• Braun Takes Home NL MVP Award: The BBWAA announced this afternoon that 28-year-old Milwaukee Brewers' outfielder Ryan Braun was voted the 2011 National League MVP. In 150 games and 629 plate appearances in his fifth MLB season, Braun put up a .332/.397/.597 slash with a .433 wOBA, 166 OPS+, 38 2B, 33 HR's, 33 SB, a .350 BABIP, and 179 wRC+. Braun finished the year at 7.8 WAR, second overall in the National League behind the Los Angeles Dodgers' center fielder Matt Kemp (+8.7 WAR).
Braun finished second overall in the SB Nation's NL MVP voting. Kemp finished first in the SB Nation's voting for 2011 NL MVP, second overall in the BBWAA voting. The Dodgers' 27-year-old center fielder, who signed an 8-year/$160 million dollar contract last week, finished his sixth major league season with a .324/.399/.586 slash, 33 doubles, four triples and an NL-leading 39 HR's and 126 RBI's, a 171 OPS+, a .306 BABIP and 162 wRC+.
• The BBWAA Top 10 For 2011 NL MVP: 1. Ryan Braun, MIL 2. Matt Kemp, LAD 3. Prince Fielder, MIL 4. Justin Upton, AZ 5. Albert Pujols, StL. 6. Joey Votto, CIN 7. Lance Berkman, St.L 8. Troy Tulowitzki, COL 9. Roy Halladay, PHI 10. Ryan Howard, PHI.
(ed. note - "The results of the SB Nation's NL MVP voting went up during the Wilson Ramos kidnapping saga, and it seemed inappropriate to write about them at the time. Here are the results...")
• SBNation's Baseball Writers 2011 NL MVP Voting:
• My Top 3:
1. Ryan Braun - .332/.397/.597, .433 wOBA, 38 2B, 33 HR's, 33 SB, .350 BABIP, 179 wRC+, 7.8 WAR.
2. Prince Fielder - .299/.415/.566, .408 wOBA, 36 2B, 38 HR's, .306 BABIP, 162 wRC+, 5.5 WAR.
3. Matt Kemp - .324/.399/.586, .419 wOBA, 33 2B, 39 HR's, .380 BABIP, 171 wRC+, 8.7 WAR.
• Tries to Justify Kemp Snub: Clearly I was watching too much Milwaukee baseball this season. I was one of seven SBN writers to give Ryan Braun the nod over Kemp, but one of only two to list Prince second. Kemp deserved the first place vote, but the second if not first, Prince Fielder just cast a spell on me at the time I guess. Something about a big power hitting first baseman who walks more than he K's appeals to me, but I figured Braun was clearly a notch above Fielder this season and deserved the first place vote. Would I change my vote in hindsight? Yes. To make Kemp second though. Still give the nod to Braun. The BBWAA had the same Top 3 with Kemp second, which again, he should have been on my ballot.
• Nationals' Note: Nats' 1B/OF Michael Morse finished 19th overall in NL MVP voting, receiving one 7th Place and one 10th Place vote in recognition of the 29-year-old outfielder's breakout season. Morse played 146 games and posted a .303/.360/.550 line with 36 doubles, 31 HR's, a .344 BABIP, 147 wRC+ and .387 wOBA, finishing the year at +3.4 WAR.