Josh Hamilton Wins 2010 AL MVP Award
Hamilton received 22 of the 28 first-place votes and 358 total points. Cabrera of the Tigers was second with 262 points and five first-place votes, while the Yankees' Cano came in third at 229 points.
The AL MVP race wasn't quite as clear-cut as the one in the NL, where Joey Votto snared all but one first-place vote. Despite Hamilton's overwhelming edge in most of the rate stats -- he led the majors in batting average (.359), slugging percentage (.633) and OPS (1.044) and was second in the AL to Cabrera with a .411 on-base percentage -- he did miss nearly a month late in the season with a rib injury.
Hamilton admitted Tuesday that he thought his absence would cost him the MVP, but he believes he did all he could while he was on the field to earn the award.
"Hopefully the Most Valuable Player is somebody who excels at their position, with the bat -- but most of all does something each night, whatever that may be, that will help their team win," Hamilton said on a conference call. "I hope and I think I did that the majority of the season when I was playing, other than the rib injuries at the end."
Still, his work in leading the Rangers to a runaway division title in the AL West was enough to boost him above the field in the eyes of the voters. Reaching the playoffs helped differentiate Hamilton's outstanding numbers from those posted by Cabrera, and getting that far also allowed Hamilton to enjoy what he described as the best of both worlds.
"I told some of you guys earlier in the year when you guys were talking about the MVP possibilities, if I could give up the MVP to go in the playoffs and win in the playoffs, I would definitely do that," he said. "To accomplish both and have both happen, I just thank God for that."
Hamilton's top competition for the award, Cabrera, led the majors with a 179 OPS+ in the best season of his career. The Tigers' first baseman contributed 45 doubles, 38 homers, a majors-leading 126 RBI and a .420 on-base percentage and struck out fewer than 100 times (95) for the first time in a full season in his career.
Detroit's 81-81 record and third-place finish in the AL Central didn't do Cabrera any favors, though he could hardly be blamed for his team's failure to reach the playoffs.
Hamilton, Cabrera and Cano were ranked in the top five on all 28 ballots.
Rounding out the top 10 vote-getters were: the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista (165 points, including one first-place vote), Paul Konerko of the White Sox (130 points), Evan Longoria of the Rays (100), Carl Crawford of the Rays (98), Joe Mauer of the Twins (97), Adrian Beltre of the Red Sox (83) and Delmon Young of the Twins (44).
Twenty different players received votes, including four pitchers. Rays closer Rafael Soriano picked up a fourth- and fifth-place vote and finished 12th overall, while CC Sabathia was 13th, Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez was 16th (on the strength of one fifth-place vote) and Royals closer Joakim Soria tied for 19th.
Voters ranked their top 10 candidates for the award on ballots that were due at the end of the regular season. A first-place vote was worth 14 points, a second-place vote nine, a third-place vote eight and so on down until 10th-place votes, which were worth one point.
Steve Phillips would have gone a different route if he had an AL MVP vote. Click to watch: