Albert Pujols has picked up the first piece of hardware in what could be a very busy month or so. On Tuesday, Pujols was named as the winner of the Players Choice Award as the National League's Outstanding Player.
The Cardinals slugger beat out the Braves' Chipper Jones and the Phillies' Ryan Howard for the award. Pujols is also up for Players Choice Awards as Major League Player of the Year and the Marvin Miller Man of the Year. Players Choice Awards are voted upon by members of the MLB Players Association.
Pujols is, of course, also a leading candidate for National League Most Valuable Player honors.
"I'm pretty humbled and blessed," Pujols said in a video interview at Yahoo Sports. "It was a long year. ... I want to thank the players for voting me for this award. It's a really sweet award. It's pretty special to me."
In the interview, Pujols also discussed his recent elbow surgery. He had a procedure to transpose the ulnar nerve in his right elbow, an operation that should ease pain and numbness he had been feeling in the joint and in his forearm, as well.
"It feels really good now," he said. "I started doing my therapy, and hopefully, in six more weeks I'll be ready to go back in the gym and doing baseball activities."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.