After powering the Chicago Cubs to their historic victory in the 2016 World Series, second-year third baseman Kris Bryant claimed one of Major League Baseball's most coveted individual awards on Thursday. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player.
Bryant, 24, is only the fourth player in baseball history to win the MVP award one year after being named the Rookie of the Year. He smacked 39 home runs, had a .292 batting average, along with hitting 102 runs batted in and scoring 121 runs, the league's best. Bryant played third base and outfield.
The last Cubs player to win the MVP award was Sammy Sosa in 1998.
Bryant received 29 of 30 first-place votes in the balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, beating out Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy and Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager.
Over in the American League, the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout was named MVP. The 25-year-old center fielder and five-time All-Star won his first MVP award in 2014. This year, he batted .315, hit 29 home runs, driving in 100 runs, and scoring 123 runs.
Trout, widely regarded as the best player in the game, received 19 first-place votes from the baseball writers, surpassing Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox and Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros. He's been in the running for the AL MVP award in each of his five seasons in the majors. However, his club finished a disappointing 74-88, placing fourth in the AL Western Division.
As ESPN reports, Trout is the sixth player to win two MVP awards before the age of 26.
The baseball writers' vote was held before the start of the postseason.