Freddie Freeman let out a secret at the top of the MLB Network awards show Thursday.
He told the media he lost one pound when he was sick because of coronavirus before the season began. Thursday, minutes before being named NL MVP, Freeman explained he actually lost eight pounds, labeling himself a little skinny to start the season.
It did not influence his output. Freeman was an easy winner of the award, receiving 28 of 30 first-place votes. Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts finished second. San Diego third baseman Manny Machado was third. Fernando Tatis Jr. finished fourth. Juan Soto was fifth -- and surprisingly left off two ballots. Marcell Ozuna was sixth. Trea Turner finished seventh.
This marks the seventh time a Braves player has won the award. The others were two-time winner Dale Murphy in 1982 and ‘83, Bob Elliott in 1947, Henry “Hank” Aaron in 1957, Terry Pendleton in 1991 and Chipper Jones in 1999.
Mookie Betts, the 2018 AL MVP with the Red Sox, came the closest to matching Frank Robinson’s feat of winning MVPs in both leagues (in the NL with the Reds in 1961 and in the AL with the Orioles in 1966). Betts is the first player to have won an MVP in one league and been the runner-up in the other.
Freeman, Betts, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Marcell Ozuna were named to every ballot.
Mike Yastrzemski, Corey Seager and NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer rounded out the voting.
Ballots, submitted before the start of the postseason, were cast by two writers in each league city. They are tabulated on a system that rewards 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third and down to one for 10th. Full voting results can be found here.