For the ninth straight year, fans will help decide the top hitters, pitchers, plays and moments from the MLB season. In 2009, more than 12 million votes were cast by fans around the world. The voting process starts on Thursday.
The 2010 This Year in Baseball Awards presented by Toyota features nominees in 19 categories. Individual honors will go to the top Hitter, Starter, Rookie, Closer, Setup Man, Defensive Player, Manager, Executive, Breakout Player, X-Factor, Dependable Player and Postseason MVP.
Fans can also vote on the year's top Play, Moment, Performance, Oddity, Game, Fan Moment and Postseason Moment from MLB.com's Must C video highlight vault.
Hernandez, a leading candidate for the American League Cy Young Award after leading the league in virtually every pitching category except wins, is up for Starter and Dependable, based on his league-leading 249 2/3 innings pitched and 30 quality starts.
Ichiro, who became the first player in MLB history to have 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons, is among the nominees for Dependable, having played in all 162 games, and for Fan Moment.
Ichiro's interaction with 17-year-old Iris Skinner at Safeco Field on July 8 was shown on numerous highlight shows. Ichiro was reaching into the stands to try to catch a popup hit by Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira when his arm hit the fan. He made it a point to ask if she was OK.
She immediately placed a call on her cell phone and excitedly discussed the play. Later in the game, a representative from Fox Sports Northwest gave her a baseball and Ichiro jersey.
"It was awesome," Skinner said. "I am literally starstruck."
Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez is among the nominees for Defensive Player. Gutierrez played the position in 146 games and handled all 415 chances flawlessly. He has now played 190 consecutive error-free games, encompassing 542 total chances.
A fancy double play turned by second baseman Chone Figgins and shortstop Josh Wilson on Sept. 10 against the Angels in Anaheim is a nominee for Play of the year.
Figgins went behind the base, back-handing the ball behind his back to Wilson, who caught the ball with his bare hand to complete the double play.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.