This year's Hank Aaron Award winners are Jose Abreu of the White Sox in the American League and Freddie Freeman of the Braves in the National League. The Hank Aaron Award was established by Major League Baseball in 1999 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record. The award is given annually to the most outstanding offensive player in each league.
Abreu and Freeman each took home their respective league's Most Valuable Player honors in 2020 as well. It's just the fourth time since the award's inception and the first time since 2017 (Jose Altuve and Giancarlo Stanton) that both MVPs won the Hank Aaron Award. Both Abreu and Freeman are first-time winners for the Hank Aaron Award.
José Abreu has been named the A.L. winner of the 2020 Hank Aaron Award, recognizing the most outstanding offensive performer in each league!— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) December 8, 2020
Abreu is the first White Sox player and first Cuban-born player to win the Hank Aaron Award.
Abreu, 33, played in all 60 regular season games during the abbreviated 2020 season and over that span authored a slash line of .317/.370/.617 (166 OPS+) with 19 home runs and an AL-leading 76 hits. He also lead the league in RBI (60) and total bases (148).
Freeman, 31, hit .341/.462/.640 (186 OPS+) with 23 doubles, a triple, 13 home runs, 53 RBI, 51 runs, two steals and 2.9 WAR during the abbreviated 2020 campaign. He also lead the league in runs scored (51) and ranked second in the NL for batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS (1.102) and wRC+ (187). Freeman joins Andruw Jones (2005) as the only Braves players to take home the honors.
In addition to a fan vote, a special panel of Hall of Famers. Here's MLB on how the winners are chosen:
Whereas the MVP is voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, the Hank Aaron Award is decided by a special panel of Hall of Fame players (Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Eddie Murray and Robin Yount) personally selected by Hammerin' Hank and a fan vote at MLB.com. All 30 teams submitted a candidate, and seven finalists in each league were determined by a panel of MLB.com writers.
There were a total of 14 finalists with seven players from each league. The American League finalists included Abreu, Nelson Cruz, Teoscar Hernandez, DJ LeMahieu, Mike Trout, Brandon Lowe and Jose Ramirez. In the National League, it was Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Corey Seager, Dominic Smith and Juan Soto.