Thursday, April 26, 2018
Sports

MVPs: Donaldson, unanimous Harper

Bryce Harper became the youngest unanimous MVP in baseball history Thursday, capturing the NL award despite his Nationals missing the playoffs.

Josh Donaldson took the AL MVP after helping boost the Blue Jays back into the postseason for the first time since 1993.

Harper turned 23 on Oct. 16, after the playoffs had already started. He got all 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

"I'm very ecstatic and very happy," Harper said on TV after the announcement. "I can't thank my teammates and family and everyone that has been a part of it enough."

The 2012 NL rookie of the year led the majors in slugging percentage and on-base average this season. The outfielder hit .330 with 42 home runs and 99 RBIs.

Harper was the first player from a Washington franchise to win an MVP — no one on the original or expansion Senators or Nats had done it.

At 22 years, 353 days old on the final day of the season, Harper is the fourth-youngest to win MVP, behind Vida Blue (22 years, 64 days), Johnny Bench (22, 298) and Stan Musial (22, 316).

Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was second in the voting and Reds first baseman Joey Votto was third.

Donaldson, 29, received 23 first-place votes. Angels outfielder Mike Trout got the other first-place votes and finished second for the third time — he won the award last year.

Donaldson led the AL with 123 RBIs and the majors by scoring 122 runs. The third baseman hit 41 homers and batted .297.

Traded from Oakland last offseason, Donaldson helped Toronto win the AL East as the club led the majors in runs and homers.

"I feel like I was able to take advantage of the opportunities put in front of me," he said after winning the award.

Donaldson joins George Bell (1987) as the only Toronto players to win MVP.

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