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Silver Slugger Award winners, as they’re announced …

Nov 6, 2013, 6:01 PM EDT

silver slugger getty Getty Images

Major League Baseball is unveiling the 2013 Silver Slugger Award winners Wednesday evening (6:00 p.m. ET) in an hour-long special on MLB Network.

The Silver Slugger Award is given annually to the top offensive player at each position in each league, as determined by MLB’s coaches and managers. We’ll post the recipients here as they are announced:

American League

First Base
Chris Davis, Orioles

Second Base
Robinson Cano, Yankees

Shortstop
J.J. Hardy, Orioles

Third Base
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Outfield
Torii Hunter, Tigers
Adam Jones, Orioles
Mike Trout, Angels

Catcher
Joe Mauer, Twins

Designated Hitter
David Ortiz, Red Sox

********************************

National League

First Base
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks

Second Base
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals

Shortstop
Ian Desmond, Nationals

Third Base
Pedro Alvarez, Pirates

Outfield
Jay Bruce, Reds
Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

Catcher
Yadier Molina, Cardinals

Starting Pitcher
Zack Greinke, Dodgers

  1. cohnjusack - Nov 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Jay Bruce? Really?

    • cohnjusack - Nov 6, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      For you thumb downers:

      Bruce’s OPS of .807 ranked behind the following non-Silver Slugger NL outfielders

      –Justin Upton: OPS was 11 points higher
      –Dominic Brown: 11 points higher
      –Hunter Pence: 15 points higher
      –Carlos Beltran: 23 points higher
      –Carlos Gomez: 36 points higher
      –Giancarlo Stanton: 38 points higher
      –Marlon Byrd: 40 points higher
      –Matt Holliday: 72 points higher
      –Shin Soo Choo: 78 points higher
      –Jayson Werth: 124 points higher

      • David Proctor - Nov 6, 2013 at 6:45 PM

        Werth not making it is comical.

      • NatsLady - Nov 6, 2013 at 6:47 PM

        Werth got ROBBED!!!!

      • randomdigits - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:15 PM

        Real men use wOBA

      • theman1932 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:16 PM

        Man that OPS is an important stat. Take a look at this and get back to me. https://twitter.com/Reds/status/398228903082209282

        Well deserved, Jay. Well deserved.

      • theman1932 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM

        Way to be objective NatsLady.

      • theman1932 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        and cohnjusack, this was a RF award. Having guys like Gomez, Holliday and Choo is irrelevant. Might as well include AL guys in your argument.

      • thaddeusballpheasant - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        theman: it’s kind of misleading to include extra-bases as a stat he lead in when he already led in two thirds of the stats that make up that number.

        Also, Cuddyer is also a RF, so…yeah, there were plenty of better options than Bruce.

      • theman1932 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:34 PM

        My apologies. It is actually an OF award, not just RF. But if you want to make a case for Byrd, Holliday, Upton, Brown, etc., feel free to waste your time. Spoiler alert: Bruce still won the Silver Slugger. Numbers don’t lie. If anyone got robbed of anything, it was Bruce of the Gold Glove.

      • NatsLady - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:39 PM

        OBJECTIVELY, Werth is best in wOBA and wRC+. Look at the fangraphs link posted below.

      • theman1932 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        NatsLady, Objectively, look at the tweet. Pretty sure those numbers outweigh advanced statistics, that are weighted. If we are going to make some numbers more important than the basic numbers,should we throw in the contract and say Bruce is the better value as well?

      • thaddeusballpheasant - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        A) For all the work that the GG awards did to actually focus on stats for a change, it now gets overshadowed by SS awards being given to whoever hits the most HR.

        B) Jay Bruce is a great fielder and hitter. He just wasn’t the best defensive RF, nor was he at least the third best offensive OF, he wasn’t even the best on his team.

      • theman1932 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        He wasn’t the best on his own team? Child Please. Choo couldn’t hit a southpaw and really only singled/hbp/walked. Yes, those are important. But to say he is a better hitter than Bruce. No. Bruce clubs homers off left-handers better than any left-handed hitter. That is a fact.

      • thaddeusballpheasant - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:59 PM

        Choo’s OBP for LHP was the same as Bruce’s for RHP

        Considering batters face more RHP than LHP, that only demonstrates how much more valuable Choo was than Bruce.

        40% of Choo’s hits were XBH, 10% of his PA were XBH…so no, he didn’t only walk/hbp/single.
        As a leadoff hitter it was his job to get on base and make pitchers throw from the stretch…he did that very well.

