from the NL Central to the AL West in 2013.
The Yankees have the highest number of MVP winners in BBWAA voting dating to 1931 with 20.
The finish by Aaron Judge marked the 22nd time a Yankees player ran second. Other Yankees runners-up were Mickey Mantle three times (1960, ’61, ’64); Lou Gehrig (1931-32), Joe DiMaggio (1937, ’48) and Yogi Berra (1953, ’56) twice apiece, plus Bill Dickey (1938), Rizzuto (1949), Allie Reynolds (1952), Bob Turley (1958), Bobby Richardson (1962), Ron Guidry (1978), Reggie Jackson (1980), Don Mattingly (1986), Tino Martinez (1997), Gary Sheffield (2004), Derek Jeter (2006) and Mark Teixeira (2009).
Judge is the second rookie to finish as the MVP runner-up. The other was Mike Trout, who ran second to Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera in 2012. The AL award was won by two first-year players – Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn in 1975 and Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in 2001. No NL rookie has finished higher than third place in MVP voting.
This election marked the first time in six years that Trout, who placed fourth, failed to finish first or second in the balloting. He and Barry Bonds are the only players to have finished first or second in MVP voting in five consecutive elections. Trout was AL MVP in 2014 and ’16 and the runner-up in 2012, ’13 and ’15. Bonds was NL MVP from 2001-04 after having finished second to Kent, his Giants teammate, in 2000.
Altuve, Judge, Ramirez and Trout were named on all ballots.
Ballots from two writers in each league city prior to postseason play are tabulated on a system that rewards 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third on down to one for 10th.
2017 AL MVP
|Jose Altuve, Astros||27||3||405|
|Aaron Judge, Yankees||2||27||1||279|
|Jose Ramirez, Indians||1||22||6||1||237|
|Mike Trout, Angels||6||18||3||2||1||197|
|Francisco Lindor, Indians||4||12||4||4||1||2||143|
|Mookie Betts, Red Sox||2||6||7||1||6||1||1||110|
|Corey Kluber, Indians||1||4||7||5||3||2||1||101|
|Andrelton Simmons, Angels||1||3||3||3||8||2||60|
|Chris Sale, Red Sox||1||3||5||3||3||56|
|Nelson Cruz, Mariners||2||1||3||1||4||4||44|
|Brian Dozier, Twins||1||1||1||3||1||25|
|Jonathan Schoop, Orioles||2||2||3||19|
|George Springer, Astros||2||2||1||1||17|
|Jose Abreu, White Sox||1||1||1||1||2||16|
|Eric Hosmer, Royals||1||2||1||4||16|
|Justin Upton, Tigers/Angels||1||2||1||12|
|Carlos Correa, Astros||1||1||3||9|
|Byron Buxton, Twins||1||1||1||7|
|Marwin Gonzalez, Astros||2||2||6|
|Edwin Encarnacion, Indians||1||4|
|Didi Gregorius, Yankees||1||1||4|
|Khris Davis, Athletics||1||1|
|Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays||1||1|
|Gary Sanchez, Yankees||1||1|