Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson won the American League Most Valuable Player Award, getting 23 of 30 first-place votes and 385 total points from Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters.
Donaldson batted .297 with 41 HR, 123 RBI and 122 runs scored in 158 games this year. He was a catcher for the 2008 Peoria Chiefs, batting .217 with 6 HR and 23 RBI in 63 games before the Chicago Cubs traded him to the Oakland Athletics midseason. The A’s traded him to the Blue Jays in November 2014.
He is the second former Chiefs player to win a MVP award. Albert Pujols, who played for Peoria in 2000, was named the National League MVP in 2005, 2008 and 2009.
This is the second major award for a former Chief this week. Cubs skipper Joe Maddon was named NL Manager of the Year on Tuesday; he managed the Chiefs in 1984, which I wrote about here.
Last year’s AL MVP, Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout, was the runner-up for this year’s award. He received the seven first-place votes that Donaldson didn’t get, and tallied 304 total points. Trout has finished in the Top 2 of AL MVP voting in four consecutive seasons, a feat previously achieved only by Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra.
Trout batted .299 with 41 HR, 90 RBI and 104 runs scored in 159 games this year. He was the Midwest League MVP and Prospect of the Year in 2010, when he hit .362 with 6 HR, 39 RBI and 45 SB in 81 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He also went 4-for-15 with four walks in 20 plate appearances for the 2009 Kernels.
Kansas City Royals centerfielder Lorenzo Cain finished in third place, getting 225 total points in the AL MVP vote. He batted .307 with 16 HR, 72 RBI, 28 SB and 101 runs scored in 140 games, and helped lead the Royals to their first World Series championship since 1985.
Cain briefly played for the 2009 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, batting .192 (10-for-52) with 3 RBI in 15 games.
Washington Nationals rightfielder Bryce Harper was the unanimous winner of this year’s NL MVP Award.