Hamilton named AL Outstanding Player

Hamilton named AL Outstanding Player

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton has been named the American League Outstanding Player in voting by his fellow players, the Players Association announced on Tuesday.

The Players Choice Awards annually recognize the best player, pitcher, rookie and comeback player in each league. Hamilton is also up for Comeback Player of the Year, which will be announced on Thursday.

Hamilton was selected by the players over the other two finalists: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Twins first baseman Justin Morneau.

"To be honest, it's the highest award in my mind," Hamilton said in an interview with Yahoo! Sports. "It's my peers voting on it and to have them write me in means everything to me. It's amazing other players are recognizing me."

Hamilton, acquired last winter from the Reds for pitcher Edinson Volquez, hit .304 with 98 runs scored, 32 home runs and 130 RBIs for the Rangers. He was selected to the American League All-Star team in his second season in the Major Leagues and was in the starting lineup.

His tremendous performance on the field also brought attention to his comeback from drug and alcohol problems that kept him away from the game for 3 1/2 years.

"There were times I felt like giving up not just on baseball, but life itself," Hamilton said. "There were times where I never thought I'd see anything on a baseball field again. But when I put God first, he restored all of that."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.