How The Top NL MVP Finishers Were Acquired

Just one of the top ten finishers in this year’s NL MVP balloting joined his team via the free agent market. Eight were drafted by their 2011 teams and one was acquired in a blockbuster trade. Here's a look at how teams around the National League originally acquired the top ten finishers in the 2011 NL MVP voting (some have since signed extensions):

  • Ryan Braun – Draft – The Brewers selected Braun fifth overall in the 2005 draft and extended him on a five-year, $105MM deal this year.
  • Matt Kemp – Draft- Dodgers scouting director Logan White selected Kemp in the sixth round of the 2003 draft. The Dodgers recently locked him up to an eight-year, $160MM extension. 
  • Prince Fielder – Draft – Fielder is a Jack Zduriencik selection, like Braun. The seventh overall selection (2002) already has three top-five finishes in the MVP voting.
  • Justin Upton – Draft – Upton, the first overall selection in 2005, reached the Major Leagues as a teenager and put together his best season yet in 2011. 
  • Albert Pujols – Draft – The Cardinals selected Pujols, a three-time MVP, in the 13th round of the 1999 draft. He has ten top-ten finishes in MVP balloting after 11 MLB seasons. Pujols and Fielder are the only two current free agents on this list.
  • Joey Votto – Draft – The Reds selected last year's MVP in the second round of the 2002 draft.
  • Lance Berkman – Free Agency – Berkman, the lone player on this list to join his current team via free agency, signed a one-year, $8MM deal with the Cardinals before the season and has since signed an extension that will keep him in St. Louis through 2012.
  • Troy Tulowitzki – Draft – The Rockies selected Tulowitzki with the seventh overall selection in 2005 and he has blossomed into one of baseball's top shortstops.
  • Roy Halladay – Trade - The Phillies obtained Halladay for Travis d'Arnaud, Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor in December, 2009 before signing him to an extension.
  • Ryan Howard – Draft – Howard, a fifth round selection in 2001, won the NL MVP in 2006 and has finished in the top ten for the award in every season since.
  • Here's a look at how American League teams acquired this year's top vote getters.


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54 Comments on "How The Top NL MVP Finishers Were Acquired"


MetsMagic
3 years 9 months ago

Why in sam hell is Ryan Howard anywhere near the top ten, let alone above Jose Reyes? He’s a fine player (I guess) but had one stinky year. 

3 years 9 months ago

Wondering that myself.  Even Howard’s counting numbers weren’t impressive.  Reyes was a much superior player, but I guess since the Mets didn’t make the postseason a 6.2 fWAR SS was no where near as “valuable” as Howard. 

Right.

3 years 9 months ago

most players would kill to have a 33 home run and 116 RBI stinky season.  Now his postseason, that was poop

hscphillyboy
3 years 9 months ago

 At least he did not bench himself in the last game this year…..

MetsMagic
3 years 9 months ago

With 170+ K’s and a .253/.346/.488 batting line, it might have been better if he had. Hell, he could have prevented just enough stress to his achillies…

3 years 9 months ago

He was injured most of the season and played through it. Guy could hardly run by August. He carried the Phillies’ offense throughout the summer until Pence came over. Just because your name is MetsMagic and he doesn’t fit your sabermetric BS, doesn’t mean he wasn’t more valuable than a slap hitter who was on a fourth place team.

elbeisbol
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah, MetsMagic… enough with your strikeouts and triple slash mumbo-jumbo! Go to Fangraphs with that esoteric sabermetric BS!

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

He played hurt but he wasn’t that good before he got hurt. (this year).

I’m not a big sabermetric guy (don’t like them at all except for determining future performance) but I don’t agree with him being this high.

3 years 9 months ago

5 years 125 mil starting it on the DL… good luck ………… your boy got paid hes not rushing back

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

It’s not his boy… he’s a Cardinals fan… other than the fact that St. Louis fans like Howard because he’s from there.

kräftig. entschieden
3 years 9 months ago

The Writer’s Association is often patently stupid. Case in point: Michael Young getting a first-place vote in the AL.

