The 2019 AL MVP results were announced on Thursday, and as expected the winner did not come from the Oakland A’s. However, the team did land their highest finish since 2002, as shortstop Marcus Semien placed third in the voting. Overall, three A’s players received votes.
The league’s Most Valuable Player is determined by a panel of 30 writers from the BBWAA. Each voter submits 10 names, from first place down to 10th. Here are the three A’s who earned votes, in order of their final ranking (click here to see full results):
- 3rd: Marcus Semien, SS
- 6th: Matt Chapman, 3B
- 21st: Matt Olson, 1B
Semien led the way, snaring 22 third-place votes, six more for fourth place, and a pair for sixth place. That put him comfortably ahead of the next finisher (D.J. LeMahieu, NYY), though it wasn’t enough to vault him past winner Mike Trout (LAA) or runner-up Alex Bregman (HOU). (Click here to see all the ballots.)
Chapman showed up on 26 ballots, including once as high as fourth place (by Rangers writer Levi Weaver). Last year Chapman finished seventh for MVP, so he moved up one spot this time. Olson got just a single 10th-place vote, from A’s insider Martin Gallegos, which put him in a five-way tie for the final spot on the list.
In the end, Semien walked away from his spectacular 2019 campaign without any hardware to show for it, but he at least got some attention. In addition to being an MVP finalist, he was also a finalist for the Gold Glove at shortstop. He wasn’t even an All-Star, since he was at his hottest in the second half of the season, but he ultimately put up around 8 WAR on both scales and led a 97-win team that reached the postseason. Trout was a deserving MVP winner, but here’s the case for why Semien should have won.
The busiest awards season belonged to the Matts, as Chapman (3B) and Olson (1B) cleaned up on the defensive side of the ball for the second straight year. They both won the Gold Glove again at their respective positions, and they both won the Fielding Bible again. Chapman also repeated as the Platinum Glove winner in the AL, as well as the Wilson Defensive 3B of the Year.
As for the MVP, the finish by Semien was the highest by an A’s player since fellow shortstop Miguel Tejada won the award in 2002. The last time two A’s placed in the top-six was 1992, when Dennis Eckersley won and Mark McGwire came in fourth. The last time at least three A’s got votes was last year, but before that it was 2004. Here are the last couple decades of results:
1999: Giambi (8), Stairs (17), Jaha (18)
2000: Giambi (1), Hudson (15), Tejada (16)
2001: Giambi (2), Mulder (13), Tejada (19), Zito (21)
2002: Tejada (1), Zito (13), Chavez (14), Koch (18)
2003: Tejada (11), Foulke (15), Chavez (17)
2004: Kotsay (14), Durazo (23), Chavez (30)
2005: Chavez (21), Street (23)
2006: Thomas (4)
2012: Cespedes (10), Reddick (16)
2013: Donaldson (4), Coco (15)
2014: Donaldson (8)
2017: Khrush (22)
2018: Chapman (7), Khrush (8), Treinen (15), Lowrie (20)
2019: Semien (3), Chapman (6), Olson (21)
Congrats to all three A’s on some well-earned MVP love!