Baseball’s 2020 BBWAA Awards Week came to an end with tonight’s main event — the AL and NL MVP awards. Naturally, there was plenty of interest in the MVP vote for the National League since the first baseman for our Braves was the presumptive favorite to win the award. Still, this isn’t just the NL’s night and we had to figure out who the MVP of the Junior Circuit would be before the Senior Circuit’s announcement was made.
The 2020 AL MVP award ended up going to Jose Abreu. The whole announcement had a bit of an AL Central vibe to it, since 2015 MVP, current Twins (and former Braves) third baseman Josh Donaldson made the announcement and Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez ended up finishing in second place. Abreu picked up 21 first-place votes, Ramirez finished with eight first-place votes and DJ LeMahieu got one first-place vote.
The 33-year-old White Sox slugger finished the year with a sparkling slash line of .317/.370/.617, with 19 home runs, .300 Isolated Power, and 167 wRC+. While Jose Ramirez had a similar line, Abreu got the nod due to his improvement on defense and his role as a leader in turning the White Sox into a postseason contender.
As far as the 2020 NL MVP award went, there was no serious suspense. Two-time MVP and Braves legend Dale Murphy made the announcement and made it official: Freddie Freeman is the 2020 National League Most Valuable Player.
The voting wasn’t really close — Freddie finished with 28 first-place votes. Freeman was only two votes away from being the unanimous MVP, as Mookie Betts picked up the remaining two first-place votes among the three finalists. The reasoning behind that is the fact that Freddie Freeman was on a different level at the plate when it came to his contemporaries. Freddie was either at or near the top of any hitting statistic that you could think of, and he was far ahead of fellow finalists Mookie Betts and Manny Machado in that department. While his defense wasn’t on the same level, it was still good enough to where his advantage at the plate outweighed his disadvantage in the field.
Most importantly, Freddie Freeman was able to pull off this sparkling season immediately after a particularly nasty bout with COVID-19. It would’ve been understandable if Freddie had a rough season after having to deal with that, and it even would’ve made sense if he had decided to just take it on home and get ready for next season after being sick. Instead, Freddie was somehow able to make it back on the field in time for Opening Day and the rest is now history.
MLB’s Awards Week ends on a very high note for the Braves. Max Fried picked up a Gold Glove, four different Braves hitters racked up Silver Slugger awards, and now Freddie Freeman has been officially recognized as the Most Valuable Player of the National League in what will go down as an unforgettable season.