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SB Nation 2006 Awards: Most Valuable Player

Front-page contributors to SB Nation websites were asked to cast ballots after the season for the awards we're all used to seeing.  Here is the other award handed out with interest to Twins fans.

American League Most Valuable Player:  Joe Mauer

Talk about a surprise!  For Twins fans, this isn't necessarily out of order as it wouldn't be most of our first choices.  Joe Mauer is one of three Twins who deserved some credit for MVP, and it looks like the rest of SB Nation agreed which Twins deserved that credit.

Points  Name
 175    Joe Mauer
 152    Derek Jeter
 127    David Ortiz
  98    Jermaine Dye
  81    Justin Morneau
  80    Johan Santana
  75    Travis Hafner
  62    Grady Sizemore
  54    Frank Thomas
  33    Vladamir Guerrero

All in all, there were 26 players who received votes, but any player beneath Guerrero (number ten in MVP balloting) was a dubious vote at best.  You will notice that three Twins pierce the Top 10, as do two Indians.  Surprisingly there are no Tigers, although four players from Detroit did receive votes.

The largest surprise isn't that Mauer won, or that someone beat Derek Jeter, but that Frank Thomas came in ninth!  One first place vote, two seconds and one fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth.  This is the player who, for $500,000 guaranteed, hit .270/.381/.545 with 39 homers and 114 RBI, smack dab in the middle of a sub-par Athletic offense.  I shudder to imagine where Oakland would have been without the threat of The Big Hurt's bat in the middle of that order.

National League Most Valuable Player:  Albert Pujols

Um, yeah.  No real surprise here.  The only other real, legitimate threat to take this prize would have been Ryan Howard, but he was sitting at home watch the playoffs in October, and that seems to make a big difference in how people vote.

Points  Name
 416    Albert Pujols
 264    Ryan Howard
 190    Carlos Beltran
 185    Miguel Cabrera
 172    Lance Berkman

We're stopping at five in the NL, because only one other player received a first place vote (Alfonso Soriano), and he didn't even clear 80 points.

Pujols had another stellar year, batting .331/.431/.671 (YES, HE SLUGGED .671!!), with 49 homers and 137 RBI.  His main competition, Howard, hit .313/.425/.659 with 58 homers and 149 RBI.

Who would you have voted for?  Does Joe Mauer deserve an MVP award (as fake as it is from a bunch of baseball nerds/fanatics/obsessives) over other Twins Justin Morneau and Johan Santana?