The American League Most Valuable Player Award was announced today. As expected, Minnesota Twin backstop Joe Mauer ran away with the honor.
Voting for Mauer was nearly unanimous, as he received 27 of the 28 first place votes. Though he came in fourth, Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers received the only other first place vote. Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees came in second and third in the voting, respectively.
The selection of Mauer should come as no surprise to anyone. After missing the first month of the season due to a back injury, the Minnesota native returned from the disabled list firing on all cylinders.
Mauer finished his 2009 campaign with a .365 batting average, winning the American League Batting Title for the third time in his still young career.
He also found a consistent power stroke, belting 26 home runs for the season (a career high) while driving in 96.
To top it off, he led his team to a second consecutive division title, as Minnesota went on to beat the Detroit Tigers in an extra 163rd game to advance to the postseason.
At 26-years-old, Joe Mauer is not even at the peak of his career. If the Twins are smart, they will sign him to a multi-year contract before he becomes a free agent in 2011.
With at least another eight or nine solid years left for Mauer to make his mark on the game, do not be surprised to see another MVP or two attached to his name over the next few seasons.