Brewers' Christian Yelich wins National League MVP
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BASEBALL | NATIONAL LEAGUE MVP

Brewers' Christian Yelich wins National League MVP

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MILWAUKEE — Add another accolade to Christian Yelich’s already-impressive first season with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The outfielder was named National League Most Valuable Player — one vote shy of unanimously — on Thursday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, making him the fourth player in franchise history to earn the honor.

Acquired in January in a blockbuster trade that sent four minor leaguers to Miami, Yelich, 26, was expected to be a catalyst atop a Milwaukee lineup that struggled with consistency a year ago when the Brewers fell a game short of the playoffs.

Yelich turned out to be everything the Brewers had hoped for and then some. He became the first Brewers player to win a batting title (.326) and fell two home runs and two RBIs short of becoming the NL’s first Triple Crown winner since 1937.

His .598 slugging percentage and 1.000 OPS also led the NL, and he was the Brewers’ leader in almost every major statistical category. Yelich finished with 187 hits, including 34 doubles and 36 home runs, along with 110 RBIs and 118 runs scored.

Yelich took a .292 average, 11 home runs and 43 RBIs into his first All-Star Game appearance. But he took his game to another level in the second half, batting .367 with a 1.219 OPS. Yelich was a nightmare for opposing pitchers down the stretch as the Brewers surged to the NL Central Division title.

“To think about where I was 12 months ago to where we are now, it’s hard to describe,” Yelich said. “I remember celebrating with (2017 MVP and former teammate Giancarlo) Stanton last year. I would never have guessed I’d be standing in those shoes a year later.”

He solidified his candidacy with a torrid performance over the final month, batting .370 with 10 home runs, 34 RBIs and a 1.313 OPS.

“Being in Milwaukee down the stretch was unbelievable,” Yelich said. “Playing in a pennant race, every game mattered. We needed to win every game to get to the playoffs, and as a player, that brings the best out of you.”

Two BBWAA writers from each NL city voted for the award and all but one — Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, who had Yelich second behind Mets right-hander and this year’s Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom — had Yelich atop their ballots.

He finished with 415 total points, well ahead of second-place finisher Javy Baez of the Cubs, who received 250. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado finished third with 203 points while Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and deGrom rounded out the top five with 174 and 141 points, respectively.

“If I knew that was going to happen, I would have been a lot less nervous than I actually was,” Yelich said. “It’s a huge honor. It’s hard to put into words right now, but I’m definitely appreciative of it.”

Teammates Ryan Braun and Mike Moustakas, as well as Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, were with Yelich as he watched the announcement with family and friends from his home in Westlake Village, California — an area that has been ravaged over the past few days by wildfires and was the site of a mass-shooting last weekend.

Sporting a Los Angeles Fire Department hat on the nationally-televised broadcast, Yelich thanked first-responders and firefighters for their efforts and hoped the news brought some joy during a difficult time for his neighbors.

“It’s been tough,” he said. “There’s a lot of destruction around here. A lot of people lost their houses. People lost their lives.

“Our hearts go out to everybody that’s been affected.”

Brewers players have been named MVP five times. Closer Rollie Fingers was the first, winning the AL award in 1981. Robin Yount won it in 1982 and 1989, and Braun became the first Milwaukee player to win the NL award in 2011. The franchise was moved from the AL to the NL in 1998.


National League MVP Votes

Voting for the 2018 National League Most Valuable Player Award, with first-, second- and third-place votes and total points based on a 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis:

