Major League Baseball has announced the finalists for the 2021 Hank Aaron Award this afternoon. The award is given to the best offensive player in each league and has been around since 1999. This season Nick Castellanos has been named as one of the seven finalists in the National League along with Brandon Crawford, Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, and Fernando Tatis Jr. The winner will be determined partially by fan vote (you can vote here if that’s your thing) and partially by a panel of Hall of Famers.

In 2021 Nick Castellanos hit .309/.362/.576 with Cincinnati. He also happened to be an extra-base hit machine, picking up 38 doubles, a triple, and 34 home runs in 138 games played. He would scored 95 runs on the season and drive in an even 100. His 34 home runs were a career best and the first time in which he had topped the 30 home run mark in his career.

Here’s how the seven candidates stack up:

Paul Goldschmidt was the only player to not lead the group in at least one category. Nick Castellanos led in RBI among this group, but led nowhere else. Juan Soto led the way as he was atop four categories.

With the fan vote playing in here, who really know how things will play out.

The only time that the Cincinnati Reds have had a Hank Aaron Award winner was back in 2010 when Joey Votto won. That was also his MVP season in which he hit .324/.424/.600 with 36 doubles, 2 triples, 37 home runs, had 16 steals, scored 106 runs, and drove in 113.

18 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Good for Nick! He was something special to watch this season. I’m reasonably certain we won’t see him in a Reds uniform next season (hoping we will see MLB games). Imagine what more he could have done without that IL stint … yes, I’m still bitter about that.

    • Greenfield Red

      I’m bitter about the fact the Reds did nothing about it. The Reds are little brothers of St. Louis and Milwaukee now. Because of it, they can’t even get a fair shake from the league office. Shameful.

  2. LDS

    Tough competition. My guess is Soto takes it. A better “story” which seems to drive a lot of the awards these days.

    • Mark Moore

      Sad but true … it’s all about the broader story and that usually includes the teams. Individual accomplishments aren’t the primary factor anymore.

    • MK

      It will be hard to beat Soto . After listening to Reds TV talking heads they certainly had Soto anointed a Baseball Saint.

    • Luke J

      Not sure what “story” you are referring to, but if Soto takes it, it will be because of those monster numbers. He walked and got on base like no one we have seen since Bonds. Teams absolutely refused to pitch to him. So it has nothing to do with some perceived “story” in your head.

      • LDS

        The “story” is the young phenom vs. older veterans and the bigger media market – nothing more. And apparently Soto did it without drugs unlike Bonds.

  3. David

    My guess for MVP will be Brandon Crawford of the Giants, because the Giants had the best record in the NL and he was their best player, statistically.

    But of course, the Hank Aaron award is something different, and perhaps the “best” offensive player will be chosen.
    Soto would be one choice. “Sentimental” favorite could be Goldschmidt, as this may be his last career “hurrah”.

    Freddie Freeman actually “produced” the most runs, if you total runs scored with RBI’s, which was a stat used for a couple of years in the ’70’s, but fell out of favor as it was seen as kind of dumb. Is it?

    Fernando Tatis Jr. is seen as a rising star in the NL. This would be the “smart” move, making the voters look like they are looking into the future.

    • greenmtred

      I’ve never seen it as a dumb stat. It’s limited–and maybe considered dumb by some–because both runs and rbi’s depend upon the success of other players, but few stats in team sports are totally devoid of the influence of other players. Home runs, for example, depend to some extent upon the opposing pitcher. The home ball park enters in to it, too.

      • David

        Actually, when you look at “runs produced”, it was RBI’s + Runs scored, minus home runs (because when you hit a home run, you drive in a run and score a run, double counting).
        No, I don’t think it is a dumb idea, but it was tossed around in the ’70’s, and then it was dropped.
        Look at Joe Morgan’s “runs produced” in 1975 and 1976, and you can see why he was voted MVP those years.

      • Jim Walker

        The “Runs Created” stat (RC) (versus Runs Produced) is TB x (H + BB) / (AB + BB) this provides the basis for wRC and weighted Runs Created (wRC) The TB in the RC formula is total bases which awards not just home runs but all hits (H in the formula).

        wRC adds in external factors such as park and when normalized to make league average be 100 is expressed as wRC+ which can be used for comparison in place of OPS+.

        So RC is essentially the same concept as “Runs Produced” but with all hits in the calculation without regard to whether they resulted in RBI(s).

        https://www.mlb.com/glossary/advanced-stats/weighted-runs-created-plus

  4. Ahimsa

    Future Dodger is my guess. Can’t have to many all-stars.

    • west larry

      I think that you are referring to Soto, when he is eligible to be a free agent? Sad, but probably true. The Dodgers will probably crank up their printing machine and give him about 200 million for five years.

      • west larry

        I keep dreaming that the reds pay him enough to stay. As much as I dislike the dodgers, if they sign him it’s a easy drive to dodger stadium to watch Nick.

  5. Jim Walker

    I am an old guy who tries not to be too old school but have problems getting into individual post season awards. This said, it they are going to do such things, Nick Castellanos deserves one. However, I bet he’d trade it to still be playing in the post season.