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Youkilis, Bay fare well in MVP voting

The American League MVP winner was announced Monday afternoon and it was no surprise: Joe Mauer (future Red Sox catcher?).

The Twins catcher (and prospective free agent after the 2010 season) received 27 of 28 first-place votes; the last AL MVP to get at least 27 first-place votes, according to ESPN researcher Mark Simon, was Ken Griffey, a unanimous choice in 1997 while with the Mariners.

The other first-place vote went to Detroit's Miguel Cabrera; the lone voter presumably casting his ballot before Cabrera went on an all-night bender on the last weekend of the season, contributing to his team losing the AL Central title that was won by Mauer's Twins in a one-game playoff.

Red Sox players Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Youkilis had two second-place votes. Dustin Pedroia, the 2008 MVP, did not appear on any of the ballots cast, which ranked selections from first to 10th place. Incredibly, five other AL second basemen appeared on ballots: Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist, Toronto's Aaron Hill, the Yankees' Robinson Cano, the Tigers' Placido Polanco and the Rangers' Ian Kinsler.

Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter of the Yankees finished 2-3, respectively, with Cabrera fourth and Kendry Morales of the Angels fifth. Six Yankees received at least one vote: Teixeira, Jeter, Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera and CC Sabathia.

Meanwhile, to keep up with how Sox prospects are doing in the Caribbean winter leagues, I highly recommend this link at Soxprospects.com. These guys have a great site.