Cabrera, 30, was listed first on 23 of 30 ballots cast by two writers representing each league city and second on the other seven to total 385 points, based on a tabulation system that rewards 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third on down to one for 10th. He batted .348 to win his third straight batting title and also led the AL in on-base percentage (.442), slugging percentage (.636), OPS (1.078) and hitting with runners in scoring position (.397) while finishing second in home runs (44), runs batted in (137) and total bases (353).
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim center fielder Mike Trout (.323, 27 HR, 97 RBI), the AL leader in runs (109) and walks (110), received five first-place votes and totaled 282 points to finish as the runner-up for the second year in a row. This was the first time the same two players finished 1-2 in MVP voting two consecutive years since the San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds and the St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols did so in the National League in 2002 and '03 and the first time in the AL since the New York Yankees' Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 1960 and '61.
Receiving one first-place vote apiece were Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (.286, 53 HR, 138 RBI, 370 TB, 103 R), who finished third overall with 232 points, and Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (.301, 24 HR, 93 RBI), who was fourth with 222 points. Cabrera, Trout, Davis and Donaldson were named on every ballot, as was the fifth-place finisher, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (.314, 27 HR, 107 RBI).
Rounding out the top 10 were Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (.269, 32 HR, 88 RBI), Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (.301, 9 HR, 84 RBI), Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (.315, 30 HR, 92 RBI, 199 H), Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (.283, 14 HR, 71 RBI, 51 2B) and Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (.309, 30 HR, 103 RBI). In all, 25 players gained mention in the balloting.
Cabrera became the 26th multiple winner and the 13th in the AL. There have been 12 in the NL. One player, Frank Robinson, was the MVP in each league. It was the 17th time a player won the award in back-to-back years and the seventh time in the AL. Cabrera was the second Detroit player to do it, matching Hal Newhouser in 1944 and '45. Other AL consecutive winners were Jimmie Foxx (1932-33), Yogi Berra (1954-55), Mantle (1956-57), Maris (1960-61) and Frank Thomas (1993-94). Bonds did it four times in the NL (1992-93, 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04). The other NL consecutive winners were Ernie Banks (1958-59), Joe Morgan (1975-76), Mike Schmidt (1980-81), Dale Murphy (1982-83) and Pujols (2008-09).
It marked the 11th time overall and the third straight year that a Detroit player won the award. Justin Verlander was the 2011 winner. The record is five consecutive years by the Giants from 2000-04. The AL mark is four by the Yankees twice from 1954-57 and from 1960-63. Cabrera was the third player at his position to win more than one MVP. Schmidt won the award three times in the NL. Alex Rodriguez, a three-time winner in the AL, won two of the awards as a third baseman. Cabrera was the Tigers' third multi-winner. The others were Newhouser and Hank Greenberg.
Trout became the 12th player to finish second at least two years in a row and the sixth in the AL. The others in addition to Mantle were Lou Gehrig (1931-32), Ted Williams (1941-42), Eddie Murray (1982-83) and Cecil Fielder (1990-91). Stan Musial was the runner-up three years in a row in the NL in 1949, '50 and '51. Other back-to-back runners-up in the NL in addition to Pujols were Dizzy Dean (1935-36), Johnny Mize (1939-40), Sandy Koufax (1965-66) and Mike Piazza (1996-97).
Andrew McCutchen Wins Pirates'
1st MVP since 1992
Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen, whose all-around play helped the Pirates reach postseason play for the first time in 21 years, was elected the National League Most Valuable Player in balloting by the BBWAA that was announced on MLB Network.
McCutchen, 27, was named first on 28 ballots, second on one and third on one of the 30 ballots cast by two writers representing each league city to score 409 points, based on a tabulation system rewarding 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third and on down to one for 10th. He batted .317 with 21 home runs, 84 runs batted in, 97 runs and 27 stolen bases and was second in the league with 60 multi-hit games.
The other two first-place votes went to St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (.319, 12 HR, 80 RBI), who finished in third place overall with 219 points. Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, the league leader in home runs (36), RBI (125), slugging percentage (.551), OPS (.952) and total bases (332) while batting .302, was the runner-up in the balloting with 242 points.
McCutchen, Goldschmidt and Molina were listed on every ballot, as were Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter (.318, 11 HR, 78 RBI, 126 R, 199 H, 55 2B), who ranked fourth with 194 points, and Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (.319, 23 HR, 109 RBI), who was fifth with 154 points.
Rounding out the top 10 were Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (.305, 24 HR, 73 RBI, .435 OBP, 135 BB), Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA, 232 K), Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (.305, 20 HR, 57 RBI), Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez (.284, 24 HR, 73 RBI, 40 SB) and Reds right fielder Jay Bruce (.262, 30 HR, 109 RBI). In all, 24 players gained mention on the ballot.
McCutchen finished third in the 2012 election, which marked the highest placement for a Pittsburgh player since 1992 when Barry Bonds won the second of his seven MVP Awards (the remaining five were with the San Francisco Giants). In the interim, the highest MVP ranking for a Pirates player was in 2006 when Freddie Sanchez was 17th.
It marked the seventh time the Pirates have had the league's MVP. In addition to Bonds, the other Pittsburgh winners were Dick Groat in 1960, Roberto Clemente in 1966, Dave Parker in 1978 and Willie Stargell, the co-winner in 1979 with the Cardinals' Keith Hernandez.
The Pirates qualified for a wild-card berth for their first postseason appearance since 1992 when they won the NL East and lost to the Braves in the NL Championship Series. The 2013 Pirates won the wild-card playoff against the Reds but lost to the Cardinals in the NL Division Series. Award balloting takes place before the start of postseason play.
This year was the 16th time a center fielder was named MVP and the sixth time in the NL. Willie Mays in 1954 and '65 and Dale Murphy in 1982 and '83 each won twice. The other NL center fielder to win was Willie McGee in 1985. In the American League, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle won three times apiece, DiMaggio in 1939, '41 and '47 and Mantle in 1956, '57 and '62. Other center fielders to win in the AL were Fred Lynn in 1975, Robin Yount in 1989, Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997 and Josh Hamilton in 2010. Yount also won in 1982 as a shortstop.
The runner-up finish by Goldschmidt was the highest for the Diamondbacks, who have never had an MVP. The previous best result for an Arizona player was third place twice - Matt Williams in 1999 and Luis Gonzalez in 2001.