As baseball fans soak in the postseason of a shortened regular season, the shadows of the offseason are creeping closer: Award talk is starting, and it includes a Minnesota Twins player.
Designated hitter Nelson Cruz is a finalist for the Hank Aaron Award. The award is given to one American League player and one National League player who was the best hitter in their respective league for the season. The award was started in 1999, the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron surpassing Babe Ruth’s home run record, and is now voted on by fans, whose votes count for 30% of the result while votes from analysts and broadcasters account for 70% of the total vote. A panel of Hall of Famers also cast votes.
The 40-year-old is well-deserving of this nomination for this season. Despite a small slump at the end of the year, Boomstick hit .303/.397/.595 (.992) with 16 homers and 33 RBI. When those numbers are put up against the rest of the A.L., his batting average is seventh-best, OBP is third-best, SLG is fifth-best, and OPS is fourth-best. He tied for fifth place in the home run contest among American League batters, belting 16 homers on the season. Cruz, if he wins, would become the first Twins player to win the award.
To cast your vote, click here. Fans can vote through Sunday.
The other A.L. candidates are Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu, Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu, Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays, and Teoscar Hernandez of the Toronto Blue Jays.
National League finalists include Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager, Dominic Smith of the New York Mets, San Diego Padres’ Manny Machado, Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals, St Louis Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt, and, of course, Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies.