MLB named Michael Morse the Nationals’ candidate for the 2011 Hank Aaron Award, the prize given to the top offensive player in each league. The voting for the award is done by fans and a panel of seven Hall of Fame players, with each team receiving one nomination.
For the Nationals, Morse was an easy choice. In a breakout season at 29, Morse led the Nationals in home runs (31), batting average (.303), on-base percentage (.360), slugging (.550), OPS (.910) and RBI (95). Morse totaled 287 total bases, 50 more than his next closest teammate. Morse had a 147 OPS+, second in Nationals history only to Nick Johnson’s 149 in 2006.
Morse will be eligible for arbitration this offseason for the second time. Morse spent the majority of his season at first base, but he moved to left field in September in order to prepare himself for playing the outfield in 2012 to make room for Adam LaRoche, who will return from major shoulder surgery.