Blog Entry

Jose Bautista, Matt Kemp win Hank Aaron Award

Posted on: October 24, 2011 7:39 pm

By C. Trent Rosecrans

While the MVP is awarded for a vague definition of value (and if you're one of the people who don't think a pitcher should receive votes, it also has a funny definition of player), the Hank Aaron Award is given every year to the "most outstanding offensive performers" in both leagues.

Of course, nobody really recognizes the award other than Major League Baseball, which gives out the award every year at the World Series. This year's winners are the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista and the Dodgers' Matt Kemp. And, since nobody really remembers who won the awards last year, I'll let you in on a little secret -- Bautista is a repeat winner. Kemp is not. The Reds' Joey Votto won the National League version of the award in 2010.

The award's voting process has changed several times, adding to the confusion. The latest process is sort-of outlined in the press release: "Fans voted for the award on, and for the second straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron joined fans in voting for the award. The Hall of Fame panel included two new members – personally selected by Hank Aaron – Roberto Alomar and Joe Morgan. They joined panelists from last year, which included Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams and Robin Yount, forming a group comprised of some of the greatest offensive players of all-time who combined for 23,536 hits, 11,445 RBI and exactly 2,800 home runs."

The winners, whoever ultimately chose them, were certainly deserving.

Bautista hit .302/.447/.608, leading the majors in slugging, OPS (1.056), OPS+ (181), home runs (43) and walks (132). 

Kemp challenged for the triple crown, finishing third in batting average (.324), while leading the league in home runs (39) and RBI (126). He led the National League in runs (115) and OPS+ (171) and total bases (353).

It will be interesting to see where Bautista and Kemp finish in the MVP voting because of the varying definitions of value, but it's tough to argue the two weren't the best offensive players in their leagues last season -- and the award that is given was handed out to the right players.

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Since: Aug 28, 2009
Posted on: October 25, 2011 12:18 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: October 25, 2011 12:06 am

Jose Bautista, Matt Kemp win Hank Aaron Award

Spending wildly doesn't always work, just as the Mets. It's a strategy we tried a few years ago when we went out and signed the best FA pitcher (Burnett), the second best FA Closer (Ryan), and the best FA catcher(B. Molina), we also traded for a big power bat (Glaus). Our Payroll went up to $97 million and we got 87 wins for it.

So far I have trusted AA and Beeston, they have a plan that they have stuck to the last two years and have amassed a very talented young team. I hope we do some spending this offseason to get this team over the top. One thing that I think we desperately need is VETERANS!

This team is young and have no idea what it's like to play meaningful games in september... Or july for that matter. We need guys who have done it and done it often to help build the winning mindset that this team needs. David Ortiz would be a great addition IMO

Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2011 11:41 pm

Jose Bautista, Matt Kemp win Hank Aaron Award

There are definitely some teams that cannot afford high payrolls, then there are those like the Jays who simply choose to be cheap. Rogers is the second richest MLB owner (to Nintendo), yet choose to be 23rd in team payroll. Maybe that's why we haven't seen a playoff game here since Joe Carter hit teh home run 18 years ago.

Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: October 24, 2011 11:03 pm

Jose Bautista, Matt Kemp win Hank Aaron Award

2 Player's that truely carried their team's offensive side of the ball and roster's not compilied of high priced talent. That is the definition of MVP. Not 3 slugger's you bring in and pay 15 million per. and put them 3, 4, 5. It's what kind of effect that successful individual has on your lineup when taken away by the opposition, along with his offensive production. You take Bautista out of the Jays lineup and they have 60 wins not the AL East. Same goes for Kemp in LA. Now, take Adrian Gonzalez out of Boston's lineup and what do you get? Padroia, Ellsbury, Youk, Crawford, Ortiz. Same goes in NY. Take out Cano. Still have A-Rod, Tex, Jete, Granderson.
Too bad these 2 will finish 2nd or 3rd respectivly in their MVP race's.

Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 8:57 pm

Jose Bautista, Matt Kemp win Hank Aaron Award

Both players are deserving on not such high profile teams such as the Red Sox or Phillies and have helped their respective teams in the struggles they've faced, Kemp especially with the Dodgers off-field problems

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2011 7:53 pm

Jose Bautista, Matt Kemp win Hank Aaron Award

Perhaps both teams (Blue Jays/Dodgers would have had Cy Young winner and MVP winner if you still count Roy Halladay as a Jay. With baseball not having a salary cap, the teams that have lower payrolls can not hold on to their star players. Clayton Kershaw is obviously the other pitcher I am referring to.

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