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10/29/09 1:28 PM EST

Peers dub Mauer as Outstanding Player

Twins catcher given Players Choice nod, MVP could follow

MINNEAPOLIS -- The award season is just getting under way, but it looks to be a very busy one for Twins catcher Joe Mauer.

Mauer was selected as the American League Outstanding Player in 2009 by his peers. The honor is part of the Major League Baseball Players Association's Players Choice Awards, which are voted on by the players in late September.

The 26-year-old catcher beat out Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Angels first baseman Kendry Morales for the honor. Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols was named as the Outstanding Player in the National League.

Mauer is considered a leading contender for the AL MVP Award following a season in which he led the American League in average (.365), on-base percentage (.444) and slugging percentage (.587). He earned his third batting title, becoming the first catcher in Major League history to accomplish the feat, and also set career highs in home runs (28) and RBIs (96).

Earlier this month, Mauer also earned the honor of being named the Oscar Charleston Legacy Award winner as the American League's Most Valuable Player by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The AL MVP award will be announced on Nov. 23.

Mauer is also up for the Players Choice Award as the Major League Player of the Year. The other nominees for the award are Pujols and Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.