Three Bucs nominated for Aaron Award

Three Bucs nominated for Aaron Award

PITTSBURGH -- Garrett Jones, Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Doumit have been nominated by the Pirates on Wednesday for the Hank Aaron Award, presented by Sharp. The annual award is handed out to the best overall performer in each league, with each club having three nominees.

With the roster overhaul, the Pirates have experienced this season, two of their three nominees (Jones and McCutchen) actually joined the team well after the season started.

This is the seventh consecutive year that fans will have a voice in selecting the award winners. 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.

Each of the Pirates' three nominees has played a critical role in the team's offense this season.

Jones arrived in Pittsburgh on the final day of June and took the National League by storm. He would eventually earn the league's Rookie of the Month honors for his production in July, which included a league-best 10 homers and a .700 slugging percentage.

In his first 40 games with the Pirates, Jones is hitting .297 with 22 RBIs. His 13 season home runs rank tops on the club.

McCutchen has been the Pirates' most consistent offensive catalyst since making his Major League debut in early June. The former first-round Draft pick has lived up to his top prospect status by hitting .284 with 30 extra-base hits, 35 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in his first 64 big league games.

Doumit would be the first to admit that he has been a disappointment at the plate in 2009. He missed three months with a right wrist injury, and he has struggled to regain his swing and his power since returning. In 27 games since coming off the disabled list, Doumit is hitting just .222 with four homers and 13 RBIs.

Still, the Pirates catcher remains one of the offense's most capable threats and a constant presence in the middle of the lineup.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.