      • paperlions - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:49 PM

        There is not a RF/CF/LF silver slugger. Cuddyer and Bruce are both RFers and neither were anything close to the best offensive RFer in the NL. The list ahead of them is long….because, you know, there is more to being a good offensive player than hitting HRs.

        It is pretty sad that a group of coaches/managers understand less about offensive production than your average casual fangraphs reader.

      • bmh9500 - Nov 6, 2013 at 10:07 PM

        Guys, don’t you know that RBI, HR, and propaganda tweets are as far as baseball analysis has come in ~150 years?!

      • thomas844 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:09 AM

        So why not call it the “OPS Award”?

    • JuniorGriffey'sRecliner - Nov 6, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      You think maybe Bruce having more home runs and RBIs than any other NL outfielder had something to do with it?

      I think the managers and coaches see something you’re missing by focusing solely on OPS.

      • braddavery - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:09 PM

        Exactly. It’s not the Highest OPS Award, as this guy and many others seem to think it is.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:15 PM

        I think the managers and coaches see something you’re missing by focusing solely on OPS.

        Ok, let’s look at the criteria:
        The Silver Slugger Award is given annually to the top offensive player at each position in each league, as determined by MLB’s coaches and managers.

        Bruce’s rank among NL OF in:
        wOBA: .344 (14th)
        wRC+: 117 (17th)

        http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=of&stats=bat&lg=nl&qual=y&type=8&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=16,d

      • JuniorGriffey'sRecliner - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        I get it. Numbers are immutable.

        It’s just that the guys giving out the awards probably don’t what wOBA and wRC+ are.

      • braddavery - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        It’s always easier to make a case when you only post stats that help your case and ignore the ones that don’t help you. The guy led all NL/MLB right fielders in many offensive categories as well… but yes, let’s ONLY look at a few fancier statistics and act like they are ALL that matters. Maybe all of you who oppose this selection should do the same with all the other positions as well as it’s not only Bruce who can be ousted with some stats manipulation.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        The guy led all NL/MLB right fielders in many offensive categories as well… but yes, let’s ONLY look at a few fancier statistics and act like they are ALL that matters.

        It’s an award given out for Top Offensive Player. wOBA is a formula that takes all offensive stats into account. wRC+ is wOBA including league and park factors set to 100 as average. If you want to judge someone based off HR and RBI, that’s your prerogative; however, you are missing far more important factors.

        @juniorgriffey:

        It’s just that the guys giving out the awards probably don’t what wOBA and wRC+ are.

        Ignorance of something isn’t a valid excuse though.

    • theman1932 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      Complaint denied.

      • thaddeusballpheasant - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:39 PM

        xbh = hr + 3b + 2b

        It seems kind of silly to list that if you already state that he led in its two prime components.

        He also led them in SO.

      • theman1932 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        I didn’t give those numbers, the Reds did.

        Chris Davis had more Ks (and 2nd most in MLB) than Bruce, Pedro Alvarez led his position in Ks, also more than Bruce. But no complaints?

      • thaddeusballpheasant - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        I can see the Reds did that, it wasn’t a slight on you, but you are trumpeting that tweet as the best reason for a player’s value.

        The SO stat was just an example of why only listing select stats is a poor method of evaluating a player. Take a look at the full line and you’ll notice plenty of players with better arguments.

      • thaddeusballpheasant - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:09 PM

        Also, Alvarez didn’t deserve to win either. He won based on the same requirements for Bruce: HR & RBI. At least in Bruce’s case he had decent percentages, Alvarez is just horrendous.

  2. dhalb34 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Josh Donaldson had a great year and carried the A’s. Not one recognition all season.

    • crackersnap - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:11 PM

      It’s the price Donaldson pays for Cabrera being such a team player and sacrificing himself by moving from 1B to 3B in order to make room for Fielder….

    • doctornature - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:25 PM

      He gets the 3rd base award for dodging the most doo doo all year, which is reward enough itself

  3. redsoxchamp11 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    has there been a sadder bunch of picks in the last 15 years for the short stop.position? geez.

  4. yahmule - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    For the 47th consecutive season, the Silver Surfer Award goes to Norrin Radd.

    • 8man - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      Nice!

  5. stevequinn - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Yadi Molina seems to be winning everything but he won’t get the one award he deserves…NL MVP. McCutcheon is just a great ballplayer but neither he, nor Goldschmidt, had the impact Molina had for the Cardinals. When he went out with an injury, the Cardinals went into a bad slump. When Molina returned, the Cardinals started winning again and eventually won the most games in the NL. That’s the definition of an MVP.

