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Cardinals Paul Goldschmidt named National League Hank Aaron Award winner

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St. Louis Cardinals face Chicago Cubs

The Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning of a game against the Cubs on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, at Busch Stadium.

Sports columnists Ben Frederickson and Jeff Gordon run through some popular names in the free-agent class and assess their potential fit with the Cardinals.

Less than a week after he was voted by his peers as the National League’s Outstanding Player, Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt received another accolade for his standout season.

On Wednesday, Goldschmidt was named the winner of the NL Hank Aaron Award.

The award — named after Hall of Famer and Braves great Hank Aaron — recognizes the best offensive performers in each league. A combination of votes from a panel of Hall of Famers and fans is used to determine the winners.

This is Goldschmidt's second time winning it and the third time a Cardinal has won. Goldschmidt's first Hank Aaron Award came in 2013 while with Arizona. The other two times a Cardinal won the award came in 2003 and 2009, both of which were accomplish by Albert Pujols. 

Goldschmidt, 35, finished the season with a .317 average, 35 home runs, and 115 RBIs. He led the NL in categories like slugging percentage (.578), OPS (.981), offensive wins above replacement (7.4), and OPS+ (180). OPS+ is adjusted for external factors like ballparks and 100 is league average.

Goldschmidt's .981 OPS was 63 points higher than the next closest player's.

He won the vote over teammate Nolan Arenado, San Diego’s Manny Machado, Philadelphia slugger Kyle Schwarber, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, Atlanta’s Austin Riley, and Dodgers All-Stars Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts.

New York’s Aaron Judge was named the winner for the AL after a season that included him hitting an American League-record 62 home runs.

Winning the Hank Aaron Award could be a prelude for Goldschmidt heading into next week.

On Monday, Goldschmidt was named a finalist for the NL MVP award. Arenado and Machado were the other two players named, meaning the award will have a first-time winner this season and two Cardinals will finish in the top three in voting.

The NL MVP will be announced on Nov. 17. 

In seven of the last 10 seasons, the winner of the NL Hank Aaron Award has gone on to become the NL MVP, which is voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

One of those exceptions includes Goldschmidt's Hank Aaron Award winning-season in 2013. Former Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen won the NL MVP that season.

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