Rangers trio up for Aaron Award

Rangers trio up for Aaron Award

ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Michael Young, second baseman Ian Kinsler and outfielder Nelson Cruz are the Rangers' three nominees for the 2009 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.

Young, Kinsler and Cruz will be trying to be the Rangers first winner since Alex Rodriguez won it three straight years in 2001-03.

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.

Young went into Tuesday's game with the Twins hitting .319 with 67 runs scored, 20 home runs and 55 RBIs. He was eighth in the league in hitting, fifth in hits and total bases and ninth in doubles. He has a 20-game hitting streak at home and was hitting .362 in his last 27 games.

Kinsler went into Tuesday's game hitting .249 with 25 home runs and 23 stolen bases. He was leading the Rangers 75 runs scored and 66 RBIs despite missing two weeks with a strained left hamstring. He became the fourth Rangers player to hit for the cycle when he did so on April 15 against the Orioles, and he was the first MLB player since 1900 to have six hits and hit for the cycle in a nine-inning game.

Cruz is on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle but still hitting .269 with 25 home runs and 58 RBIs. He is eighth in the American League with a .547 slugging percentage and tied for seventh in home runs. He was a member of the American League All-Star team and finished second in the Home Run Derby.

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