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Will Venable named Padres nominee for 2013 Hank Aaron Award

Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media announced that Will Venable was named the Padres' nominee for the 2013 Hank Aaron Award.

Fans can vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the fourth straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.

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Venable posted a breakout offensive campaign in 2013, batting .268 with 22 doubles, eight triples, 22 home runs, 53 RBI, 64 runs scored and 22 stolen bases. He set career highs in nearly every offensive category while posting a .484 slugging pct. and .796 OPS. The 30-year-old was one of nine players in baseball to record 20 or more home runs and stolen bases and one of 10 in Padres franchise history. The Padres' seventh-round selection in 2005, who signed a two-year contract extension through 2015 on September 3, hit .315 with 11 home runs in 62 games following the All-Star break.

The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time -Roberto Alomar, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray and Robin Yount. These Hall of Famers - who combined for 15,581 hits, 6,902 RBI and 1,334 home runs - have all been personally selected by Hank Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League. 

Through October 10, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2013 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2013 World Series.

"Will had an outstanding offensive year," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He combined power and speed at the top of the order which really is a tough combination on the pitcher and defense."

"It is a great honor that Major League Baseball recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each League with an award in my name," said Hank Aaron. "The game is full of so many talented players today that I am thankful my fellow Hall of Famers and the fans assist in selecting the much deserving winners."

American League
Baltimore Orioles - Chris Davis
Boston Red Sox - David Ortiz
Chicago White Sox - Alexei Ramirez
Cleveland Indians - Jason Kipnis
Detroit Tigers - Miguel Cabrera
Houston Astros - Jason Castro
Kansas City Royals - Eric Hosmer
LA Angels of Anaheim - Mike Trout
Minnesota Twins - Joe Mauer
New York Yankees - Robinson Cano
Oakland Athletics - Josh Donaldson
Seattle Mariners - Kendrys Morales
Tampa Bay Rays - Evan Longoria
Texas Rangers - Adrian Beltre
Toronto Blue Jays - Edwin Encarnacion

National League
Arizona Diamondbacks - Paul Goldschmidt
Atlanta Braves - Freddie Freeman
Chicago Cubs - Nate Schierholtz
Cincinnati Reds - Jay Bruce
Colorado Rockies - Michael Cuddyer
Los Angeles Dodgers - Hanley Ramirez
Miami Marlins - Giancarlo Stanton
Milwaukee Brewers - Carlos Gomez
New York Mets - David Wright
Philadelphia Phillies - Domonic Brown
Pittsburgh Pirates - Andrew McCutchen
St. Louis Cardinals - Matt Carpenter
San Diego Padres - Will Venable
San Francisco Giants - Hunter Pence
Washington Nationals - Jayson Werth

Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012), Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011), Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).

The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.  

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