    • indaburg - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      I’d give the NL MVP to Matt Carpenter before Yadi.

      • paperlions - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:56 PM

        I wouldn’t. Catcher D >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 2B D and Carpenter was not so much better offensively to account for how much more important catching is that 2B or the fact that Molina is a far better defensive catcher than Carpenter is a defensive 2B.

      • indaburg - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:38 PM

        Objectively, using their WAR values, Carpenter was the more valuable player. fWAR for Carpenter is 7.0. fWAR for Molina is 5.6. Catchers are very important, and Yadi is a great one, no doubt. Yadi is the MVC. But super-utility players like Carpenter who can play multiple positions are also valuable (calling Carpenter a mere second baseman is inaccurate).

      • paperlions - Nov 6, 2013 at 11:58 PM

        Well, yeah, but objectively defensive estimates for catches are crap and generally considered to undervalue them. As one example, every time Dave Cameron is asked who the most undervalued player in MLB is, he says Molina and says that the answer will probably always be Molina until they figure out how to more fully estimate and appreciate the value of catcher defense.

      • thaddeusballpheasant - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:56 PM

        I can see arguments for both sides.
        Carpenter for his production and versatility.
        Yadi for his production and, for all the accolades STL gets for its scouting and production of pitching prospects, you can’t argue that Yadi doesn’t play a role in their successes.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 6, 2013 at 11:25 PM

        Kozma!

    • yahmule - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:22 PM

      The Cardinals went 7-7 with Molina out from 8/1 to 8/15.

      • bmh9500 - Nov 6, 2013 at 10:11 PM

        Yep. That horrendous 7 game losing streak occurred before Molina went on the DL, 7/26 – 7/31.

  6. metalhead65 - Nov 6, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    wait you forgot to factor in Bruce’s average on overcast days with the temperature between 68 and 73 degrees on games that start between 7 and 7:30 P.M. or haven’t they made that a stat yet? he deserved and won it get over it! the guy played for dusty baker for god’s sake no telling how great his stats will be playing for a manager who will not be afraid to bat him bat in front of or behind Votto or another left handed hitter. something that violated the book of dusty. even though when he did try it for a couple of games it worked pretty good.

    • eightyraw - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      Sabre-inclined people consistently warn against small sample size, so to make fun of these people you bring up the smallest of sample sizes? Brilliant.

    • bmh9500 - Nov 6, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      If a garbled split is the best idea for a stat you can come up with, maybe talking baseball on the internet isn’t your thing.

      • metalhead65 - Nov 6, 2013 at 10:39 PM

        I can talk baseball all you want. just not saber metrics. sorry you can’t handle sarcasm. just wait though in 4-5 years they will have stats like that,anything to help their stupid fantasy teams. I grew up watching and playing when was all about playing the game not some stupid numbers. I did not need metrics to tell me the big red machine was the best team in baseball in 75-76.

      • bmh9500 - Nov 6, 2013 at 10:52 PM

        lol.

      • randomdigits - Nov 7, 2013 at 3:58 AM

        Metalhead, exactly how many non red games did you get to watch to come to that conclusion?

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        metalhead65 – Nov 6, 2013 at 10:39 PM
        I did not need metrics to tell me the big red machine was the best team in baseball in 75-76.
        ————————————————————————————————————————
        Too bad, because sabermetrics would tell you that Joe Morgan was a better player than most gave him credit for.

    • moogro - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      False Metal.

  7. 8man - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Ortiz. Yes. Solid regular season. Better post season. Take-no-prisoners World Series. Three titles in 9 years and he’s the one common thread. Hmm…gives one pause to think….

    I remember seeing his face after game 6. He had this look as if he felt completed. Like it had all come together. Total validation.

    Three Orioles? Wow! How ’bout dem Os, hon! If that team’s pitching comes around…look out!

    • braddavery - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      I paused to think, “How is it this skinny, mild-hitting kid from the Minnesota Twins makes his way over to the Red Sox at age 27 (the year he is reported to have been on the Mitchell report) bulk up and start mashing 40 to 50+ bombs a year, leading his team to numerous World Series victories, still play at such a high level at age 37?”

      • eightyraw - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        Yeah crazy that human bodies can change over time. And to not adhere exactly to a typical aging curve? Well he must be taking magic drugs!

