NEW YORK (Sports Network) – San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and Detroit Tigers infielder Miguel Cabrera were named the Most Valuable Players for the National League and American League on Thursday.
Posey rebounded from an injury-shortened 2011 campaign to hit a major-league best .336 with 24 home runs, 39 doubles and drive in 103 runs over 148 games for the World Series champions.
The 2010 NL rookie of the year also contributed a .408 on-base percentage, .549 slugging percentage and 78 runs scored to San Francisco’s second title run in the last three seasons.
Posey, 25, was listed atop 27 of the 32 ballots submitted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and finished with 422 total points.
Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun — the 2011 victor — was the runner-up with three first-place nods and 285 points while Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen ranked third. It was the first time since Cincinnati’s Johnny Bench won in 1972 that a backstop was named best player in the Senior Circuit.
“I’m thrilled that Buster won this very prestigious award. He’s so valuable with the way he catches, handles the staff and hits cleanup while handling all that’s thrown at him,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. “He not only has a huge impact on our lineup but a bigger impact with the way that he leads by example and we are extremely lucky that he’s a part of our organization.”
Cabrera turned in an historic season in 2012, becoming the first player since Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to win the Triple Crown. The 29-year- old finished at the top of the list in batting (.330), while posting bests in all of baseball in homers (44) and RBI (139).
The native of Venezuela was perched atop 22 of the 28 ballots cast, totaling 362 points. Angels outfielder Mike Trout, already named the AL rookie of the year, placed a distant second with six first-place votes and 281 points. Texas Rangers infielder Adrian Beltre wound up in third with 210 points.
Cabrera’s selection marked the 10th time in Tigers history that one of their players was so honored, and the second season in a row a Detroit player has earned the award after starting pitcher Justin Verlander was picked in 2011.
The heavy-hitter from the hot corner also topped the AL rankings with a .606 slugging percentage, racked up 377 total bases and scored 109 runs over 161 games for the AL Central and American League champions.
“I’m very excited. I don’t have any words to explain like how excited I am right now,” Cabrera said upon receiving the honor. “I never expected I’d end up winning because of Mike Trout, because he had an unbelievable season.”
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