OAKLAND -- Marcus Semien's spectacular 2019 season fell just short of a coronation as the American League’s MVP Award winner. The A’s shortstop finished third for the honor, voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America behind winner Mike Trout of the Angels and the Astros’ Alex Bregman, who
OAKLAND -- Marcus Semien's spectacular 2019 season fell just short of a coronation as the American League’s MVP Award winner. The A’s shortstop finished third for the honor, voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America behind winner Mike Trout of the Angels and the Astros’ Alex Bregman, who finished second.
The third-place finish by Semien is the highest by an A’s player since Miguel Tejada won the award in 2002. Semien received 22 third-, six fourth- and two sixth-place votes for a total score of 228, behind Trout’s 355 and Bregman’s 335.
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Missing out on the award does not diminish what was one of the all-time great seasons in Oakland history turned in by Semien. The 29-year-old shortstop became just the fourth player in club history to hit at least 30 homers and 40 doubles in a season, and his 123 runs scored tied Reggie Jackson for the franchise record.
The offensive numbers were great for Semien, who slashed .285/.369/.522 with career highs in homers (33), RBIs (92) and OPS (.892). But as impressive as Semien’s performance at the plate was, it was his defensive showing that was eye-opening.
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Just a few years removed from ranking as one of the worst defensive players in the Majors, Semien made improvements in the field last season that earned him a nomination for the AL Gold Glove Award for a second straight year, leading AL shortstops in fielding percentage (.981), assists (436), double plays (85) and defensive rating (14.1).
Semien admitted that he believed it would be tough to win the AL MVP Award due to having a lower OPS than Bregman’s 1.015. Whatever the outcome, he was excited to be recognized among baseball’s elite players.
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“I was just sitting there with my family on the couch kind of hoping,” Semien said after learning of his selection as a finalist. “It’s going to be tough to win it. Just to be top three and see your name with those guys, it’s really cool.
“I think it’s all cool just to see how the entire list ends up being. For us, we see all these players every day on the field, so you take a look back at how they looked and what their numbers were. You look at it and see what numbers really matter to the voters.”
With Semien set to become a free agent after the 2020 season, the clock will start to tick on a possible contract extension. A Bay Area native, Semien and the A’s have had extension negotiations in the past, and those are likely to ramp up as the new season gets closer.
“It goes without saying that Marcus is one of our best players. He’s coming up on his last year and it certainly will be something we’ll have to discuss internally,” A’s executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said last month. “To say when that will happen, it’s too early right now. We have a lot of stuff to talk about in the coming weeks.”
Martin Gallegos covers the A's for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MartinJGallegos.