The National League Central showcased two of the world’s premiere players at their finest in 2010, as Joey Votto and Albert Pujols battled it out for the MVP award across six months of baseball. Both players produced 7+ fWAR and 6.9+ bWAR, which, although a bit low for the typical MVP season, are still fantastic. Predictably, Votto and Pujols headline both our awards and the BBWAA awards.
Our ballot features a total of 24 players, accumulating from one point (Chris Johnson, Astros 3B, 10th place vote) to the 177 totaled by our winner (as well as the BBWAA’s), Joey Votto. Votto received 15 of the 19 first place votes, with Pujols picking up two and Roy Halladay picking up the final pair. The biggest difference in our voting was Ryan Zimmerman, who finished 3rd (10 3rd place votes) against 16th in the BBWAA ballot. Zimmerman is emerging as a top hitting talent as well as the best fielding third baseman in the NL, which is why he received that spot on the ballot.
Corey Hart received a 9th place vote in the BBWAA ballot, but was shut out by the SweetSpotters, as was Ryan Braun, who received 8 votes ranging from 6th to 10th place. However, Rickie Weeks (T-12, two votes) and Yovani Gallardo (T-20, one vote) appear in the SweetSpot voting.
My ballot reads as follows: Votto, Pujols, Zimmerman, Halladay, Adam Wainwright, Weeks, Aubrey Huff, Gallardo, and Carlos Gonzalez. Unfortunately, I omitted the very capable Matt Holliday, who probably deserved a fifth place vote or better.
The full voting follows: