Vote for the Cincinnati Reds’ Nick Castellanos to win the MLB Hank Aaron Award

Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos (right) is dating his family in July 2021.Photo:

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos had a pretty remarkable 2021 season. Now he can get material for it.

Castellanos is one of the seven National League finalists for Major League Baseball Hank Aaron Award, which honors the player with the best offensive season in each league through homers and RBIs. The award is named after baseball legend Aaron, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in history and who smashed 755 home runs in his 23 seasons in the majors. Aaron passed away in January.

Originally introduced in 1999 as a statistics-based award, the winners of the Hank Aaron Award are now chosen by broadcasters, analysts and fans.

Castellanos was a silver lining in a season that ended in heartbreak, when the Reds were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs on September 28. An email from the Cincinnati Reds touts his credentials for the Hank Aaron Award:

In his second season with the Reds, Castellanos enjoyed the best season of his career in the big leagues, including his first All-Star selection. Castellanos was third in the NL in stroke percentage (.576), tied for third in extra-base hits (73), fourth in batting average (.309), sixth in RBI (100) and seventh in home runs (34). This season has marked the best career records for Castellanos in home runs, batting average, base percentage and stroke percentage, while finishing just one RBI off his previous record in this category.

Fans can vote for Castellanos (and an American League player) until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 15.

Fans may or may not see Castellanos in Cincinnati next year as the outfielder has a player option, giving him the opportunity to put his skills elsewhere this winter. The option is worth $ 16 million in 2022 and the same for 2023, if Castellanos stays with the Reds under his current contract. But ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on Tuesday that the qualifying offer for free agents was set at $ 18.4 million.

If the Reds offered that to Castellanos and the outfielder refused, the team could end up with a decent draft pick, depending on where Castellanos ended up. With Castellanos’ fantastic season, he may be able to order more money from the other teams or even the Reds themselves.

During the season, Castellanos’ son Liam rose to internet fame after designing a shirt with a hard-hitting design of his father. The seven-year-old drew Castellanos in his Reds uniform and slapped him on a shirt for the outfielder’s birthday. Fans fell in love with it – and Liam – and Liam quickly partnered with Cincy Shirts and the MLB Players‘ Association to sell the design and donate the proceeds to charity.

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