The winners for the 2023 Silver Sluggers have been revealed by Major League Baseball during a special on MLB Network Thursday night.
The Silver Slugger is awarded to a player selected as the best hitter at his position in each league. It was launched in 1980 with the likes of George Brett, Robin Yount, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Andre Dawson and Dusty Baker among those taking home the hardware.
Designated hitters have always been awarded in the AL while pitchers got Silver Sluggers in the NL until 2022 (and excluding 2020), when it shifted to NL DHs instead of pitchers. Also, both leagues have added a utility spot, which was launched in 2022 as well. Unlike the Gold Glove, outfielders are not divided and there are simply three outfield winners instead of right, left and center.
This is not a BBWAA award, so it isn’t “the media” voting. It’s managers and coaches with a statistical component. Here’s how the league describes the selection process:
“Each team receives four (4) votes; the manager and three coaches of their choice. Votes are based on a combination of offensive statistics including OPS, OPS+, Home Runs, RBI, Batting Average, Total Bases and Runs as well as the managers’ and coaches’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value.”
There were three “finalists” at each position, which were simply just the top three vote-getters.
Onto the winners!
First base: Yandy Díaz, Rays
We start with a first-time winner! Díaz won the AL batting title and takes home his first Silver Slugger.
Second base: Marcus Semien, Rangers
The World Series champion wins his second Silver Slugger. He drove home 100 runs as a leadoff hitter.
Third base: Rafael Devers, Red Sox
It’s the second Silver Slugger for Devers, who went for more than 30 homers and 100 RBI for the third time.
Shortstop: Corey Seager, Rangers
More hardware for the two-time World Series MVP, as he now has three Silver Sluggers.
Robert wins his first Silver Slugger in what was his major breakout season while Tucker is also a first-time winner. Julio now has two Silver Sluggers in two seasons.
Catcher: Adley Rutschman, Orioles
The second-year backstop is another first-time winner here.
Designated hitter: Shohei Ohtani, Angels
Believe it or not, this is only Ohtani’s second Silver Slugger, not his third.
Other finalists: Yordan Alvarez, Astros;
Utility: Gunnar Henderson, Orioles
It’s another Orioles’ first-timer, as the rookie Henderson grabs the hardware.
Olson set the Braves’ franchise record in home runs (54) and wins his first ever Silver Slugger.
After flirting with .400 for a good portion of the season, Arraez won his second straight batting title and Silver Slugger.
Third base: Austin Riley, Braves
As part of the high-powered Braves lineup, Riley brings home the hardware for the second time.
Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, Mets
Lindor had a 30-30 season and brings home his third Silver Slugger.
Acuña made history with his 40+ homers and 70+ steals to win his third Silver Slugger. Betts drove home 107 runs from the leadoff spot and brings home his sixth Silver Slugger. Soto has won this award four times in his six MLB seasons.
This is the first Silver Slugger for the younger Contreras. In fact, it’s the first in the family!
Designated hitter: Bryce Harper, Phillies
The two-time MVP Harper wins his third Silver Slugger. This was a season where he started on the injured list due to recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Utility: Cody Bellinger, Cubs
This is the second Silver Slugger for the former NL MVP.