Ryan Braun tops Brewers' annual awards

Leftfielder Ryan Braun and right-hander Yovani Gallardo were unanimous picks as the Brewers' most valuable player and most valuable pitcher, respectively, for the 2012 season in the annual voting of the Milwaukee chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Eight ballots were returned by the BBWAA chapter in Milwaukee, and Braun and Gallardo were first on all eight ballots, receiving 40 points each in the 5-3-1 points system for first, second and third place. Three names were submitted for each category.

Also honored were third baseman Aramis Ramirez as top newcomer and right-hander Marco Estrada as unsung hero. Closer John Axford won the good guy award, given to a player who interacts particularly well with the media.

Braun batted .319 and led the Brewers with 41 home runs, 112 RBI, 108 runs scored, a .391 on-base percentage and a .595 slugging percentage. The reigning NL MVP played in 154 games, second on the club.

Ramirez, who batted .300 with 50 doubles, 27 home runs and 105 RBI, was a unanimous runner-up for second place as club MVP, and first baseman Corey Hart (.270, 30 homers, 83 RBI) received all the third-place votes.

Gallardo led the Brewers' late-season charge into wild-card contention by reeling off eight consecutive victories over an 11-start span. He finished with a 16-9 record and 3.66 ERA, leading the club with 204 innings while logging at least 200 strikeouts (204) for the fourth consecutive season, extending his club record.

Estrada was second in the most valuable pitcher balloting with 13 points (four votes for second, one for third), followed by Mike Fiers with eight points (two votes for second, two for third).

Ramirez topped rightfielder Norichika Aoki for top newcomer, receiving seven first-place votes and one for second for 38 points. Aoki received the other first-place vote and also had six for second place to finish with 23 points. Fiers was third in that balloting with six points (six votes for third).

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