Every year, Major League Baseball hands out the “Hank Aaron Award” for the best offensive player in both the National and American Leagues. However, there is a bit of a wrinkle to this award, as the “nominees” are selected exclusively in a “one per team” format, and without further ado, here are those nominees:
American League: Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Chris Davis (Orioles), David Ortiz (Red Sox), Alexei Ramirez (White Sox), Jason Kipnis (Indians), Jason Castro (Astros), Eric Hosmer (Royals), Mike Trout (Angels), Joe Mauer (Twins), Robinson Cano (Yankees), Josh Donaldson (A’s), Kendrys Morales (Mariners), Evan Longoria (Rays), Adrian Beltre (Rangers), Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays)
National League: Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks), Freddie Freeman (Braves), Nate Schierholtz (Cubs), Jay Bruce (Reds), Michael Cuddyer (Rockies), Hanley Ramirez (Dodgers), Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins), Carlos Gomez (Brewers), David Wright (Mets), Domonic Brown (Phillies), Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), Matt Carpenter (Cardinals), Will Venable (Padres), Hunter Pence (Giants), Will Venable (Padres)
There aren’t a lot of shockers on this list, but it does eliminate a few “candidates” from contention on the basis of the one per team philosophy. It’s important to note that while the nominees are chosen on their merits, the final voting is conducted through fans, and that the “best” player in the league isn’t always the winner of this award. In addition, the MVP and Hank Aaron Award often match, but the MVP should count other factors (defense, baserunning, etc.) while the Hank Aaron is purely an offensive distinction.
Cue the arguments.