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Jose Bautista & Matt Kemp Win Hank Aaron Award For Offensive Excellence

Jose Bautista & Matt Kemp Win Hank Aaron Award For Offensive Excellence

ARLINGTON, Texas (Reuters) – Jose Bautista
of the Toronto Blue Jays and Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers were named winners Monday of the Hank Aaron Award as the outstanding offensive players in their respective leagues.

Bautista led the majors leagues in home runs (43), slugging percentage (.608)
and walks (132).

Kemp narrowly missed winning the Triple Crown, leading the National League in home runs (39) and runs batted in (126) while finishing third in batting average
(.324).

Bautista was the first American League player since Babe Ruth in 1930 to
record at least 40 home runs, 130 walks and nine stolen bases in the same
year.

The Blue Jays slugger also won the award last year with a breakout 2010
season in which he hammered 54 home runs and batted in 124, and was able to
silence those who did not believe he could follow it up.

“More satisfying to me was just to be able to get on the field and be out
there with my team mates and contribute on a daily basis to try to help the team
win games,” he said.

“It’s not really my goal to prove anybody wrong or to come out and show the
critics wrong.”

Despite Kemp’s offensive fireworks, the Dodgers missed the playoffs after
finishing 82-79.

“Your goal is to make it to the playoffs and to get a chance to make it to
the World Series,” said Kemp. “Unfortunately our team wasn’t as good as some of these other teams that made the playoffs this year, but you want to showcase
your talents.”

“It was just one of those years that didn’t happen. There’s always next
year.”

The winners were selected through a combination of fan vote and a panel of
Hall of Famers, including Roberto Alomar, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor and
Aaron.