10/10/12 12:00 PM ET
Voting under way for 2012 Hank Aaron Award
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
Major League Baseball was led at the plate this regular season by a slew of different standouts. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who led all players with 216 hits, is the only one of the 30 who has won an Aaron Award as his league's top offensive performer.
And there are only four carryover nominees from last year: Ryan Braun of the Brewers, Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates and the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton -- who was "Mike" when he was nominated a year ago.
American League nominees include Billy Butler of the Royals, Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo of the Indians, Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays, Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, Jeter, Adam Jones of the Orioles, Joe Mauer of the Twins, Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox, Josh Reddick of the A's, Alex Rios of the White Sox, Kyle Seager of the Mariners, Mike Trout of the Angels and B.J. Upton of the Rays.
National League nominees include Jose Altuve of the Astros, Braun, Jay Bruce of the Reds, Andre Ethier of the Dodgers, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies, Chase Headley of the Padres, Jason Heyward of the Braves, Aaron Hill of the D-backs, Matt Holliday of the Cardinals, Adam LaRoche of the Nationals, McCutchen, Buster Posey of the Giants, Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies, Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs, Stanton and David Wright of the Mets.
"Named in honor of one of the greatest hitters and competitors of all-time, the Hank Aaron Awards recognize each league's best all-around offensive performer," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "Hank's career will forever remain a model of excellence and consistency, and I am glad that the 30 club nominees are following the example of a pillar of our game."
"It is a real privilege to have my name on the award that recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each league," Aaron said. "With so many talented players in the game today, I am thankful to have the assistance of my fellow Hall of Famers and the fans to select the winners."
Your vote will be counted alongside those of a special panel of Hall of Famers -- personally selected by Aaron himself. Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan and Robin Yount combined for 12,119 hits, 888 homers and 4,984 RBIs, and they all agreed to lend their expertise.
The award, which is officially sanctioned by MLB, has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each league since it was established in 1999 -- commemorating what then was the 25th anniversary of Aaron passing Babe Ruth with his 715th career homer. At the time, it was the first new major award introduced by MLB in more than 25 years.
Jeter can join his partner on the left side of the Yankees' infield, Alex Rodriguez, as the only three-time winners of the award.
Past winners include: Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011); Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David 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 Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).