Two Cubs, three Red Sox players headline 2016 Silver Slugger winners
The winners for offensive performance at each position were announced on Thursday
On Thursday, MLB announced the winners in each league of the 2016 Silver Slugger awards. Via Louisville Slugger, the sponsor of the awards, here are the criteria and guidelines:
Coaches and managers of Major League teams vote for the players they feel are the best offensive producers at each position in the field in both the American and National Leagues. They base their selections on a combination of offensive statistics including batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, as well as the coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value. Managers and coaches are not allowed to vote for players on their own team.
Now that you know the deal, let's roll out the winners for 2016 (each hitter's number of career Silver Sluggers in parentheses, counting 2016) ...
- C - Salvador Perez, Royals (1)
- 1B - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (7)
- 2B - Jose Altuve, Astros (3)
- 3B - Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays (2)
- SS - Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (2)
- OF - Mike Trout, Angels (5)
- OF - Mookie Betts, Red Sox (1)
- OF - Mark Trumbo, Orioles (1)
- DH - David Ortiz, Red Sox (7)
In the AL, nothing stands out as being outrageous. Perhaps you can argue for Francisco Lindor over Bogaerts at short, but Bogaerts is a perfectly defensible choice. To preempt some complaints from Blue Jays fans, yes, Ortiz absolutely deserved to win among DHs. Eyeball the numbers and you might be tempted to argue for J.D. Martinez in the outfield, but his lack of playing time due to injury hurt his case.
- C - Wilson Ramos, Nationals (1)
- 1B - Anthony Rizzo, Cubs (1)
- 2B - Daniel Murphy, Nationals (1)
- 3B - Nolan Arenado, Rockies (2)
- SS - Corey Seager, Dodgers (1)
- OF - Charlie Blackmon, Rockies (1)
- OF - Christian Yelich, Marlins (1)
- OF - Yoenis Cespedes, Mets (1)
- P - Jake Arrieta, Cubs (1)
Over in the NL, meantime, we've got a couple of puzzling decisions. First, there's just no way that Rizzo deserved the honor over Joey Votto of the Reds. For that matter, Freddie Freeman was probably more deserving than Rizzo. Further down, Kris Bryant put up a higher OPS than Arenado did, and that's before you take Coors Field into account. You can also argue that Ryan Braun merited one of those three outfield spots.
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