        As for your laughable light-hitting claims, Ortiz hit 32HR over 4 levels in 1997. And here is video of that 21yo Ortiz wowing ARod and Ken Griffey Jr with his power: http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2013/8/14/4622214/david-ortiz-alex-rodriguez-home-run-derby-video

      • braddavery - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        David Ortiz

        Per-162 games with Minnesota, age 21 to 26 (1997-2002), pre-Mitchell Report
        140 hits, 21 HRs, 85 RBI, .266 average, .348 OBP, .809 OPS, 243 total bases… in 1,693 plate appearances.

        Per-162 games with Boston, age 27 to 37 (2003-2013), post-Mitchell Report
        175 hits, 40 HRs, 128 RBI, .292 average, .390 OBP, .962 OPS, 342 total bases… in 6,556 plate appearances.

        Not even questionable a LITTLE?

      • bmh9500 - Nov 6, 2013 at 10:15 PM

        It’s not unprecedented. Look at Barry Bwaitnevermind

      • thaddeusballpheasant - Nov 6, 2013 at 11:14 PM

        braddavery: the Mitchell Report was started in 2006 and released at the end of 2007.

      • thaddeusballpheasant - Nov 6, 2013 at 11:44 PM

        Also, it’s entirely possible that Ortiz did not appreciate hitting in the Metrodome.
        Home HR (’97-02): 20
        Away HR (’97-02): 38

        And that he figured something out in the last half of 2002:
        65G 15HR 42RBI 297/363/572

        Likewise, his first few seasons with Boston coincide with a player’s peak years. Since then he’s been saved from fieldwork by being a DH, which greatly helps some players’ longevity (Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez).

        As for players suddenly becoming better: in recent years we’ve had Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Chris Davis. Sometimes players will make the necessary adjustments to become great.

      • thaddeusballpheasant - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:06 AM

        Finally, I realized something
        Ortiz was never implicated in the Mitchell Report.
        There was an anonymous test in ’03 that was leaked that he appeared in. He hasn’t tested positive since then and suspensions for positive tests have been in place since 2004.

      • jwbiii - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:40 AM

        braddavery, David Ortiz in the Mitchell Report?

        http://bizofbaseball.com/docs/mitchrpt.pdf

        One of us has a reading comprehension problem.

      • paperlions - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM

        It’s not his fault, when he even thinks of the word steroids his vision gets blurry because of THE RAGE!

      • braddavery - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        You guys are not focusing on the right info, his resurgence in the Boston PED climate after toiling for 6 seasons on the Twins. It’s a fact that many of the Boston players were using PEDs during their earlier title runs and Ortiz was is suspected of failing a “secret” test all the way back to 2003, his first season with the Red Sox. Ignore though. What do I care.

  8. adcoop22 - Nov 6, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    GOOOOOLLLLLDSCHMIDT!!!

  9. atlsp - Nov 6, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    All this fuss over Werth/Bruce (rightfully so, I believe) but nobody cares that Pedro Alvarez and his .296 OBP won at NL 3B? I realize he tied for the HR lead but Chris Johnson, Zimmerman, or even Wright and Aramis (depending on how you feel about their shortened seasons) would all be more deserving.

    • bmh9500 - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:26 AM

      but DINGERS

  10. jwbiii - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    As near as I can find, here are the instructions:

    “Voting was conducted by Major League managers and coaches, using batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage as key statistics.”

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/os-cards-tigers-bucs-win-multiple-silver-sluggers?ymd=20131106&content_id=63730238&vkey=news_mlb

    There were 25 qualified NL outfielders.

    BA:
    11 Hunter Pence
    22 Jay Bruce

    OBP:
    14 Hunter Pence
    19 Jay Bruce

    SLP:
    10 Hunter Pence
    12 Jay Bruce

    I’m not saying that Hunter Pence should have won an award, I’m just picking the NL outfielder with the lowest batting average who bested Bruce in all three listed categories.

    And yeah, given the instructions here, it is about OPS+BA.

    So why would MLB take an award which is so clearly defined by statistical parameters and put it a vote? Simple: Coaches and managers are savvy enough to know that a player who plays in a favorable hitting environment, like GABP, may have superior raw statistics to a player who plays in a less favorable hitting environment, like AT&T Park, and they obviously won’t be fooled by those raw numbers.

  11. kander013 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Four former Twins and one current player. But the team’s future is bright! Minus Buxton and Sano being out for the rest of winter ball with injuries…

  12. bbk1000 - Nov 10, 2013 at 5:45 AM

    Post season awards have always been a joke and this list is an example why.

    Alvarez? Really? Haha

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