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The best man won: Giancarlo Stanton voted 2017 NL Most Valuable Player

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He barely edged out Cincinnati’s Joey Votto in the fourth-closest MVP balloting race ever. But a win’s a win!

MIAMI, FL - JULY 11:  Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins and the National League reacts prior to the 88th MLB All-Star Game between the National League All-Stars and the American League All-Stars at Marlins Park on July 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
He becomes the first Marlins player to ever win the award.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

This is exactly what the Miami Marlins envisioned for Giancarlo Stanton: when they drafted him in the second round as a 17-year-old; when they promoted him to the majors as one of baseball’s top prospects; and when they signed him to the richest contract in U.S. sports history. On Thursday night, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) named Stanton the 2017 NL MVP Award winner over fellow finalists Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt.

He becomes the first player in franchise history to receive this honor, finally getting over the hump after finishing runner-up to Clayton Kershaw in 2014. At age 27, he batted .281/.376/.631, leading the National League with 59 home runs and 132 runs batted in. The All-Star right fielder also fared well in a variety of other key stats:

Meanwhile, Marcell Ozuna enjoyed a career year of his own in terms of both run production (124 RBI) and defense (NL Gold Glove winner). Six writers noticed and included him among their top 10 candidates. Overall, Ozuna finished tied for 15th in the balloting with eight points. It’s the first time since the Florida Marlins era that two members of the team received MVP shares in the same year (most recently Dan Uggla and Josh Johnson in 2010).

Source: BBWAA.com

If this proves to be Stanton’s final season with the Marlins, what a way to go out! His record-setting performance was already recognized with the Hank Aaron and Silver Slugger awards. And he produced with style, starring in more GIF-able moments than any other player.

In a live interview with MLB Network after the big reveal, Stanton called the MVP win “unbelievable” and thanked his father for helping him adjust after a forgettable 2016 campaign. Specifically, adopting a closed stance at the plate made a huge difference, in his opinion.

If Stanton stays relatively healthy, there’s no doubt he’ll be a top contender for the award again in 2018...but what uniform will he be wearing?