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Freddie Freeman, Jose Abreu Named 2020 Hank Aaron Award Winners

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIDecember 8, 2020

Chicago White Sox's Jose Abreu celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

A pair of first basemen won MLB's 2020 Hank Aaron Awards on Tuesday. Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves took home the National League honor, and Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu earned the nod in the American League.

Both players were also named the Most Valuable Player of their respective leagues. It's the fourth time since the award's creation in 1999 that both MVPs also won the Hank Aaron Award, which is given to the leagues' top offensive players, per Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.

Abreu becomes the first Cuban-born player and first White Sox player to win the award, while Freeman is the second Braves player to do so after Andruw Jones in 2005.

Freddie Freeman @FreddieFreeman5

Winning the Hank Aaron Award is extra special for me since I get to put on the same uniform that he wore throughout his illustrious career. An incredible baseball player and an even better man. I am honored and humbled to win this award. Thank you! https://t.co/8viKAA3jY1

Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Eddie Murray and Robin Yount selected the winners in conjunction with a fan vote. The panelists are chosen by Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth's all-time home run record when he hit his 715th career home run as a member of the Braves in 1974.

Freeman led MLB with 51 runs and 23 doubles while batting .341/.462/.640. His on-base and slugging percentages ranked second in the majors. He also knocked in 53 runs, good for third in MLB.

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Abreu paced the AL in RBI for the second consecutive season, bringing in 60 through as many games. He led the league in hits (76) and total bases (148) and hit the second-most home runs (19) behind New York Yankees star Luke Voit. He batted .317/.370/.617—the slugging percentage was a career high, and his batting average and on-base percentage were his highest since he was named AL Rookie of the Year in 2014.

"Just knowing what [Aaron] did as a baseball player and as a person and being able to receive this award is something that makes me very excited and humbled," Abreu said, per Castrovince. "I am honored."

Nelson Cruz, Teoscar Hernandez, DJ LeMahieu, Brandon Lowe, Jose Ramirez and Mike Trout were the other AL finalists, while Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Corey Seager, Dominic Smith and Juan Soto were also in consideration in the NL.

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