The MLB announced the 14 finalists for the Hank Aaron Award for the 2021 season, which recognizes the player from each league who excelled on offense in the regular season.
It should be remembered that this recognition debuted in 1999, when it reached the 25th anniversary of the date that Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record.
For this occasion, in addition to the panel of chroniclers that cover the Major Leagues, the legends such as Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones, Pedro Martínez, Eddie Murray, John Smoltz and Robin Yount will be on the jury.
The American League candidates are Cedric Mullins of the Baltimore Orioles, José Ramírez of the Cleveland Indians, Salvador Pérez of the Kansas City Royals, Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, Matt Olson of the Athletics. Oakland and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The National League includes Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves, Nick Castellanos of the Cincinnati Reds, Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies, Fernando Tatís Jr. of the San Diego Padres, Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants, Paul Goldschmidt of the San Cardinals. Luis and Juan Soto of Washington Nationals.
For the American League, the winner of this award will be Vladimir Guerrero Jr. because his numbers were consistent throughout the calendar. The Dominican led in home runs with 48, runs scored with 123, OBP of .401, slugging of .601, OPS of .1002 and total bases reached with 363. In addition, he registered an average of .311 and drove in 111 runs.
With respect to the National League, Fernando Tatís Jr. looks like the winner of this award. «El Niño» was the leader in home runs with 42 and also posted an average of .282, 97 RBIs, 99 runs scored and 25 bases ripped off. He also posted a .611 Slugging and a .975 OPS with 292 bases hit.