Chicago White Sox first baseman José Abreu and Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman won the 2020 Most Valuable Player awards on Thursday night. Abreu received 21 of 30 first-place votes, while Freeman got 28 out of 30.
Abreu, who took home his third Silver Slugger award earlier this month, led the American League in hits (76), RBIs (60) and slugging percentage (.617) while appearing in all 60 games this season. This is his fifth time receiving MVP votes, and his highest finish since coming in fourth place during his rookie campaign.
Freeman, the National League's winner, enjoyed a career year at the plate, leading the majors in runs scored (51) and doubles (23) while setting career highs in batting average (.341), on-base percentage (.462) and slugging percentage (.640). His previous best finish was fourth place in 2018.
This is the first time a first baseman has won the MVP award since Joey Votto did so in 2010. Only twice before has a first baseman won the award in both leagues in the same season. Justin Morneau and Ryan Howard each won the award in 2006, while Frank Thomas and and Jeff Bagwell do it in 1994.
Abreu beat out finalists José Ramírez and DJ LeMahieu, who finished in second and third place, respectively. Abreu is the 10th player to win both the AL Rookie of the Year award and the MVP.
Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts finished second with two first-place votes, while Manny Machado came in third.
Abreu is the fourth member of the White Sox to win the MVP award, joining Nellie Fox (1959), Dick Allen (1972) and Thomas (1993 and 1994). He is also the third Cuban-born player to be named the MVP. The other two were Zoilo Versalles (1965) and Jose Canseco (1988).
Freeman is the sixth Braves player to win the MVP award. The previous five were Bob Elliott (1947), Hank Aaron (1957), Dale Murphy (1982 and 1983), Terry Pendleton (1991) and Chipper Jones (1999).
Three-time winner and reigning MVP Mike Trout finished fifth in the voting, his lowest finish in his nine full seasons. He's finished second four times and fourth once in his career. Abreu, Ramírez, LeMahieu, Trout and White Sox's shortstop Tim Anderson were included on all 30 ballots. This was Ramírez's third top-three finish in the past four seasons.
Betts is the first player to win the MVP in one league and finish second in the other, narrowly missing becoming the second player to ever win the award in both leagues—a feat accomplished only by Hall of Famer Frank Robinson. Betts previously won the 2018 MVP award while playing for the Boston Red Sox.
Freeman, Betts, Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Marcell Ozuna were named on every NL ballot.