Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen, whose all-around play helped the Pirates reach postseason play for the first time in 21 years, was elected the National League Most Valuable Player in balloting by the BBWAA that was announced on MLB Network.
McCutchen, 27, was named first on 28 ballots, second on one and third on one of the 30 ballots cast by two writers representing each league city to score 409 points, based on a tabulation system rewarding 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third and on down to one for 10th. He batted .317 with 21 home runs, 84 runs batted in, 97 runs and 27 stolen bases and was second in the league with 60 multi-hit games.
The other two first-place votes went to St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (.319, 12 HR, 80 RBI), who finished in third place overall with 219 points. Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, the league leader in home runs (36), RBI (125), slugging percentage (.551), OPS (.952) and total bases (332) while batting .302, was the runner-up in the balloting with 242 points.
McCutchen, Goldschmidt and Molina were listed on every ballot, as were Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter (.318, 11 HR, 78 RBI, 126 R, 199 H, 55 2B), who ranked fourth with 194 points, and Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (.319, 23 HR, 109 RBI), who was fifth with 154 points.
Rounding out the top 10 were Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (.305, 24 HR, 73 RBI, .435 OBP, 135 BB), Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA, 232 K), Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (.305, 20 HR, 57 RBI), Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez (.284, 24 HR, 73 RBI, 40 SB) and Reds right fielder Jay Bruce (.262, 30 HR, 109 RBI). In all, 24 players gained mention on the ballot.
McCutchen finished third in the 2012 election, which marked the highest placement for a Pittsburgh player since 1992 when Barry Bonds won the second of his seven MVP Awards (the remaining five were with the San Francisco Giants). In the interim, the highest MVP ranking for a Pirates player was in 2006 when Freddie Sanchez was 17th.
It marked the seventh time the Pirates have had the league’s MVP. In addition to Bonds, the other Pittsburgh winners were Dick Groat in 1960, Roberto Clemente in 1966, Dave Parker in 1978 and Willie Stargell, the co-winner in 1979 with the Cardinals’ Keith Hernandez.
The Pirates qualified for a wild-card berth for their first postseason appearance since 1992 when they won the NL East and lost to the Braves in the NL Championship Series. The 2013 Pirates won the wild-card playoff against the Reds but lost to the Cardinals in the NL Division Series. Award balloting takes place before the start of postseason play.
This year was the 16th time a center fielder was named MVP and the sixth time in the NL. Willie Mays in 1954 and ’65 and Dale Murphy in 1982 and ‘83 each won twice. The other NL center fielder to win was Willie McGee in 1985. In the American League, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle won three times apiece, DiMaggio in 1939, ’41 and ’47 and Mantle in 1956, ’57 and ’62. Other center fielders to win in the AL were Fred Lynn in 1975, Robin Yount in 1989, Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997 and Josh Hamilton in 2010. Yount also won in 1982 as a shortstop.
The runner-up finish by Goldschmidt was the highest for the Diamondbacks, who have never had an MVP. The previous best result for an Arizona player was third place twice – Matt Williams in 1999 and Luis Gonzalez in 2001.
The voting (14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system):
2013 NL MVP
|Andrew McCutchen, Pirates||28||1||1||409|
|Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs||15||9||1||3||2||242|
|Yadier Molina, Cardinals||2||8||4||6||6||1||2||1||219|
|Matt Carpenter, Cardinals||6||5||4||3||9||1||1||1||194|
|Freddie Freeman, Braves||5||7||8||8||1||1||154|
|Joey Votto, Reds||2||8||7||3||4||1||2||149|
|Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers||8||4||4||5||4||1||146|
|Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers||1||1||2||1||2||3||3||3||58|
|Carlos Gomez, Brewers||1||3||6||2||3||43|
|Jay Bruce, Reds||1||1||3||2||3||30|
|Craig Kimbrel, Braves||1||1||3||3||27|
|Shin Soo Choo, Reds||1||1||1||4||3||23|
|Jayson Werth, Nationals||1||2||2||6||20|
|Andrelton Simmons, Braves||2||4||14|
|Yasiel Puig, Dodgers||1||2||10|
|Hunter Pence, Giants||1||1||2||7|
|Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies||2||1||5|
|Allen Craig, Cardinals||1||1||4|
|Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers||1||1||4|
|Buster Posey, Giants||1||3|
|Adam Wainwright, Cardinals||1||3|
|Michael Cuddyer, Rockies||3||3|
|Matt Holliday, Cardinals||1||2|
|Russell Martin, Pirates||1||1|