Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was announced Monday as the winner of the National League's Hank Aaron Award, which goes to the most outstanding hitter as chosen by Major League Baseball.
"It's just a huge honor to win this award and just really to be mentioned with a lot of great players from the past and also this year," Goldschmidt said. "There are so many great players in Major League Baseball, and it's just a huge honor to even be mentioned with those guys. And to win the award is even better."
Goldschmidt, who is Jewish, was named to his first All-Star Game this year, hit .302 with 36 doubles, 36 home runs, 125 RBIs, 99 walks and 103 runs scored in his second full season with the Diamondbacks. He led the National League in homers, RBIs, slugging percentage (.551), extra-base hits (75) and total bases (332). He also ranked third in walks, tied for third in runs scored, fourth in-base percentage (.401) and tied for 10th in doubles. He is just the 19th player since 1977 to lead the National League or tie for the lead in home runs and RBIs in a single season.
The 26-year-old also tied for first in the majors in go-ahead RBIs (37), go-ahead home runs (20), walk-off homers (3) and home runs after the eighth inning (7), while tying for the lead in game-winning RBIs (19) and RBI with runners in scoring position (84). The Texas State product and 2009 eight-round draft pick of the Diamondbacks joined Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Eddie Mathews as the only three National League players to post a .300 average, 35 home runs, 100 RBIs, 100 runs scored and 99 walks during their 25-year-old season or earlier.
"I want to extend my congratulations to Miguel Cabrera on being selected as the winner of the 2013 NL Hank Aaron Award, an award named after one of the greatest players in the history of baseball," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. Paul was an offensive force on the Diamondbacks and in the National League.” Added Aaron: “It is a privilege to have the award that recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each league named after me. I want to congratulate Miguel and Paul on their outstanding seasons and extend my thanks to the Hall of Famers and fans who selected the winners.”
The Hank Aaron Award, introduced in 1999, is voted on by a panel of Hall of Fame players and fans on MLB.com. Goldschmidt is the first Diamondbacks player to win the award.