The Silver Slugger awards were handed out Thursday, with a number of MVP candidates highlighting the list. Below, we'll go through the winners and break down the reaction from around baseball.
American League Winners
Outfielders: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox; Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels; J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox
First Base: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
Second Base: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland
Third Base: Jose Ramirez, Cleveland
Catcher: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox
There weren't any surprises in the outfield, with Betts the front-runner for the American League MVP and Trout one of the three finalists. Betts led the AL with a .346 average and added 32 homers, 80 RBI, 129 runs and 30 stolen bases, while Trout provided another vintage season (.312 average with 39 homers and 79 RBI).
Martinez was arguably snubbed in the MVP voting, as he wasn't a finalist, though he was an obvious choice for a Silver Slugger award after finishing second in the AL in batting average (.330), second in homers (43) and first in RBI (130).
He also became the first player in MLB history to win two different Silver Slugger awards in a season.
Altuve keeps collecting the Silver Sluggers, winning the award for the fifth time. Only Ryne Sandberg (seven) has more at second base. Lindor is starting to make winning the award a habit himself, taking it home for the second straight year after blasting 38 home runs and tying Betts for the most runs scored in the AL (129).
Perez, meanwhile, took home his second Silver Slugger award:
And then there's the left side of Cleveland's infield, where Lindor and Ramirez led Cleveland back to the postseason. Ramirez is also an MVP finalist after an epic season in which he hit 39 homers and accumulated 105 RBI.
National League Winners
Outfielders: Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers; David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks; Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves
First Base: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
Second Base: Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
Shortstop: Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies
Third Base: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins
Pitcher: German Marquez, Colorado Rockies
Yelich is a finalist for the NL MVP after leading the league with a .326 average to go along with 36 homers and 110 RBI, so he was an easy choice for a Silver Slugger.
Markakis, meanwhile, was one of the feel-good stories in baseball after a career year for the Braves:
If Yelich is the front-runner for MVP, Baez is nipping on his heels after leading the NL with 111 RBI to go along with a .290 average and 34 home runs. He's generally more praised for his elite defense, but Baez was an offensive force in 2018.
To put Baez's season in perspective, he was a Silver Slugger finalist at second base and at shortstop. He did just about everything for the Cubs this year.
Story and Arenado combined to blast 75 dingers, so it wasn't surprising to see them take home Silver Slugger awards.
And then there's Realmuto, who was one of the bright spots for Miami this season after hitting .277 with 21 homers and 74 RBI, excellent numbers from the catcher position.