The odds weren’t in Marcus Semien’s favor.
The first Oakland A’s American League MVP finalist since Miguel Tejada won back in 2002 was up against some tough competition, and he knew it.
“It’s going to be tough to win it, but just to be top three and see your name in between those guys. It’s really cool,” Semien said when he found out he’d be one of three finalists.
Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout was named the 2019 American League MVP — a generational talent, perennial finalist and now three-time MVP before hitting age 30.
Mike Trout has now finished top-2 in MVP voting 7 times.
That’s tied for 2nd-most since the BBWAA began voting in 1931, with Albert Pujols (his current teammate!) and Stan Musial.
Only player with more top-2 finishes? Barry Bonds, with 9.
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) November 14, 2019
Semien finished third, with 22 third place votes, 6 fourth place votes and 2 sixth place votes (228 points).
Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, who finished second, had one of the best years statistically on a 107-win team that came one win short of a second World Series title.
Congratulations to @MikeTrout and Marcus on incredible seasons!! It was an honor to play against y’all all year!! Thanks to my family, teammates, coaches and friends!!! Cant wait for spring training!!!
— Alex Bregman (@ABREG_1) November 15, 2019
But if we isolate Semien’s season, away from the competition, it was certainly MVP-worthy. Sports Info Solutions determined that Semien led the MLB in win shares with 36, three more than Trout. The statistic calculates how much an individual player contributed to wins.
Semien also had an 8.1 WAR — a key statistic in determining the MVP — which was third to Bregman (8.4) and Trout (8.3), according to Baseball Reference.
Proud to call him a Golden Bear.
— Cal Baseball (@CalBaseball) November 14, 2019
“This is the award I’ve been nominated for and they’re all pretty happy for me,” Semien said when asked on MLB Network if he’s gotten support from teammates.
Where Semien excelled was in his consistency throughout the season. He played 162 games and used his superior discipline at the plate to cultivate a .892 OPS, .285 average with 33 home runs and 92 RBIs — all career highs. His 123 runs scored tied an A’s record set by Reggie Jackson in 1969, which also ranked third in the league. His 43 doubles and 83 extra base hits also ranked third.
A couple of Semien’s teammates got some votes, too. A’s Platinum Glove third baseman Matt Chapman finished sixth with one fourth-place vote and 89 total points. Gold Glover Matt Olson finished with one 10th place vote.
SEASON PASS DIGITAL OFFER
If you have not already, we strongly encourage you to sign up for a digital subscription, which gives you access to all content on the Mercury News and East Bay Times websites. With your support, we can continue bringing these stories — and much more — to your screens. Here’s where to sign up for the season pass: Mercury News, East Bay Times.