MLB Silver Slugger Awards 2019: AL and NL Winners and Twitter Reaction

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2019

Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout runs to first after a RBI-single against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

On Thursday evening, the Silver Slugger award winners were announced by Major League Baseball, and as always, there was a surprise or two in the mix. 

Below, we'll review the best offensive players from the 2019 MLB season and the corresponding reaction to the selections.


National League Silver Sluggers

Catcher: J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies

First Base: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves

Second Base: Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves

Third BaseAnthony Rendon, Washington Nationals

Shortstop: Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies

Outfielders: Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves; Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers; Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

Pitcher: Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks


American League Silver Sluggers

Catcher: Mitch Garver, Minnesota Twins

First Base: Carlos Santana, Cleveland

Second Base: DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees

Third Base: Alex Bregman, Houston Astros

ShortstopXander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

Outfielders: George Springer, Houston Astros; Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox; Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

Designated Hitter: Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins



In the National League, there were plenty of tight races. One of them was at second base, where Albies topped Los Angeles' Max Muncy. Albies led all NL second basemen in runs (102), hits (189) and doubles (43).

New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso didn't get the award at first base, and frankly it was a bit of a surprise. His 53 home runs were 15 more than any other player's total at the position in the National League, and he added 120 RBI, 103 runs and a .941 OPS (also tops among NL first basemen).

But Freeman took home the award after leading NL first basemen in RBI (121) and runs (113). 

Nolan Arenado's streak of four straight Silver Sluggers came to an end, meanwhile, with MVP finalist Anthony Rendon leading all NL third basemen in OPS (1.010), RBI (126), runs (117) and batting average (.319). And while his 34 homers were 15 fewer than Cincinnati slugger Eugenio Suarez's, the rest of Rendon's resume was simply too good to ignore.  

Trevor Story ensured that at least half of the left side of Colorado's infield earned a Silver Slugger, however, his second career selection. 

As for the outfield, the National League was loaded at the position. Juan Soto (34 homers, 110 RBI, 110 runs), Ronald Acuna Jr. (41 homers, 37 SB, 101 RBI, 127 runs), Cody Bellinger (.305 with 47 homers, 115 RBI, 121 runs, 1.035 OPS) and Christian Yelich (.329 with 44 homers, 97 RBI, 100 runs, 1.100 OPS) all made compelling cases.

In the end, it was Soto who was snubbed. 

In the American League, it wasn't a major surprise to see Minnesota Twins catcher Mitch Garver take home the Silver Slugger. He was second among AL catchers in homers (31), tied for third in RBI (67), first in runs (70) and first in OPS (.995). Gary Sanchez made a case, but Garver had the better overall offensive season.

Santana took the win in a tight race at first base. It was deserved, however, as he finished first at the position in OPS (.911), walks (108) and runs (110).

Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien had a spectacular season, but Bogaerts boasted the better Silver Slugger resume and deserved the win. Bogaerts finished first among AL shortstops in RBI (117) and OPS (.939), was tied for first with Semien in homers (33) and was second in runs (110). 

Houston's Alex Bregman was another obvious choice. He led all AL third baseman in homers (41) and OPS (1.015) and was second in runs (122) and RBI (112). Boston's Rafael Devers had an excellent season, but Bregman was the right call. 

In the outfield, there was little doubt that Mike Trout would earn his seventh Silver Slugger. He was second among AL outfielders in homers (45), fourth in RBI (104), second in runs (110) and first in OPS (1.083). He had yet another monster season, and even at arguably the most competitive position in the American League, he was an obvious choice.

Houston's Springer always seemed likely to join him. He finished third among AL outfielders in homers (39), sixth in RBI (96) and second in OPS (.974). 

It wasn't a surprise that Betts joined them. He led the American League in runs (135), after all. Imagine leading baseball in runs in a "down year." Betts is special.


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