Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt were the recipients of this year's Hank Aaron Awards -- that is, a piece of hardware designated for recognizing "the most outstanding offensive performers in each League," according to MLB's press release.
Judge, 30, had a historic 2022 season. He homered 62 times en route to setting new single-season records for both the American League and the Yankees franchise. He also batted .311/.425/.686 (211 OPS+) with 131 home runs. He finished just a few points of batting average away from winning the AL Triple Crown (Minnesota Twins infielder Luis Arráez won the batting title with a .316 mark).
Goldschmidt, 35, hit 35 home runs and batted .317/.404/.578 (180 OPS+). He finished one home run short of tying a career-high, as well as 11 runs batted in short of doing the same in that category. Goldschmidt led the National League in slugging.
Both Judge and Goldschmidt are finalists in their respective leagues for the Most Valuable Player Award. Judge is also newsworthy in a different respect, since he's the top-ranked free agent this winter, according to CBS Sports' evaluation. (Goldschmidt remains under contract with the Cardinals through the 2024 season.)
According to MLB, the Hank Aaron Award winners are determined through the following process: "A panel of MLB.com writers determined eight finalists for each league from the list of Club nominees. A fan vote is added to the votes of a special panel of Hall of Fame players to determine the winners of the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball. The panel includes Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones, Pedro Martínez, John Smoltz, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Eddie Murray and Robin Yount."