It was going to be difficult for the Tigers to win a fourth consecutive AL MVP. Despite Victor Martinez's career-season at 35, it wasn't enough to win the 2014 AL MVP and for the first time since 2010, the award does not reside in Detroit. Martinez finished second to Angels centerfielder, Mike Trout, earning 16 of the 30 second-place votes.
None of the ballot cast included Martinez in the first-place discussion, Trout won by unanimous decision. Martinez also received four third-place votes and David Coleman of the Fort Bend Herald and SB Nation's CrawfishBoxes.com was the only voter to leave Martinez entirely off his 10-man ballot.
The awards are voted on before the postseason, but not announced until after the World Series. For the last three years a member of the Tigers has won the award. First baseman Miguel Cabrera had been the winner for both 2012 and 2013, with Justin Verlander taking the award in 2011. Trout had finished second to Cabrera in the last two seasons.
Martinez's 2014 career-season was incredible. He may not run the bases well and and he played first base only a handful of times, but the DH provided the Tigers with a badly-needed offensive force. His younger counterpart, J.D. Martinez, mashed in his own rite, but with Cabrera's quieter season, the team would've been missing a feared middle of the lineup had Martinez not destroyed baseballs at the rate he did in 2014.
The second place finish by Martinez was the best finish by a DH since the Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz finished second in 2005. The second-place finish by Martinez also marks the fifth straight season a member of the Tigers has either finished first or second.
A career .303 hitter, Martinez finished the 2014 season with a .335 batting average, 103 RBI, 33 doubles, and a career-high 32 home runs. Martinez's .565 slugging percentage was a career-high and he struck out only 42 times, the lowest among MLB batters with 120-or-more plate appearances. He also drew 70 walks and his 5.6 oWAR was eighth in the AL.