Mookie Betts added an American League Most Valuable Player trophy to his World Series championship on Thursday.
The Boston Red Sox right fielder was a runaway MVP winner in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, beating runner-up Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and third-place finisher Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians.
Betts garnered 28 of the 30 first-place votes, with the others going to Trout and to fourth-place finisher J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox.
Betts, who was listed second on the two ballots in which he wasn’t listed first, wound up with 410 points in the voting. Trout, who got 24 second-place votes, had 265 points. Ramirez, who got one second-place vote, 10 third-place votes and 11 third-place votes, had 208 points.
Betts, 26, led the AL with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage and 129 runs. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second to Trout’s .460 mark. He displayed power and speed, hitting 32 home runs and stealing 30 bases.
“It means a lot,” Betts said on MLB Network of winning his first MVP honor. “Definitely a special award. Something I’ll cherish. The most important thing is we won a World Series and got to bring a trophy back to Boston.”
He spoke while holding his 9-day-old daughter, Kinley, who slept through the cheering that went up when Betts’ name was announced as the winner. The baby’s birth came days after the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to win the World Series.
“It’s been a pretty good 2018,” he said. “I’ll enjoy these moments while I can. In 2019, hopefully we can make it better.”
Betts is the first Red Sox MVP winner since Dustin Pedroia in 2008. The list of Red Sox MVPs also includes Mo Vaughn (1995), Roger Clemens (1986), Jim Rice (1978), Fred Lynn (1975), Carl Yastrzemski (1967), Jackie Jensen (1958), Ted Williams (1946, ‘49), Jimmie Foxx (1938) and Tris Speaker (1912).
Trout, the 2014 and ‘16 AL MVP, wound up in second place for a record-tying fourth time. The other four-time runners-up were Stan Musial (a three-time MVP), Williams (a two-time MVP) and Albert Pujols (a three-time MVP).
A right fielder won AL MVP for the 11th time, but for the first time since Vladimir Guerrero was honored in 2004.
—Field Level Media