MetsMagic
3 years 9 months ago

That was more a case of homerism than anything else. It came from the Rangers’ beat writer Evan Grant. 

3 years 9 months ago

what do Ryan Braun’s numbers look like without Prince Fielder hitting behind him? 

Kemp had little to no talent surrounding him all season with the exception of Eithier during the first part of the season.  You put Prince behind kemp and then imagine the numbers

3 years 9 months ago

kemp got robbed. You could make the case that Braun didn’t have the best season on his team

MetsMagic
3 years 9 months ago

I would’ve voted for Kemp, but the latter part I completely disagree with. Braun is MUCH better player than Fielder. 

3 years 9 months ago

Braun is by far the superior player, I don’t think thats a question.  Some in the league saw fielder’s season as better however for some reason

Yankees420
3 years 9 months ago

Who?

Joey E
3 years 9 months ago

go dodgers. 6th round pick
maybe next year kemp

CyYoungSuppan
3 years 9 months ago

Just further reinforcement that the 2005 draft class was amazing.

MetsMagic
3 years 9 months ago

Dammit. Zimmerman, Tulo, Gardner, Upton, Braun, Romero, Ellsbury, McCutchen and Garza. We get MIKE PELFREY. 

3 years 9 months ago

Hey, it’s better than Townsend or Clement.

leachim2
3 years 9 months ago

Chase Headley FTW

slasher016
3 years 9 months ago

Jay Bruce was also in that draft.

Lanidrac
3 years 9 months ago

As was Colby Rasmus.

Sky14
3 years 9 months ago

Getting a talent like Albert Pujols in the 13th round is absurd

jubeininja69
3 years 9 months ago

good to see most of these players were drafted with their original teams.

stl_cards16
3 years 9 months ago

For all the people that claim the draft is still such a “crap shoot”  look at this list.

5 of the top 10 finishers were top 7 overrall picks.  Pretty impressive and shows just how important drafting is.

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 9 months ago

Pretty crazy to know only one out of the top 10 of both leagues was a free agent, and he (Berkman) didn’t originally sign for much!

Lunchbox45
3 years 9 months ago

most mvp candidates don’t make it to free agency.

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 9 months ago

While this is true, every year does have 1 or 2 big name free agents that could be in the top 10, though not necessarily in a perennial sense (Pujols).

FacelessGeneralManager
3 years 9 months ago

I love the national league!! Building from the draft. Except the phillies of course u they should go to the al. Not the astros.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

Because the Phillies weren’t in the same position the Astros are in now, in 1997-2000. They turned themselves into what they are now through the draft (Utley, Hamels, Howard, Burrell, Rollins, Myers, etc).

MetsMagic
3 years 9 months ago

The Phillies were putrid throughout the 1990’s (except for one stray pennant in ’93) and had to build from the ground up. After they had a solid foundation, they could go and spend. No team builds simply by going out and signing players and has any sort of sustained success. 

elbeisbol
3 years 9 months ago

Draft was obviously overpowered, MLB had to nerf it with the latest patch. 

Lunchbox45
3 years 9 months ago

I cant begin to fathom how absurd it is that Doc got more votes then Kershaw and loses the Cy Young, where we’re all the MVP votes for Kershaw? or Kemp?

Ohhhh thats right, the dogders didn’t make the playoffs, and every award in baseball has become a team award. yuck.

Lunchbox45
3 years 9 months ago

 Verlander                 Kershaw

2.40                          2.28                    ERA
2.99                          2.47                    FIP
3.12                          2.84                    xFIP
7.0                            6.8                     WAR
1st                            12th                   MVP Voting

does not compute

Joey E
3 years 9 months ago

I wish more people in the media would bring this up. These guys had really similar seasons. even if Verlander had the better year or is the better pitcher, i wish they brought up just how great Kershaw was. and idk why Halladay or Kershaw didnt get some MVP push like Verlander did. 

