Last night, Major League Baseball announced its Hank Aaron Award winners. The award is meant for “the most outstanding offensive performer” in each league, which sounds a lot like the Most Valuable Player award. The MVP obviously takes other things into account, but offensive numbers are usually the first thing cited when defending a choice or campaigning for a favorite.
That said, there’s very little correlation between the Hank Aaron Award and the MVP.
This year’s winners were Joey Votto and Jose Bautista. Votto is a legitimate MVP candidate in the National League, but Bautista was be an upset in the AL. The guy hit a ton of home runs in a breakout season, but it’s hard to imagine him winning the MVP ahead of Josh Hamilton or Robinson Cano. If the award is going to a non-playoff team, I’d still have Miguel Cabrera well ahead of Bautista.
Here are the past winners of the Hank Aaron Award. The names in italics were also named MVP. It’s barely 30 percent.
2009: Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols
2008: Kevin Youkilis and Aramis Ramirez
2007: Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder
2006: Derek Jeter and Ryan Howard
2005: David Ortiz and Andruw Jones
2004: Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds
2003: Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols
2002: Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds
2001: Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds
2000: Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton
1999: Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa
Associated Press photo of Cano