It’s not quite the MVP or Rookie of the Year, but MLB did announce one more award today. Amazing, but Nick Johnson seems to have received no votes.
Vladimir Guerrero of the 2010 American League Champion Texas Rangers has captured his first Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award, named in 2004 in honor of the longtime Seattle Mariners designated hitter and 2010 Hall of Fame candidate.
Guerrero appeared in 129 games as a designated hitter, and led all DHs with 523 at-bats, a .306 batting average and 106 runs driven in. He also recorded 25 home runs, 25 doubles, 73 runs scored and a .501 slugging percentage with just 56 strikeouts. Overall, the nine-time All-Star appeared in 152 games in his first season with Texas, helping guide the franchise to its first-ever World Series appearance by batting .300 with 29 homers, 115 RBI and 83 runs scored over 593 at-bats. In addition to his recognition as the 2010 Outstanding Designated Hitter, Guerrero won his eighth Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award, continuing a trend of seven consecutive seasons in which each award was earned by the same player.
The 2004 A.L. MVP becomes just the second Rangers player to claim the honor of Outstanding Designated Hitter, joining Rafael Palmeiro (1999).
The Outstanding Designated Hitter Award has been presented annually since 1973. In September 2004, Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced at Safeco Field ceremonies that the award would be renamed in honor of the retiring Martinez, who was a five-time ODH recipient (1995, 1997-98, 2000, 01). In an 18-year career with the Seattle Mariners – primarily as a designated hitter – he batted .312 with 309 career home runs and 1,261 runs batted in.
Votes are cast by club beat writers, broadcasters and American League public relations departments. Nominees included all players with a minimum of 100 at-bats as a designated hitter. With 61 first-place votes out of 84 ballots, Guerrero won by a comfortable margin to deny David Ortiz his sixth ODH award which would have eclipsed Martinez for the most all-time. Ortiz took second place in the balloting with a .275 batting average, 31 home runs and 100 RBI as the Boston Red Sox designated hitter. Jim Thome (.286, 24 HR, 57 RBI) of the Minnesota Twins finished third, and Baltimore’s Luke Scott (.300, 23 HR, 54 RBI) was the only other slugger to receive votes.