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Brandon Webb and Stephen Drew get some MVP love: who'll be next?

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Even though the Cardinals didn't make it to the playoffs, it is probably no surprise that Albert Pujols won the National League Most Valuable Player award, as the league seems more open to this possibility than the American League. In the NL, half of the last eight MVPs are now from teams that didn't reach the postseason [the other three being Ryan Howard in 2006, plus Barry Bonds in 2004 and 2001]. In contrast, this hasn't happened in the American League since 1991, when Cal Ripken won the MVP for the Orioles, who went 67-95 that season. Doesn't bode well for Joe Mauer chances of upsetting Dustin Pedroia for the junior circuit award.

Pujols got eighteen of the possible thirty-two first-place votes; Ryan Howard got most of the rest, which echoes the result of the SB Nation MVP award. Though there, Howard only finished in sixth, despite being the only player beside Pujols to get more than one first-place vote, since he was left off the ballot entirely by a significant number of voters. Not the case in the BBWAA poll, where only one voter opted to ignore him. The sole man to put Pujols outside the top four was Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Let the flaming commence...

A solid showing for Mandy, the 'official' fourth-place being much better than the tenth he managed in the SB Nation voting. But I think Ramirez's performance illustrates perfectly the perceived difference between "Most Valuable" and "Best." On the same theme, I also note that Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, was only the fifth-ranked pitcher in the 'Most Valuable' rankings, coming behind Sabathia, Lidge, Santana and Webb. Certainly, without Sabathia, the Brewers don't make the playoffs; without Lincecum, the Giants... are likely still exactly where they were, fourth in the NL West, just a few games closer to the Rockies.

Pleased to see Brandon Webb and Stephen Drew appearing in the table of results. Webb finished seventeenth, getting 14 points, including two fifth-place votes, while Drew got a ninth-place vote, for two points and 26th place. The Most Valuable Player award has not been a happy hunting ground for the D-backs, with only two position players reaching the top ten - none since 2001 - and nobody finishing above third. Contrast our record in the Cy Young, where the team's pitchers have come first or second eleven times in eleven years [five wins and six runners-up]. Here are all the MVP vote recipients for the Diamondbacks in franchise history:

  • 2008
    17th Brandon Webb (14 points)
    26th Stephen Drew (2)
  • 2007
    11th Eric Byrnes (43)
    14th Jose Valverde (19)
    17th Brandon Webb (15)
  • 2004
    19th Randy Johnson (7)
  • 2003
    25th Luis Gonzalez (4)
  • 2002
    7th Randy Johnson (127)
    10th Curt Schilling (53)
    14th Junior Spivey (8)
  • 2001
    3rd Luis Gonzalez (261)
    10th Curt Schilling (24)
    11th Randy Johnson (23)
  • 2000
    17th Randy Johnson (5)
  • 1999
    3rd Matt Williams (269)
    13th Jay Bell (31)
    15th Randy Johnson (21)
    18th Luis Gonzalez (12)

One of those names is not like the others: yes, the words "Junior Spivey" and "Most Valuable Player" don't quite seem to gel, do they? But that was the year he hit .301/.389/.476, impressive numbers for a second-baseman. He was last seen getting cut by the Red Sox in spring training this year, though he apparently still lives in Arizona, and is also part owner of proathletesonly.com. Anyway, the question is, what Diamondback position player do you think will be the next to crack the top ten in MVP voting, when do you think it'll happen, and what are the reasons for your choice? For bonus credit, who'll be the first to make the top three, and do you think any of them have a chance to win it? Oh, look: it's a poll.