Peers name Stanton NL Outstanding Player

Peers name Stanton NL Outstanding Player

MIAMI -- The gifts keep piling up for Giancarlo Stanton. On his 28th birthday Wednesday night, the Marlins All-Star right fielder received a prestigious present from his peers -- the Players Choice Award for being the National League's Outstanding Player.

The award was announced on MLB Network.

"That's awesome," Stanton said during his MLB Network interview. "Getting respect from fellow players just shows that all the hard work we all put in, you get appreciation from that."

Also up for the award were Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon and third baseman Nolan Arenado.

Complete 2017 Awards coverage

The Players Choice Awards benefit the Major League Baseball Players Trust. The eight winners receive $20,000 grants. Stanton said he was donating to his charity, All-Star Smiles, which provides dental work for underprivileged children.

It was Stanton's second Players Choice Award. He previously won Outstanding Player in 2014.

Stanton made a statement in his finest big league season, pacing the Majors in home runs (59) and RBIs (132).

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Stanton was up for two Players Choice Awards, but he came up short in the voting for Player of the Year. That went to Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. Arenado was the other finalist.

It's already been a busy offseason for Stanton in terms of awards.

During the World Series, Stanton received the National League Hank Aaron Award. Stanton also was one of three finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for National League right fielders, which went to Jason Heyward of the Cubs.

The Silver Slugger Awards are scheduled for Thursday (6 p.m. ET on MLB Network) , and based on the fact Stanton boasted a .631 slugging percentage, his chances of collecting even more hardware appear to be high.

Stanton also is eyeing something never won by a Marlins player: The National League Most Valuable Player Award. He's a finalist with D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Reds first baseman Joey Votto.

After a disappointing season in 2016 -- when he batted .240, hit 27 home runs and drove in 74 runs -- Stanton was determined to have a strong '17.

"How last year finished," Stanton said. "My down year, in general. I knew I had to bounce back. I knew I had to learn from all my big mistakes from last year and don't give up."

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Stanton enjoyed a historical season, and arguably the best individual year by a Marlin. The slugger shattered a pair of longstanding records in Miami history.

Gary Sheffield previously held the team mark of 42 home runs set in 1996. Preston Wilson was the franchise season RBI leader with 121 in 2000.

Stanton is the first Marlins player to lead the Majors in home runs and RBIs in a season. In 2014, he connected on 37 homers, which was also tops in the National League.

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In August, Stanton was the National League Player of the Month, as he tied an MLB record for home runs in the month with 18.

The 33 home runs by Stanton in the second half were the most by a Marlins player, breaking his old mark of 18.

Stanton had 10 multi-homer games -- another team record, and the most in the big leagues. The last player with 10 multi-homer games in the Majors was Albert Pujols, then with the Cardinals, in 2009.

Stanton had a slash line of .281/.376/.631, and he scored a personal-high 123 runs.

The 59 home runs are the most in the Majors since Barry Bonds' record-setting season of 73 in 2001. Sammy Sosa had 64 that year.

In MLB history, just six players have hit at least 59 home runs, and that milestone has been reached a total of 10 times.

Stanton's power has never been disputed. The question had always been health. From 2012-16, he hadn't played in more than 145 games. And in '16, he was limited to 119 games.

Durability was not an issue for Stanton in 2017, as he appeared in 159 games, and the numbers fell into place.

"I was out there all year," Stanton said. "I didn't have to take any breaks. I wasn't down for a couple of weeks or anything. I really learned from the ups and downs of the full season to master my craft."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.