Houston Astros second baseman and MVP candidate Jose Altuve and Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton were named the recipients of the 2017 Hank Aaron Awards. They were presented with the hardware at Dodger Stadium prior to Game 2 of the World Series.
All 30 teams had a nominee for the award, which is presented annually to the top offensive player in each league. The Los Angeles Dodgers were represented by Rookie of the Year favorite Cody Bellinger.
Altuve is the Astros’ first player to ever receive the Hank Aaron Award since its inception in 1999. Stanton wins it for a second time, with his first coming in 2014.
Altuve batted .346/.410/.547 with 39 doubles, four triples, 24 home runs and 81 RBI over 153 games this season, earning a fifth career All-Star Game selection. He led the Majors in batting average, and first in the American League and second overall in total hits (204).
Stanton finished the year hitting .281/.376/.631 with 32 doubles, 59 home runs and 132 RBI. He set career highs in slugging percentage, doubles, home runs and RBI. Stanton also led all batters in home runs and RBI, while pacing the National League in slugging.
Stanton became the first NL player to slug 50 homers since Prince Fielder did so for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007.
As for Bellinger, he presumably will become the Dodgers’ second consecutive NL Rookie of the Year winner. After making his MLB debut on April 25, he batted .267/.352/.581 with 26 doubles, 39 home runs, 87 RBI, a .380 wOBA and 138 wRC+ in 132 games.
The 22-year-old became the first Dodgers player named to the All-Star Game in his first season. Bellinger was also the fastest player in MLB history to 21 home runs and five multi-homer games, and he broke broke Mike Piazza’s Dodgers rookie record with a sixth multi-home run game.
Bellinger reached that benchmark in 57 career games, which shattered Mark McGwire’s MLB record (97 games) for fastest to accomplish the feat. Bellinger’s 25 home runs during the first half of the season were most by an NL rookie since 1933, the first year the All-Star Game was played.
The Hank Aaron Award is voted on by a panel of Hall of Famers, led by Aaron and including Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Eddie Murray and Robin Yount. Matt Kemp (2011) is the only Dodgers player to win the Hank Aaron Award.