Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media announced that right fielder Jayson Werth was named the Nationals’ nominee for the 2013 Hank Aaron Award.
Fans can vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the fourth straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.
Werth hit .318 with (147-for-462) with 24 doubles, 25 home runs, a team-leading 82 RBI, 60 walks and 84 runs scored in 129 games this season.
With those numbers, Werth was the only National Leaguer to rank among the Senior Circuit’s top five in OPS (3rd, .931), slugging percentage (3rd, .532), batting average (5th) and on-base percentage (5th, .398).
Werth also ranked among NL leaders in weighted on-base average (first, .403), pitches/plate appearance (first, 4.24), runs created/27 outs (3rd, 7.71), secondary average (5th, .364), at-bats/homer (6th, 18.48) and home runs (tied 9th).
Werth’s .318 batting average was the second-highest recorded by a qualified member of the Nationals since the team arrived in DC in 2005 (Dmitri Young, .320 in 2007). On Aug. 10 at Nationals Park, Werth tallied the 1000th hit of his career, a game-winning two-run shot that triggered an 8-5 win over the Phillies.
The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time -Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray and Robin Yount. These Hall of Famers - who combined for 17,629 hits, 8,278 RBI and 1,723 home runs - have all been personally selected by Hank Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.
Through October 10, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2013 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2013 World Series.
“Jayson was consistently fantastic this season not only at the plate, but in the field, on the basepaths, and in the clubhouse,” said Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo. “He answered the call wherever he was asked to hit in the lineup, batting in every spot from leadoff through the six-hole. The essence of Jayson is that he is selfless and will do whatever it takes to win a game. He’s the ultimate teammate.”
“It is a great honor that Major League Baseball recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each League with an award in my name,” said Hank Aaron. “The game is full of so many talented players today that I am thankful my fellow Hall of Famers and the fans assist in selecting the much deserving winners.”
Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Miguel 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).
The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.