Joey Votto was named the 2010 NL MVP with a commanding 31 of 32 first place votes. Finishing a distant second was Albert Pujols, who in addition to winning three MVPs has also been the runner up four times.
Votto’s selection over Pujols is perfectly justifiable, but it is interesting to note that it was actually Pujols who was recently awarded the silver slugger for first base in the National League. Coincidentally, Votto became the first player to win the MVP, but not the silver slugger, since Pujols in 2005. In total, there are only five instances of an MVP failing to win the silver slugger (excluding American League pitchers voted as MVP) since the latter award was first given out in 1980. Listed below is a comparison of the MVP and silver slugger for each instance.
Based on offensive WAR, in three of the five seasons, the silver slugger actually had a better year with the bat than the MVP. Not surprisingly, in all of them, the MVP’s team made the playoffs, while the silver slugger’s team did not. In 2000 and 2005, however, Giambi and Pujols rated as the better hitter by a significant margin, leaving one to scratch their head as to why they were overlooked for the silver slugger.
MVPs Who Didn’t Win a Silver Slugger
|NL MVP||Joey Votto*||648||106||37||113||0.324||0.424||0.600||6.9|
|1B SS||Albert Pujols||700||115||42||118||0.312||0.414||0.596||7.4|
|NL MVP||Albert Pujols*||700||129||41||117||0.330||0.430||0.609||7.2|
|1B SS||Derek Lee||691||120||46||107||0.335||0.418||0.662||6.0|
|AL MVP||Miguel Tejada*||715||108||34||131||0.308||0.354||0.508||5.8|
|3B SS||Alex Rodriguez||725||125||57||142||0.300||0.392||0.623||8.2|
|AL MVP||Jason Giambi*||664||108||43||137||0.333||0.476||0.647||9.4|
|1B SS||Carlos Delgado||711||115||41||137||0.344||0.470||0.664||7.6|
|NL MVP||Terry Pendelton*||644||94||22||86||0.319||0.363||0.517||5.5|
|3B SS||Howard Johnson||658||108||38||117||0.259||0.342||0.535||5.7|
*Team made the post season.
Note: Excluded Dennis Eckersley, Roger Clemens, Willie Hernandez and Rollie Fingers, who each won the MVP as pitchers in the American League.