On Sunday, Major League Baseball announced the finalists for the 2017 Hank Aaron Awards, which has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.
For the eighth year in a row, baseball fans have a say in the winners of this prestigious award. Fans can vote for their American and National League selections online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites through October 13.
Six former Aaron Award winners are amongst this year's finalists: Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson, Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.), Giancarlo Stanton and Buster Posey. Fifteen finalists were named All-Stars this year and overall the 30 finalists combined to have been named All-Stars 65 times. The group also features 19 players under the age of 30, with eight aged 25 or younger.
Votto, who captured the National League Hank Aaron Award in 2010, finished the 2017 campaign as the National League leader in on-base percentage (.454), walks (134) and OPS (1.032). The left-handed hitting first baseman also ended up third in the league in batting average (.320), tied for fifth in home runs (36) and sixth in slugging percentage (.578). For a summary of some of his other impressive 2017 statistics, follow this link.
The finalists for the 2017 Hank Aaron Award are:
Baltimore Orioles: Jonathan Schoop
Boston Red Sox: Mookie Betts
Chicago White Sox: José Abreu
Cleveland Indians: José Ramírez
Detroit Tigers: Nicholas Castellanos
Houston Astros: Jose Altuve
Kansas City Royals: Eric Hosmer
Los Angeles Angels: Mike Trout
Minnesota Twins: Brian Dozier
New York Yankees: Aaron Judge
Oakland Athletics: Khris Davis
Seattle Mariners: Nelson Cruz
Tampa Bay Rays: Logan Morrison
Texas Rangers: Elvis Andrus
Toronto Blue Jays: Josh Donaldson
Arizona Diamondbacks: Paul Goldschmidt
Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman
Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo
Cincinnati Reds: Joey Votto
Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon
Los Angeles Dodgers: Cody Bellinger
Miami Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton
Milwaukee Brewers: Travis Shaw
New York Mets: Michael Conforto
Philadelphia Phillies: Odúbel Herrera
Pittsburgh Pirates: Andrew McCutchen
San Diego Padres: Jose Pirela
San Francisco Giants: Buster Posey
St. Louis Cardinals: Tommy Pham
Washington Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman
Also for the eighth consecutive year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players, led by Hank Aaron himself, will also vote on the winners of the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball.
The panel of Hall of Famers include Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Eddie Murray and Robin Yount. These Hall of Famers - who combined for 17,010 hits, 8,844 RBI and 2,275 home runs - have all been personally selected by Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.
Continuing through October 13, fans have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2017 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 113th World Series.
Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Kris Bryant and David Ortiz (2016); Donaldson and Bryce Harper (2015); Stanton and Trout (2014); Miguel Cabrera and Goldschmidt (2013); Cabrera and Posey (2012); Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011); Bautista and Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).
The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.