Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich was selected the National League’s Most Valuable Player on Thursday, the first such honor of the outfielder’s career.
Yelich earned 29 of 30 first-place votes and 415 total points in winning over Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez and Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. He became the fourth player in Brewers history to win an MVP.
“It’s unbelievable,” Yelich said. “It’s really hard to put into words right now. You never dream of winning an award like this.”
The only first-place vote Yelich didn’t get went to New York Mets Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom.
In his debut season with the team, Yelich led the Brewers to a 96-win season and a spot in the NL playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Yelich hit .326 in his first season with the Brewers, becoming the first player in franchise history to win the NL batting title.
The 26-year-old belted 36 home runs and drove in 110 runs, totals that put him in contention for the Triple Crown. Yelich finished tied for third in home runs and tied for second in RBIs.
Yelich’s .770 slugging percentage after the All-Star break rated as baseball’s best in 14 years, according to MLB.com. Yelich also hit .367 with 25 home runs and 67 RBIs in his final 65 games of the regular season.
Yelich posted career highs in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, on-base-plus-slugging percentage, home runs, runs, RBIs and stolen bases. Further, he hit for the cycle twice late in the season.
Yelich led the Brewers to the NL Championship Series, where they fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.
Rollie Fingers, Robin Yount and Ryan Braun were the first three MVP winners in Brewers history, with Yount winning twice. Fingers and Yount won their MVP awards while the Brewers were in the American League, Braun won his after Milwaukee moved to the NL.
The Brewers acquired Yelich in a trade with the Miami Marlins in January.
The only voter who didn’t put Yelich first on his ballot placed him second.
Baez got 19 second-place votes and wound up with 250 voting points. Arenado received three second-place votes and had 203 points. Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman came in fourth with 174 points despite getting no second-place votes. DeGrom got seven second-place votes and took fifth place with 141 points.
Baez, 25, led the league with 111 RBIs and hit .290 with 34 homers.
Arenado, 27, topped the NL with 38 homers. He batted .297 with 110 RBIs.
—Field Level Media