Royals

Royals’ Lorenzo Cain finishes third in AL MVP voting, Toronto’s Josh Donaldson wins award

Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain finished third in the American League MVP voting announced Thursday.
Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain finished third in the American League MVP voting announced Thursday. jsleezer@kcstar.com

Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain finished third in the American League Most Valuable Player voting, a quality showing in a season dominated by Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson, who won the award, and Angels phenom Mike Trout, who finished second for the third time in four years.

Cain received 20 third-place votes, which placed him ahead of Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado, Houston pitcher Dallas Keuchel and Seattle slugger Nelson Cruz, who finished in the next three places behind him.

Cain was not the only Royal to merit consideration. Kendrys Morales received one fourth-place vote, likely a product of his 106 RBIs. Mike Moustakas received one eighth-place vote. Two voters placed Eric Hosmer in the 10th spot on the ballot. One did the same for Wade Davis.

The case for Cain sprung from his versatility across the board. He ranked fifth in the American League in batting average (.307), fifth in runs (101), second in stolen bases (28) fourth in Baseball-Reference’s version of defensive wins above replacement (2.3) and fourth in overall wins above replacement (7.2).

The last and only Royal to win the AL MVP award was George Brett in 1980. Brett was also the last Royal to finish in the top three of AL MVP voting, placing second in 1985. Alex Gordon finished 12th last year.

The voting wrapped up the award season, as the dispensation of hardware both venerated the Royals and reminded of their team-wide dominance. The team did not place a finalist in the Cy Young voting or Rookie of the Year voting. Ned Yost was not one of the top three finishers for Manager of the Year. Those awards were voted on by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America before the postseason started.

Cain summarized his team’s ethos when he learned during the World Series he would not win a Gold Glove in center field.

“Come out here and win a World Series ring, it will trump that Gold Glove,” Cain said.

Cain earned that ring a couple days later. He and his teammates can take solace in them, if they worry about the lack of individual recognition.

AL MVP voting

Voting for the 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Award, with first-, second- and third-place votes and total points on a 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis:

Player

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Josh Donaldson, Toronto

23

7

385

Mike Trout, Los Angeles

7

22

1

304

Lorenzo Cain, Royals

20

225

Manny Machado, Baltimore

4

158

Dallas Keuchel, Houston

107

Nelson Cruz, Seattle

1

94

Adrian Beltre, Texas

83

Jose Bautista, Toronto

2

82

David Price, Detroit/Toronto

1

62

Jose Altuve, Houston

44

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit

1

40

Royals also receiving votes: Kendrys Morales (one 4th), Mike Moustakas (one 8th), Eric Hosmer (two 10th), Wade Davis (one 10th)

Sam Mellinger’s ballot: Trout, Donaldson, Cain, Machado, Jason Kipnis, J.D. Martinez, Chris Davis, Mookie Betts, Kevin Kiermaier, Beltre

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