Sunday, July 14, 2024

2023 MLB Silver Slugger winners: Bryce Harper, Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuña Jr., more take home hardware

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! 

American League

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.

Other finalists: Triston Casas, Red Sox; Nathaniel Lowe, Rangers; Spencer Torkelson, Tigers

Second base: Marcus Semien, Rangers

The World Series champion wins his second Silver Slugger. He drove home 100 runs as a leadoff hitter. 

Other finalists: Brandon Drury, Angels; Gleyber Torres, Yankees

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.

Other finalists: Alex Bregman, Astros; Isaac Paredes, Rays; José Ramírez, Guardians

Shortstop: Corey Seager, Rangers

More hardware for the two-time World Series MVP, as he now has three Silver Sluggers.

Other finalists: J.P. Crawford, Mariners; Bobby Witt Jr., Royals

Outfielders: Luis Robert Jr., White Sox; Julio Rodríguez, Mariners; Kyle Tucker, Astros 

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. 

Other finalists: Randy Arozarena, Rays; Adolis García, Rangers; Aaron Judge, Yankees; Anthony Santander, Orioles;  

Catcher: Adley Rutschman, Orioles

The second-year backstop is another first-time winner here. 

Other finalists: Salvador Perez, Royals; Cal Raleigh, Mariners

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. 

Other finalists: Brandon Drury, Angels; Isaac Paredes, Rays; Whit Merrifield, Blue Jays

National League

First base: Matt Olson, Braves

Olson set the Braves’ franchise record in home runs (54) and wins his first ever Silver Slugger.

Other finalists: Pete Alonso, Mets; Freddie Freeman, Dodgers

Second base: Luis Arraez, Marlins

After flirting with .400 for a good portion of the season, Arraez won his second straight batting title and Silver Slugger. 

Other finalists: Ozzie Albies, Braves; Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks

Third base: Austin Riley, Braves

As part of the high-powered Braves lineup, Riley brings home the hardware for the second time.

Other finalists: Nolan Arenado, Cardinals; Manny Machado, Padres; Max Muncy, Dodgers 

Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, Mets

Lindor had a 30-30 season and brings home his third Silver Slugger. 

Other finalists: Xander Bogaerts, Padres; Dansby Swanson, Cubs; Trea Turner, Phillies

Outfielders: Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves; Mookie Betts, Dodgers; Juan Soto, Padres

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. 

Other finalists: Cody Bellinger, Cubs; Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks; Kyle Schwarber, Phillies; Seiya Suzuki, Cubs

Catcher: William Contreras, Brewers

This is the first Silver Slugger for the younger Contreras. In fact, it’s the first in the family! 

Other finalists: Sean Murphy, Braves; J.T. Realmuto, Phillies; Will Smith, Dodgers

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.  

Other finalists: J.D. Martinez, Dodgers; Marcell Ozuna, Braves; Jorge Soler, Marlins

Utility: Cody Bellinger, Cubs

This is the second Silver Slugger for the former NL MVP. 

Other finalists: Mookie Betts, Dodgers; Ha-Seong Kim, Padres; Spencer Steer, Reds

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