OAKLAND -- Adam Kennedy, Rajai Davis and Kurt Suzuki, the 1-2-3 hitters in the A's lineup of late, have been named as Oakland's nominees for the 2009 Hank Aaron Award.
The honor, presented by Sharp, is awarded annually to the best overall offensive performer in each league, with each club offering three names for consideration. This is the seventh consecutive year that fans will have a voice in selecting the winners.
Acquired May 8 in a trade with the Rays to fill in while second baseman Mark Ellis was out with a calf injury, Kennedy has been a mainstay with the A's ever since.
With Nomar Garciaparra frequently unavailable due to his own calf issues, and with third baseman Eric Chavez out for the season, Kennedy has taken over at the hot corner -- he'd never before played there in the bigs -- and has provided steady offensive production. Through Monday's game, he was batting .285 in 89 games and ranked second on the team with 14 steals and third with 46 RBIs.
Kennedy also has two five-hit games this year, making him only the second Oakland player to accomplish the feat twice in the same season.
Davis opened the season as a reserve outfielder and batted .146 through his first 26 games, but he's been on a tear since the trade of Matt Holliday to the Cardinals provided more playing time.
Through Monday, he was batting .340 over his past 56 games, improving his average to a team-best .299. Davis also leads the club in on-base percentage (.368), triples (four) and stolen bases (25), and he'd driven in 21 runs in his past 30 games.
Suzuki, one of the top young catchers in the game, leads the A's with 54 RBIs through Monday, and led American League catchers in doubles (25) and steals (five) while ranking second in runs (50) and third in hits (107).
Fans can vote through Sept. 15 to determine the club's final nominee, and 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 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.
Mychael Urban is a
national writer for MLB.com. Associate reporter Adam Loberstein contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.