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Twins' Nelson Cruz named top DH of 2019 season

Cruz becomes the third Twins player to win the Outstanding Designated Hitter award.
Credit: AP
Minnesota Twins' Nelson Cruz watches his two-run home run off Kansas City Royals pitcher Glenn Sparkman during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins announced Nelson Cruz has been named winner of the Edgar Martinez Award for Outstanding Designated Hitter in 2019.

In his first season with Minnesota, the 39-year-old Cruz played in 120 games, batting .311 with 41 home runs and 108 RBI. His home run and RBI totals set single-season records for the Twins DH position.

This is the second time Cruz has won the award, after previously earning the honor in 2017 as a member of the Seattle Mariners. He also becomes the third member of the Twins to win the award, after Chili Davis in 1991 and Paul Molitor in 1996.

The winner is determined by a vote by baseball beat writers, broadcasters, and public relations departments in the American League.

The award has been given out annually for 46 seasons, and was named for former Mariners DH Edgar Martinez starting with the 2004 season.

The honor is the latest major award for the 2019 AL Central Division champion Twins. First-year manager Rocco Baldelli was named AL Manager of the Year last month.

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Credit: AP
Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) connects for a solo home run against the New York Yankees during the third inning of Game 1 of an American League Division Series baseball game, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)