#AwardWorthy: Vote for Stanton, Volquez

#AwardWorthy: Vote for Stanton, Volquez

When building a case for Giancarlo Stanton to win the Esurance MLB Award for Best Major Leaguer, there are 59 reasons that immediately catch the eye.

That's the number of home runs slugged by the Marlins right fielder, the most in the Majors since 2001. If the homer total doesn't grab your attention, then perhaps Stanton's MLB-high 132 RBIs will. Don't forget about his National League-leading .631 slugging percentage. What's more, Stanton scored 123 runs, the second most in the NL.

Stanton let his record-setting numbers do the talking in 2017 and he's been cleaning up this offseason in terms of awards. Stanton won the NL MVP Award as voted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), and he's earned three additional prestigious honors -- the NL Hank Aaron Award, an NL Silver Slugger Award and the Players Choice Award for Outstanding National League Player. He was also a Gold Glove finalist among NL right fielders.

This year, Stanton showed what he can do when he stays healthy for a full season. He played in a career-high 159 games, and his production was an eye-popping slash line of .281/.376/.631. He was also second in the NL in OPS (1.007) and total bases (377).

And Stanton isn't the only Marlins player up for an Esurance MLB Award.

• Vote for this season's best stars and moments in the Esurance MLB Awards

Edinson Volquez was on the mound for one of the year's most unforgettable moments. Pitching on the birthday of the late Yordano Ventura, the Marlins' right-hander honored his former teammate -- as well as Jose Fernandez -- by tossing the season's only no-hitter.

For that stellar and emotional outing, Volquez was nominated for Best Performance.

Best Performance: Volquez

The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor MLB's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: Media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) members.

The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American and National Leagues from Opening Day through the end of the postseason.

Voting led off with seven categories on Sept. 18 at mlb.com/awards, serving as the grand entrance of a program that unveiled nominees for Best Call, TV/Radio; Best Major Leaguer, Postseason; and Best Postseason Moment following the Fall Classic's final out. The ninth inning of voting began around BBWAA Awards week, which opened when the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award winners were unveiled Monday. Voting in the Best Executive, Best Rookie, Best Manager and Best Pitcher categories went live earlier this week, preceding balloting in the Best Major Leaguer category.

MLB Awards season will culminate Friday, when winners are announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Volquez needed just 98 pitches to complete his 10-strikeout gem, making it the first "Maddux" no-hitter -- fewer than 100 pitches in nine innings -- in the Majors since Henderson Alvarez's no-no on Sept. 29, 2013. After the game, Volquez dedicated the day to Ventura and Fernandez.

"This was for Ventura and Jose," Volquez said. "Everybody loved Jose. I can say that's for him, too. I really appreciate what he did here [in Miami] and people loved him. I'm really blessed to throw a no-hitter on his bump."

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.