Mookie Betts named American League MVP after leading Red Sox to championship

Ruben Hill
November 16, 2018

Betts set career highs in home runs (32), doubles (47), stolen bases (30), walks (81), and runs (129), and he did all of that while playing exceptional defense, as evidenced by the Gold Glove voting, which awarded him his third consecutive award for his work in right field.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, a two-time MVP, followed with one first-place vote and 265 points.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich have won the American League and National League MVP awards.

The first MVP from the Red Sox since Dustin Pedroia in 2008, Betts tore out of the gate, a big reason the Red Sox jumped out to a 17-2 start.

The 26-year-old Betts posted a.346 batting average, a.640 slugging percentage and a 10.9 WAR in 2018, leading all of Major League Baseball in all three categories.

Betts provided more than numbers, however.

Clearly, though, Yelich stood above the rest of the position-player field.

He finished as the first battling champion in Brewers history at.326 and led the NL in slugging, OPS, OPS+ and total bases.

Trout's run of MVP finishes is historically impressive. Betts finished sixth in MVP voting in 2017. In his seven full seasons, he has finished in first or second place in six of those seasons. Ramirez finished third in the voting past year, behind Aaron Judge of the Yankees and the victor, Jose Altuve of the Astros.

Third baseman Ramirez, 26, had more RBI (105) than Betts or Trout, tied with Trout in home runs (39) and led the other two in at-bats (578) and stolen bases (34). He did join Betts in the 30/30 club; they are the first players to reach that milestone since Trout and Ryan Braun in 2012.

Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez finished fourth. He was chasing the Triple Crown into early September, before Betts pulled away in the batting race and Khris Davis powered past him in the home run race.

The arrival of Martinez this season helped Betts move into a higher level than before for a hitter.

In the end, however, the voters rewarded Betts' all-around brilliance. After four full seasons in the game, Betts' award further legitimizes his already secure spot on center stage as one of the top five players in the game and arguably the face of baseball's future.

Betts is the first Red Sox player to win the batting title since Bill Mueller in 2003.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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