Vote for Ramírez for 2020 Aaron Award
MLB announced the finalists for the 2020 Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday, and it’s a superstar list.
The Hank Aaron Award is given to the most outstanding offensive player in each league every year. This season, there are seven finalists for the American League and seven for the National League — and you can help decide the winners by voting at MLB.com/hankaaronaward. Fans can vote on one AL and one NL winner from now through Sunday.
Here are the 2020 finalists for each league.
José Abreu, White Sox
The veteran leader of a White Sox team that broke out to make its first postseason appearance since 2008, Abreu led the AL in hits (76) and slugging percentage (.617) and led the Majors in RBIs (60) and total bases (148). Abreu also hit .317 with 19 home runs, second most in the Majors, and a .987 OPS.
Nelson Cruz, Twins
Cruz was one of the elite sluggers in the AL once again, even at age 40. The designated hitter led the Bomba Squad to its second straight AL Central title, hitting .303 and slugging .595 with 16 home runs, 33 RBIs and a .992 OPS that was fourth best in the AL.
Teoscar Hernández, Blue Jays
A breakout slugger for a young Blue Jays team that made a surprising run to the playoffs, Hernández had a career year offensively. The 27-year-old right fielder hit .289 with a team-high 16 home runs and 34 RBIs, plus a .579 slugging percentage and a .919 OPS that both ranked in the top 10 in the league.
DJ LeMahieu, Yankees
LeMahieu became the first player in the modern era to win a batting title in both leagues, leading the AL — and the Majors — with a .364 batting average to go along with the NL batting title he won with the Rockies in 2016. LeMahieu also led the AL with a .421 on-base percentage and a 1.011 OPS while hitting 10 home runs with a .590 slugging percentage, too.
Brandon Lowe, Rays
The best hitter for the AL East champs, the 26-year-old Lowe followed up on his All-Star 2019 season with an even better ’20. Lowe’s 14 home runs, .554 slugging percentage and .916 OPS were all best on the Rays, and those 14 homers led all MLB second basemen.
José Ramírez, Indians
Ramírez carried Cleveland’s offense to the postseason, tying for the AL lead with 45 runs, second with a .993 OPS, third with 17 home runs and 46 RBIs and finishing third with a .607 slugging percentage. The 28-year-old third baseman posted a .292/.386/.607 slash line and also stole 10 bases.
Mike Trout, Angels
Trout had yet another MVP-caliber year for the Angels, hitting .281/.390/.603 with a .993 OPS, 17 home runs, 46 RBIs and 41 runs. He tied for second in the AL in OPS, third in homers and RBIs, fourth in runs and finished fourth in slugging percentage.
Freddie Freeman, Braves
Freeman is one of the frontrunners for the NL MVP Award thanks to the season he had for the NL East champion Braves. The star first baseman hit .341/.462/.640 with a 1.102 OPS, 13 home runs and 53 RBIs. Freeman led the Majors with 51 runs and 23 doubles, finished second in OPS, on-base percentage and slugging and ranked third in batting average and RBIs.
Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
The perennial All-Star led the Cardinals back to the postseason by hitting .304/.417/.466 with six home runs and an .883 OPS. Goldschmidt’s batting average and on-base percentage were his highest since 2015, when he was an NL MVP Award finalist.
Bryce Harper, Phillies
In his second season with Philadelphia, Harper hit .268/.420/.542 with 13 home runs, 33 RBIs, 41 runs and a .962 OPS. He led the Majors with 49 walks, ranked in the top 5 in the NL in on-base percentage and in the top 10 in the NL in OPS and runs.
Manny Machado, Padres
Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. gave the Padres two NL MVP Award candidates. Machado hit .304/.370/.580 with a .950 OPS, 16 home runs, 47 RBIs and 44 runs. He tied for third in the NL home run race (one behind Tatis) and ranked third in RBIs, seventh in runs, ninth in slugging and 10th in OPS.
Corey Seager, Dodgers
Seager returned to superstar form and teamed up with Mookie Betts to lead the Dodgers to another NL West title. The 26-year-old hit .307, slugged .585, posted a .943 OPS and hit 15 home runs with 41 RBIs. Among qualified shortstops, Seager trailed only Tatis in home runs and RBIs, and only Trea Turner in slugging and OPS.
Dominic Smith, Mets
Smith’s breakout season for the Mets included a .316/.377/.616 slash line, a .993 OPS, 10 home runs and 42 RBIs. The 25-year-old first baseman and left fielder ranked fourth in the NL in slugging and OPS, tied for fifth in RBIs and finished eighth in the batting race.
Juan Soto, Nationals
At 21 years old, Soto is already arguably the best hitter in the Majors. The Nationals superstar led the NL in all three slash line categories — winning his first batting title with a .351 average while also posting the best on-base percentage (.490), slugging percentage (.695) and OPS (1.185) in the Major Leagues. Soto hit 13 home runs with 37 RBIs and 39 runs for Washington, and he drew 41 walks to just 28 strikeouts.
All 30 teams nominated one player to be considered for the 2020 Hank Aaron Award, and the seven finalists in each league were determined from that list by a panel of MLB.com writers. The 2020 finalists include three former winners: Trout (AL, 2014 and ’19), Harper (NL, 2015) and Goldschmidt (NL, 2013). Trout and Christian Yelich are the reigning Hank Aaron Award winners.
The Hank Aaron Award was established in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time MLB home run record. In addition to the fan vote, a special panel of Hall of Famers led by Aaron himself also vote on the award winners. The panel includes Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Eddie Murray and Robin Yount.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.