08/19/09 12:00 PM ET
Trio of Jays in running for Aaron Award
Scutaro, Hill, Lind up for best offensive performer
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
Now, they are all candidates for this season's Hank Aaron Award.
The Hank Aaron Award, presented by Sharp, is awarded annually to the best overall offensive performer in each league, with each club having three nominees. This is the seventh consecutive year that fans have had a voice in selecting the award winners.
Fans can vote through Sept. 15 to determine the club nominee, and then voting will be held Sept. 16-30 to select the winner in each league. The winners will be announced during the World Series.
Last year's winners were Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis and Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Originally introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, the Hank Aaron Award was the first major award to be introduced in 30 years.
Hill has provided one of baseball's best comeback stories this year. The second baseman missed the remainder of last season after suffering a serious concussion on May 29, but returned strong and was named to his first American League All-Star team this year. Through 115 games, Hill has hit .288 with a team-high 28 homers and a career-best 80 RBIs.
Hill's 28 homers rank among the league leaders and are the most in a single season by a middle infielder in franchise history. The previous record for a Blue Jays second baseman was 17 homers in one season -- set by Roberto Alomar in 1993 and matched by Hill previously in 2007. Hill broke that mark this year with two blasts against the Phillies on June 28.
Scutaro, playing as a full-time starter for the first time in his career after years of serving as a utility man, has hit .300 with a career-high 11 homers to go along with 51 RBIs and a .389 on-base percentage through 114 games. The Jays shortstop and leadoff man has drawn 68 walks, including a Major League-high 30 to open an inning.
Lind, who has split time between the designated hitter role and left field this season, has hit at a .295 clip with 24 homers, 36 doubles and 74 RBIs through 112 games for the Blue Jays. Lind was a candidate for the last AL All-Star roster spot through the Final Vote, but came up short in balloting for inclusion in the Midsummer Classic.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.