NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Aaron Judge’s bid to become just the third player in major league history to win Rookie of the Year and Most Valubable Player in the same season fell short Thursday, as Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was named American League MVP.
Altuve received 405 points in the voting and 27 first-place votes, while Judge had 279 points and two first-place votes. The Indians’ Jose Ramirez finished in third place (237 points).
The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“I was surprised that I won it,” Altuve said. “I wasn’t expecting this.”
It was a landslide long in the making. Altuve has been in Houston since general manager Jeff Luhnow took a scorched earth approach to developing a winner. The Astros lost 100-plus games in each of Altuve’s first three seasons, beginning in 2011.
Houston won its first World Series earlier this month, and it needed its longest-tenured player to get there. Altuve batted a major league-best .346 in the regular season, hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.
It’s been over a decade since Altuve signed with Houston from Venezuela — only after he was sent home from one tryout and told he was too short.
“They told me not to come back,” Altuve said. “It was something me and my dad, he went with me that day, we were like, ‘We have to go again. We have to try again.'”
“It’s not a rule that you have to be 6-foot or you have to be really strong to play baseball and become a good player,” he added.
In the National League MVP vote, Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton edged out Reds first baseman Joey Votto.
While Altuve is set to defend his title in Houston, Stanton may be taking a piece of Marlins history elsewhere. He earned the franchise’s first MVP in the same week new team executive Derek Jeter said the club is listening to trade offers for Stanton. The 28-year-old outfielder is owed $295 million over the final decade of his record $325 million, 13-year contract.
“It’s an interesting feeling and situation for me,” Stanton said.
Stanton would prefer to stick around and wants the team’s pitching situation “to be thoroughly addressed, not just somewhat addressed.” He’s not convinced the Marlins are ready to do that.
“I’m not entirely sure, to be honest,” he said. “I know all teams have plenty of money.”
The 6-6 Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs, most in the majors since 2001, when Barry Bonds hit a record 73 and Sammy Sosa had 64.
Stanton got 10 first-place votes and 302 points. Votto, who led the majors with a .454 on-base percentage, also got 10 firsts and had 300 points. Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt was third.
“I felt like it was going to be so close and I felt like I had a legitimate shot,” Votto said. “It just feels like it’s exactly kind of how I thought it would play out.”
The last time an MVP race was so close, Willie Stargell and Keith Hernandez tied for the NL prize in 1979.
Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. The Marlins were 77-85.
Stanton joins Dan Marino and LeBron James as the only Miami pro athletes in a major sport to win MVP.
“That’s definitely good company,” Stanton said.
The awards are voted on by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Altuve won the AL batting title for the third time in four years, hitting .346 with 24 homers and 81 RBIs for the world champion Astros.
Judge, who was an unanimous choice for AL Rookie of the Year, announced Monday, broke Mark McGwire’s major league record for home runs by a rookie with 52 this season. He led the American League in homers, runs scored (128) and walks (127) while batting .284 for a Yankees team that fell one win short of the World Series, losing to Altuve’s Astros.
The Red Sox’s Fred Lynn (1975) and the Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki (2001) are the only players who have won Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season.
In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton received 302 points in the voting to Votto’s 300 — each had 10 first-place votes. Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt came in third with 239 points and four first-place votes.
Stanton, only the sixth MVP to play for a losing team, hit .281 with a major league-best 59 homers and 132 RBIs. His .631 slugging percentage led the National League.
The 6-foot-6 slugger wins the award at a time when there are questions about his future in Miami. New co-owner Derek Jeter said Wednesday the Marlins are considering trading Stanton.
Votto, the 2010 National League MVP, batted .320 with 36 homers, 100 RBIs and 106 runs scored.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)