Major League Baseball's Albert Pujols has captured the National League's Most Valuable Player Award.

The Saint Louis Cardinals first baseman nailed down the award for the first time Tuesday with 18 first-place votes, and 14 seconds for 378 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Pujols finished in the top three in the voting the last three years.

Atlanta Braves center fielder Andruw Jones, who led the National League with 51 home runs, was second in the voting with 13 first-place votes, 17 seconds and two thirds for 351 points. Cubs first baseman Derek Lee was a distant third with 263 points.

The 25-year-old Pujols led the league in runs scored for the third straight season with 129 and ranked in the top-three for homers (41), batting average (.330) and runs batted in (117). He is the league's youngest MVP since 1984.