Kemp among LA's three Aaron nominees

Kemp, Ethier, Blake up for Aaron Award

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Casey Blake are the Dodgers' three nominees for this year's Hank Aaron Award, with fan voting determining the club choice and eventual league winner.

The Hank Aaron Award, presented by Sharp, is awarded annually to the best overall offensive performer in each league, with each club having three nominees. This is the seventh consecutive year that fans have had a voice in selecting the award winners.

Fans can vote through Sept. 15 to determine the club nominee, and then 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.

Kemp, the Dodgers' center fielder, has been the club's most versatile offensive player this year, with an average north of .300 while being on pace for more than 20 homers, 100 RBIs and close to 40 stolen bases.

Ethier, the Dodgers' right fielder, is on pace to become the club's first outfielder to hit 30 homers and drive in 100 runs since Shawn Green in 2002. He has a Major League-leading five walk-off hits this year.

Blake, the Dodgers' third baseman, was instrumental in the club's first-half surge while Manny Ramirez was suspended until slowed by a sore wrist.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.