Braun received 20 of 32 first-place votes in a ballot of BBWAA members. Kemp received 10.
Given that the players were statistically similar, Braun apparently benefited from the Brewers’ National League Central title, which perhaps better framed his value. The Dodgers were not a factor in the NL West.
NL Rookie of the Year four years ago, Braun batted .332 with 33 home runs, 111 RBIs, 33 stolen bases and a .994 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
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Kemp, who last week agreed to an eight-year, $160-million contract extension with the Dodgers, batted .324 with 39 home runs, 126 RBIs, 39 steals and a .986 OPS. Kemp finished third in the batting race, so just that far from the first Triple Crown season since Carl Yastrzemski’s with the Boston Red Sox in 1967. It would have been the first in the National League since Joe Medwick’s in 1937.
Braun, who turned 28 last week, is the first league MVP for the Brewers since Robin Yount in 1989. He also outpointed his teammate, Prince Fielder(notes), who twice before was a top-five MVP vote getter. He had 38 home runs and 120 RBIs in 2011. Fielder is expected to leave the Brewers by free agency in the coming weeks.
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