In what was anticipated to be a neck-and-neck race between Yankees’ rookie outfielder Aaron Judge and Houston Astros’ second baseman Jose Altuve for American League MVP, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) awarded Altuve with the distinguished accolade on Thursday night.
Altuve received a whopping 27 first-place votes, while Judge received only two. The Yankees’ 25-year-old slugger came in second place, and Cleveland Indians’ infielder Jose Ramirez finished third. The official results can be found on BBWAA’s website.
Altuve, a 5-foot-6, 165-pounder who won his third career batting title, finished the 2017 campaign with a slashline of .346/.410/.547 in 153 games (662 plate appearances), while also hitting 24 home runs with 81 RBI. The 27-year-old also led the American League in WAR (8.3) and hits (204). He is the fifth AL second baseman in history to win the MVP.
Judge, who was unanimously voted Rookie of the Year by the BBWAA on Monday, led the American League in home runs with 52 — a mark that surpassed Mark McGwire’s previous all-time rookie record of 49, set back in 1987. Along with leading the AL in runs (128) and walks (127), Judge also became the first rookie since Hall-of-Famer Ted Williams (1939) to finish the season with 100 runs, 100 walks, and 100 RBI. Judge is the second rookie in history to finish as runner-up in the MVP race, and if he’d won the award, he would’ve been the third player in major league history to win both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season (Fred Lynn, 1975; Ichiro Suzuki, 2001).