2022 Hank Aaron Award finalists announced
8 nominees from each league to vie for recognition as most outstanding regular-season offensive performers
The 2022 Hank Aaron Award finalists were announced by Major League Baseball on Monday, with eight players from the American League and eight players from the National League reaching the final round of voting. The award is presented to the player voted as the most outstanding regular-season offensive performer from each league, and it was established in 1999, the 25th year after Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record of 714.
Each MLB team nominated one player for the honor and a panel of MLB.com writers selected 16 finalists from the 30 nominees. Beginning Monday and running through Oct. 24, fans can vote for the player from each league they think should receive the award by going to MLB.com/aaron.
In addition to the fan vote, a panel of Hall of Fame players will also vote -- the panel includes Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones, Pedro Martínez, John Smoltz, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Eddie Murray and Robin Yount.
Of the 16 finalists for this year’s award, four are past Hank Aaron Award winners: Freddie Freeman (2020), Mike Trout ('19, '14), Jose Altuve ('17) and Paul Goldschmidt ('13).
Here are the nominees, along with information about how they performed at the plate during the 2022 regular season:
Altuve batted .300 or better for the sixth time in his career and finished fourth in the AL in on-base percentage (.387) and third in slugging (.533). The second baseman fell just two steals shy of a 20-20 season and was second in the league with 103 runs scored.
Right hand inflammation limited Alvarez to 135 games, but he still belted 37 home runs. Only Aaron Judge (1.111) topped Alvarez’s 1.019 OPS across the Majors, and he recovered from the injury to bat .355/.440/.677 in September and October.
The 25-year-old third baseman batted .295/.358/.521 and ranked fourth in the AL in slugging (.521) and OPS (.879), as well as doubles (42). His 70 extra-base hits tied for third with Angels sluggers Shohei Ohtani and Trout.
Not only did his 62 home runs set a new AL record, but Judge finished with 16 more homers than any other MLB player. He also finished with at least a share of the MLB lead in runs (133), RBIs (131), OBP (.425), slugging (.686), OPS (1.111) and total bases (391).
That he was even better as a pitcher this season shouldn’t take away from another strong effort at the plate, which included 70 extra-base hits (tied for third in the AL) and a .519 slugging percentage (fifth).
Ramírez led the AL with 44 doubles and he finished second to Judge in total bases (309), extra-base hits (78) and RBIs (126). No hitter in the Majors was intentionally walked more than Ramírez (20).
Despite playing only 132 games because of injury, Rodríguez hit 28 homers and stole 25 bases -- joining Trout (2012) and Chris Young ('07) as the only rookies to reach both numbers in the same season. Rodríguez also became the fastest player in MLB history to reach 25 homers and 25 steals in his career.
Trout slugged over .600 for the sixth straight season and became the fourth player in history to reach the 40-homer mark without playing at least 120 games.
Alonso’s 131 RBIs led the NL by a wide margin and tied Judge for the MLB lead. Alonso was also second in the NL in homers (40) and sixth in slugging (.518).
This was Arenado’s seventh straight season -- excluding the shortened 2020 campaign -- with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs. He was also fourth in the NL in OPS (.891).
Betts hit 35 home runs out of the leadoff spot and tied for the NL lead with 117 runs scored. Betts tied for second with a .533 slugging percentage and 78 extra-base hits.
Freeman’s first season in Los Angeles was seamless, as the veteran first baseman earned at least a share of the NL lead in plate appearances (708), runs (117), hits (199), doubles (47) and OBP (.407). Freeman narrowly lost the NL batting title to the Mets’ Jeff McNeil, despite a .325 average.
Goldschmidt’s run at a Triple Crown fell short, but the slugging first baseman still hit .317 with 35 homers and 115 RBIs. He led the NL in slugging (.578) and OPS (.982), while placing in the top three in several other offensive categories.
A driving force behind the Padres’ offense, Machado posted the NL’s third-highest OPS (.897), while cracking the 30-homer, 100-RBI and 100-run marks.
The 25-year-old third baseman launched 38 home runs (third in NL) and his totals of 79 extra-base hits and 325 total bases both led the NL and placed second in the Majors to Judge.
It was a power-packed first season with the Phillies for Schwarber, as he led the NL with 46 home runs -- a total that trailed only Judge across the Majors. Schwarber reached double digits in long balls in both June and July, while also hitting 10 and posting a .944 OPS in September/October to help push the Phils into the postseason.