Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers were selected Wednesday as winners of the Hank Aaron Award, which goes to the top offensive player in each league.
Yelich won the National League honor for the second straight season and is also in position to repeat as NL MVP. Trout won the American League honor for the second time — 2014 was the first — and is one of the favorites to win his third AL MVP award.
“Mike Trout and Christian Yelich continue to have outstanding seasons and are very deserving of this award,” Hank Aaron said in a statement. “Christian and Mike are great ambassadors of the game and their offensive play this year has been spectacular. I congratulate them on winning the award again.”
The panel of Hall of Famers that helped Aaron choose the winners include Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Eddie Murray and Robin Yount.
Trout hit a career-best 45 homers, led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage. He batted .291 with 104 RBIs in 134 games.
“I would like to extend a sincere thank you to Hank Aaron, the Hall of Famers and fans for this honor,” Trout said. “This would not be possible without the support of my teammates, coaches, family and my wife, Jessica. I am humbled and thankful to win this award.”
Yelich led the NL with a .329 batting average and .429 on-base percentage and led the majors with a .671 slugging percentage. He set career-highs of 44 homers and 30 steals and also drove in 97 runs in 130 games.
“I want to give a big thanks to Hank Aaron, the Hall of Fame voters and my teammates and coaching staff,” Yelich said. “Hank Aaron is such an important person in the history of baseball and the city of Milwaukee. To receive this award is an enormous honor and I look forward to sharing this excitement with my family and our great fans.”
Also Wednesday, the Sporting News announced that Hunter Pence (AL) of the Texas Rangers and Josh Donaldson (NL) of the Atlanta Braves were winners of the publication’s Comeback Player of the Year awards.
Pence made his fourth All-Star team and first since 2014 while batting .297 with 18 homers and 59 RBIs in 83 games for Texas this season. He batted just .226 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 97 games for the San Francisco Giants in 2018.
Donaldson batted .259 with 37 homers and 94 RBIs in 155 games for the Braves. He was limited to 52 games with the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians the previous year due to injuries and hit a combined .246 with eight homers and 23 RBIs.
—Field Level Media