(i know Kershaw won the CY, but guys, even before the MVP vote everyone was acting like Verlander was in a class by himself. he wasn’t. He’s a god and Kershaw is just a good young pitcher who won an award.)

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

Because:

Kershaw didn’t win 24 games (which is huge in the media for whatever reason, can’t stand hearing it on the MLB Network).

The Dodgers weren’t in the playoffs so Kershaw wasn’t being watched the same way Verlander was. Kershaw didn’t also have the no hit bids like Verlander, so he wasn’t in the media spotlight that way.

Halladay also didn’t win 24 games and he missed 2 starts down the stretch because of hurricane Irene. Plus, Kershaw overshadowed him in the last 2 weeks of the season (going into September, Halladay probably would’ve been the favorite for Cy Young, probably more MVP consideration).

The key for a pitcher, in my opinion, is to win the triple crown, win 20+ games, make the playoffs, and have an in season narrative.

slider32
3 years 9 months ago

Verlander wasn’t as good as Pedro was and he didn’t win. Pedro was always good in the playoffs not so for Verlander. I know the awards are for the regular season, but guys that step up in the playoffs go down as better players like Halladay, Schilling, an Pedro. Verlander hasn’t done that yet.

nestleraisinets
3 years 9 months ago

and now the other side also wants their pitcher to be mvp. Be happy you have the cy young in LA

monkeydung
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t think any Dodgers fans are upset that Kershaw didn’t win MVP. Were too busy being upset that te best player in baseball this year didn’t win MVP.

Also the guy above makes a good point. And I don’t think it’s as much pro Kershaw as it is anti Verlander.

slider32
3 years 9 months ago

Kemp should have won, it seems like the voters have their favorites. Look at the year Pedroia won the MVP, Granderson had a great year leading the league in runs with high RBI and HR totals. Twenty years ago he would have won.

slasher016
3 years 9 months ago

And Alex Gordon.

BobbyJohn
3 years 9 months ago

I really appreciate all these guys, and I’m quite happy that the 8th-place finisher suits up for my Rockies and will for a long, long time.

Lanidrac
3 years 9 months ago

Um, Pujols has finished in the Top 10 for all 11 seasons, not just 10 of them. In fact, Pujols has finished in the Top 5 in 10 out of his 11 seasons!  He is just ridiculously consistent, which is why I always try to draft him first or trade for him in fantasy baseball.

slider32
3 years 9 months ago

Pujols and A-Rod are immortals, they are in the top ten of all time!

Jeremy Maskell
3 years 9 months ago

Matt Kemp has two of the three categories for triple crown and loses the MVP in a lousy lineup like the Dodgers. Makes sense. Congrats to Braun but should have went to Kemp. 

Nylund
3 years 9 months ago

Kemp had a tremendous year and in many ways deserves to win, but the question of MVP is, in part, where would the team be without him as compared to where they were with him?  And, for the Dodgers, the answer is, “with him they were crap, and without him they were crap,” so he raised them from crap to…crap.   But with the Brewers, take away Braun and they have a very different season.  It may suck (and I feel for Kemp), but to be a Most Valuable Player, you have to add some noticeable value, but when your team is crap with or without you, it’s hard to see the value you add, even if you have a truly tremendous year.

slider32
3 years 9 months ago

Kemp, Pujols, and Howard, were selected in later rounds, which to me shows good scouting, most of the top players come in the first 10 picks.

3 years 9 months ago

i hate the fact that the rules change in the middle of the game.  Pathetic!!!

3 years 9 months ago

Funny how you put the contraction for “should have” then used the incorrect “should of.” Maybe you are a “baseballwhiz,” but you’re no whiz with the grammar.

thegrayrace
3 years 9 months ago

is this a grammar message board?

Nylund
3 years 9 months ago

Every message board is a grammar message board for some.

3 years 9 months ago

If you want to have your views accepted, might as well look professional.