August 23, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) at bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIREThe two-year reign for Jose Bautista as the American League winner for the annual Hank Aaron award is about the come to an end. In 2012, the Blue Jays nominee will be none other than Edwin Encarnacion.
The Hank Aaron Award is presented to each league’s top offensive player, as voted on by a combination of the fans and the media. The award was introduced in 1999 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Aaron passing Babe Ruth as Major League Baseball’s career home run king.
Encarnacion, who put together a career season which saw him hit .280 with 42 home runs, 100 runs batted in, and a .941 OPS, will face some extremely difficult competition from a field that includes Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, Angels rookie phenom Mike Trout, and Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton.
While it is an honor to see a player like Encarnacion make the jump and garner a nomination for the award, the fact that the winner is decided by a combination of votes from the fans and media makes it pretty safe to say that the winner will be either Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout. The argument over which one will win the league Most Valuable Player award is hotly debated amongst fans and the media alike, and that will likely spill over into the Aaron award voting.
With the winner of the Hank Aaron Awards being announced during the World Series, it will also provide a decent gauge for who will eventually win the MVP award as well.