ATLANTA -- Heading into July, Chipper Jones was making a bid to win his second National Leaue MVP Award. But his candidacy was weakened by injuries and the struggles the Braves experienced during the season's second half.
While announcing Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols as the 2008 National League MVP on Monday afternoon, the Baseball Writers' Association of America revealed that Jones finished 12th in this year's balloting.
Jones, who was the 1999 NL MVP, received one second-place vote and was included on 12 of the 32 ballots cast by BBWAA members. He finished sixth in last year's balloting.
There was certainly reason to believe Jones would have fared better during this year's balloting. While winning his first batting title, Jones led all Major Leaguers with a .364 batting average, and his 1.044 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) was bettered only by Pujols.
Jones batted above .400 through June 18 and ended the season with the second-best batting average recorded by a switch-hitter. Had he recorded a hit (instead of drawing a four-pitch walk) during his final plate appearance on the regular season's final day, he would have bettered the record mark of .365, set by Mickey Mantle in 1957.
The injury woes that Jones experienced this season began truly taking a toll on July 23, when he suffered a left hamstring strain that sidelined him until Aug. 8. Right shoulder discomfort, which plagued him most of the season's second half, limited him to pinch-hit duties during the regular season's final eight games.
Entering the All-Star break, Jones was hitting .376 with 18 homers and a .614 slugging percentage. Discomfort that he battled in his hamstring, shoulder and his back, affected his power during the season's second half. During his final 51 games, the 36-year-old third baseman hit .323 with four homers and a .460 slugging percentage.
Jones was the only Braves player to receive MVP votes this season.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.