Chicago White Sox slugger José Abreu earned the AL MVP award, a reward for powering his team back into the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Freddie Freeman easily won the NL MVP award Thursday, topping off a trying year that saw him become ill with COVID-19, receiving 28 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts got the other two firsts to finish second, and San Diego third baseman Manny Machado was third.
Abreu led the majors with 60 RBIs and 148 total bases, and topped the AL with 76 hits and a .617 slugging percentage. He played in all 60 games during the virus-shortened season as Chicago claimed a wild-card spot.
Cleveland third baseman José Ramírez finished second in the AL MVP voting and Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu was third.
The 33-year-old Abreu batted .317 with 19 home runs, connecting six times in a three-game series against the Cubs in late August. That barrage of longballs at Wrigley Field was part of his 22-game hitting streak, the longest in the majors this year.
Abreu gave credit to manager Rick Renteria.
Abreu was the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year and is a three-time All-Star. He became the fourth different White Sox player to win the AL MVP, joining Frank Thomas (1993-94), Dick Allen (1972) and Nellie Fox (1959).
Abreu was the third Cuban-born player to be an MVP, along with Jose Canseco and Zoilo Versalles.
This was the first time since Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau in 2006 that a pair of first basemen won the MVPs.
Freeman got a $185,185 bonus and Abreu received $37,037 for winning in contract bonuses prorated because of the shortened season.