Player

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Christian Yelich, Brewers

29

1

-

415

Javier Baez, Cubs

-

19

4

250

Nolan Arenado, Rockies

-

3

8

203

Freddie Freeman, Braves

-

-

8

174

Jacob deGrom, Mets

1

7

1

141

Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks

-

-

1

115

Lorenzo Cain, Brewers

-

-

1

109

Trevor Story, Rockies

-

-

3

108

Matt Carpenter, Cardinals

-

-

2

105

Max Scherzer, Nationals

-

-

2

59

Anthony Rendon, Nationals

-

-

-

21

Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves

-

-

-

19

Aaron Nola, Phillies

-

-

-

16

Justin Turner, Dodgers

-

-

-

10

Max Muncy, Dodgers

-

-

-

8

Jesus Aguilar, Brewers

-

-

-

7

Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

-

-

-

6

Nick Markakis, Braves

-

-

-

2

Eugenio Suarez, Reds

-

-

-

2

National League MVPs

x-unanimous

2018 - Christian Yelich, Milwaukee

2017 - Giancarlo Stanton, Miami

2016 - Kris Bryant, Chicago

2015 - x-Bryce Harper, Washington

2014 - Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles

2013 - Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh

2012 - Buster Posey, San Francisco

2011 - Ryan Braun, Milwaukee

2010 - Joey Votto, Cincinnati

2009 - x-Albert Pujols, St. Louis

2008 - Albert Pujols, St. Louis

2007 - Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia

2006 - Ryan Howard, Philadelphia

2005 - Albert Pujols, St. Louis

2004 - Barry Bonds, San Francisco

2003 - Barry Bonds, San Francisco

2002 - x-Barry Bonds, San Francisco

2001 - Barry Bonds, San Francisco

2000 - Jeff Kent, San Francisco

1999 - Chipper Jones, Atlanta

1998 - Sammy Sosa, Chicago

1997 - Larry Walker, Colorado

1996 - x-Ken Caminiti, San Diego

1995 - Barry Larkin, Cincinnati

1994 - x-Jeff Bagwell, Houston

1993 - Barry Bonds, San Francisco

1992 - Barry Bonds, Pittsburgh

1991 - Terry Pendleton, Atlanta

1990 - Barry Bonds, Pittsburgh

1989 - Kevin Mitchell, San Francisco

1988 - Kirk Gibson, Los Angeles

1987 - Andre Dawson, Chicago

1986 - Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia

1985 - Willie McGee, St. Louis

1984 - Ryne Sandberg, Chicago

1983 - Dale Murphy, Atlanta

1982 - Dale Murphy, Atlanta

1981 - Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia

1980 - x-Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia

1979 - Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh, and Keith Hernandez, St. Louis

1978 - Dave Parker, Pittsburgh

1977 - George Foster, Cincinnati

1976 - Joe Morgan, Cincinnati

1975 - Joe Morgan, Cincinnati

1974 - Steve Garvey, Los Angeles

1973 - Pete Rose, Cincinnati

1972 - Johnny Bench, Cincinnati

1971 - Joe Torre, St. Louis

1970 - Johnny Bench, Cincinnati

1969 - Willie McCovey, San Francisco

1968 - Bob Gibson, St. Louis

1967 - x-Orlando Cepeda, St. Louis

1966 - Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh

1965 - Willie Mays, San Francisco

1964 - Ken Boyer, St. Louis

1963 - Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles

1962 - Maury Wills, Los Angeles

1961 - Frank Robinson, Cincinnati

1960 - Dick Groat, Pittsburgh

1959 - Ernie Banks, Chicago

1958 - Ernie Banks, Chicago

1957 - Hank Aaron, Milwaukee

1956 - Don Newcombe, Brooklyn

1955 - Roy Campanella, Brooklyn

1954 - Willie Mays, New York

1953 - Roy Campanella, Brooklyn

1952 - Hank Sauer, Chicago

1951 - Roy Campanella, Brooklyn

1950 - Jim Konstanty, Philadelphia

1949 - Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn

1948 - Stan Musial, St. Louis

1947 - Bob Elliott, Boston

1946 - Stan Musial, St. Louis

1945 - Phil Cavarretta, Chicago

1944 - Marty Marion, St. Louis

1943 - Stan Musial, St. Louis

1942 - Mort Cooper, St. Louis

1941 - Dolph Camilli, Brooklyn

1940 - Frank McCormick, Cincinnati

1939 - Bucky Walters, Cincinnati

1938 - Ernie Lombardi, Cincinnati

1937 - Joe Medwick, St. Louis

1936 - x-Carl Hubbell, New York

1935 - Gabby Hartnett, Chicago

1934 - Dizzy Dean, St. Louis

1933 - Carl Hubbell, New York

1932 - Chuck Klein, Philadelphia

1931 - Frank Frisch, St. Louis


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