Morales' marvelous year nets fifth place
Slugger comes up short of MVP; Figgins, Abreu also shy
ANAHEIM -- Angels first baseman Kendry Morales (.306 batting average, 34 homers, 108 RBIs) finished fifth in the American League Most Valuable Player balloting announced on Monday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Minnesota's Joe Mauer was the runaway winner with 27 of 28 first-place votes, the only other first-place vote going to Detroit's Miguel Cabrera.
Angels third baseman Chone Figgins (.298 average, .395 on-base percentage, 114 runs, 42 steals) claimed a tie for 10th place in the voting with Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. Figgins was named on nine ballots.
Angels outfielder Bobby Abreu (.293 average, .390 OBP, 15 homers, 103 RBIs, 96 runs, 30 steals) was also named on nine ballots, tying Toronto's Aaron Hill for 12th.
Morales earned 171 points, drawing votes from 27 of 28 writers. Morales fell one point shy of Cabrera, who was named on all 28 ballots. Morales attracted three third-place votes, nine for fourth and 10 for fifth.
Former Angels first baseman Mark Teixeira placed second with Yankees teammate Derek Jeter third. Morales replaced Teixeira at first and blossomed as a slugger near midseason, finishing second to Mauer in the AL in slugging percentage and third in extra-base hits.
While Morales received MVP votes for the first time in his first full Major League season, Figgins and Abreu both placed higher than at any time in their careers. Figgins drew MVP votes for the fourth time, while Abreu has attracted votes eight times.
Figgins' previous best was 17th place in 2005, the same year Abreu -- playing for the Phillies -- finished 14th in the National League. That was Abreu's best MVP showing until this season, when he signed a one-year free-agent deal and emerged as a positive force and presence for the Angels on the field with his inspired play and in the clubhouse with his leadership.
Morales and Figgins both gave Abreu considerable credit for helping them forge career years. Abreu signed a two-year deal with an option for a third year after the season, while Figgins is in the free-agency marketplace for the first time.
2009 American League MVP voting
|Joe Mauer, MIN||27||1||387|
|Mark Teixeira, NYY||15||6||4||1||1||1||225|
|Derek Jeter, NYY||9||5||3||5||3||1||1||1||193|
|Miguel Cabrera, DET||1||1||5||8||4||3||2||1||3||171|
|Kendry Morales, LAA||3||9||10||3||2||170|
|Kevin Youkilis, BOS||2||7||3||4||2||2||4||1||150|
|Jason Bay, BOS||1||1||4||5||4||5||1||78|
|Ben Zobrist, TB||1||4||3||1||2||34|
|Ichiro Suzuki, SEA||2||4||4||3||33|
|Alex Rodriguez, NYY||1||3||2||1||31|
|Chone Figgins, LAA||3||1||2||3||31|
|Aaron Hill, TOR||1||2||2||3||23|
|Bobby Abreu, LAA||2||1||1||1||4||23|
|Mariano Rivera, NYY||2||1||1||17|
|Adam Lind, TOR||1||1||2||3||14|
|Michael Young, TEX||1||1||2||2||13|
|Zack Greinke, KC||1||1||1||1||12|
|Robinson Cano, NYY||3||12|
|Evan Longoria, TB||1||1||1||9|
|Justin Verlander, DET||1||1||7|
|CC Sabathia, NYY||1||4|
|Michael Cuddyer, MIN||1||1||4|
|Victor Martinez, CLE/BOS||2||4|
|Jason Kubel, MIN||1||3|
|Placido Polanco, DET||1||2|
|Felix Hernandez, SEA||1||1|
|Ian Kinsler, TEX||1||1|
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.