The 2018 Hank Aaron Award nominations are out and San Diego Padres’ rookie outfielder Franmil Reyes was selected as the team’s best hitter. Please take the time to vote for Franmil as he is very deserving of this honor.
The San Diego Padres have a very bright future.
If you are a fan of the team, despite the losing season, you can sense the fact that things are starting to change. Prospects are arriving and performing at a level that Padres fans have not witnessed in a very long time. The crazy thing is, this is only the beginning and a number of the team’s very top prospects have yet to even make their major league debut.
In 2018, the team and fans fell in love with several players, but nobody garnered as much attention as Franmil Reyes. Despite the fact he hit 25 home runs and drove in over 100 runs in San Antonio at the age of 21, most people chose to ignore him in the industry. A hamate bone injury in the Arizona Fall League saved him from being selected in the Rule-5 draft as the Padres left him unprotected.
Reyes and I caught up with each other in the spring, when I told you about how he brings far more than just a power bat to the team. The way he interacted with teammates was special. I also wrote how you could tell he was a man on a mission. He was amazingly focused, and in our interactions, he told me all about his change in approach and the fact he was so motivated to perform. I knew he was going to have a great year and wrote about him multiple times.
The fact a rookie is nominated for this honor is very special. Reyes is only one of two rookies chosen in the 2018 season for this award. Rays’ second baseman Joey Wendle was also selected, but he is a 28-year-old journeyman infielder. Reyes, at 23, seems to really have a bright future in the game and could be a special offensive threat.
Reyes finished the year with a .280/.340/.498 in 87 games and 261 at-bats. He produced a 1.6 WAR and his .838 OPS was higher than Jose Altuve (.837), Joey Votto (.833), and Andrew Benintendi (.830), among other solid all-star type players. He performed quite well for a rookie getting his first taste of major league pitching.
The Hank Aaron Award was started in 1999, which was the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth‘s all-time home run record. Voting for each league will be done by a panel of MLB Hall-Of-Famers and Hank Aaron himself. The fan vote will also be taken into consideration for the process.
Please support La Mole and show some love for the Padres’ rookie outfielder.
Voting will continue until October 8 on MLB.com