MLB award recognizes most outstanding offensive performer in each league

SAN FRANCISCO - Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins have been selected as the American League and National League winners of the 2014 Hank Aaron Award, Major League Baseball announced today.

Established in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, the Hank Aaron Award is officially sanctioned by MLB and recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each League. Fans voted for the award on MLB.com, and for the fifth 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 led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time, such as Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas and Robin Yount. These Hall of Famers - who combined for 16,956 hits, 8,844 RBI and 2,109 home runs - were personally selected by Hank Aaron to lend their expertise to help select the best offensive performer in each League.

"I want to congratulate Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout on being named the winners of the 2014 Hank Aaron Award, an honor named for one of the game's legendary players," Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said. "These first-time Hank Aaron Award winners are two of our game's most exciting and talented young players. For as much as they have already accomplished, Mike and Giancarlo have wonderful futures ahead of them, and they will make Major League Baseball proud in the years ahead."

"It is truly a privilege that the award which recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each League is named after me," said Hank Aaron. "I want to congratulate Giancarlo and Mike on their outstanding seasons and extend my thanks to the Hall of Famers and fans who selected the winners."

The 24-year-old Stanton enjoyed another stellar season in 2014, batting .288 with 31 doubles, one triple, 37 home runs, 105 RBI and 89 runs scored in 145 games during his fifth campaign in the Majors. The two-time All-Star, who was the starting designated hitter for the National League at the Midsummer Classic in Minneapolis, established career bests in several offensive categories in 2014 despite missing Miami's final 17 games due to injury, including plate appearances (638), at-bats (539), runs scored, hits (155), doubles, homers (tied), RBI and stolen bases. Among league leaders on the Senior Circuit, the right-handed-hitting Stanton led all batters in home runs, slugging percentage (.555), total bases (299) and intentional walks (24); he was tied for first in extra-bases hits (69); and he was second in the league in on-base percentage (.395), OPS (.950), RBI and walks (94). Stanton's two 37-homer seasons tied for the second-most in a season in Marlins history, trailing only Gary Sheffield's 42 set in 1996. The California native tied the franchise's all-time home run mark with his 154th blast on September 8th at Milwaukee, tying Dan Uggla. In addition, Stanton became just the second Marlin to have three seasons with 25-plus homers before the age of 25, joining Miguel Cabrera who had four such seasons from 2004-07.

Trout batted .287 with 39 doubles, nine triples, 36 home runs, 111 RBI, 115 runs scored, 16 stolen bases and 83 walks over 157 games in his fourth campaign. The 23-year-old set new career highs in homers and RBI and tied career marks in games played, doubles and triples. Among league leaders, Trout paced the way in runs scored, total bases (338), RBI and extra-base hits (84); was tied for second in times on base (266); was third in slugging percentage (.561), OPS (.939) and triples; was tied for third in home runs; and was fourth in walks. His 84 extra-base hits were the third-most in Club history, trailing Garret Anderson (88) and Troy Glaus (85). The New Jersey native was just the fourth player since 1901 with minimums of 115 runs scored, 35 doubles, five triples and 35 home runs in their age-22 season or younger and he is the first AL player since Hank Greenberg in 1937 to have at least a .939 OPS, 36 homers, 39 doubles and nine triples. The 25th overall pick in the first round of the 2009 Draft also became the first Angel with 35 or more homers since Vladimir Guerrero in 2004. After going 2-for-3 with a double, triple, two RBI and a run scored in his third career Midsummer Classic, the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year was presented with the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award following the game to become the second-youngest player to win MVP honors in an All-Star Game, trailing only Ken Griffey, Jr. (1992). He became just the fourth AL outfielder with three All-Star selections prior to age 23, joining Mickey Mantle (1952-54), Al Kaline (1955-57) and Griffey, Jr. (1990-92). 

Past winners of the award include: Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt (2013); Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012); Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011); Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).