MLB Silver Slugger Awards Announced

The 2011 Silver Slugger awards were announced yesterday on the MLB Network in a much less "glamorous" awards production (than the Gold Glove awards, which were announced the day before).  The MLB Network does a very nice job with their productions and yesterday was definitely proof of that.  We heard from some of the winners, they anaylzed the selections and kept the production quick and fluid. 

Here are your winners with some commentary of some of the notable snubs. 

C - Alex Avila
1B - Adrian Gonzalez
2B - Robinson Cano
SS - Asdrubal Cabrera
3B - Adrian Beltre
OF - Curtis Granderson
OF - Jose Bautista
OF - Jacoby Ellsbury
DH - David Ortiz

C - Brian McCann
1B - Prince Fielder
2B - Brandon Phillips
SS - Troy Tulowitzki
3B - Aramis Ramirez
OF - Ryan Braun
OF - Matt Kemp
OF - Justin Upton
P - Daniel Hudson

A few notable snubs were Miguel Cabrera, Lance Berkman, Jose Reyes and Mike Napoli

With all due respect to Adrian Gonzalez, who had a fine year posting a .957 OPS and a 5.5 offensive WAR, Miguel Cabrera did more with less.  He posted a higher batting average (.334, 1st in the AL), a higher on-base percentage (.448, 1st in the AL) and a higher slugging percentage (.586, 2nd in the AL).  He led the league in doubles, he posted 30 HR and was first in runs created despite not batting in a murderer's row-esque lineup. 

Berkman was also robbed, in my opinion.  Justin Upton had a great season by any standard but Berkman had the same amount of home runs while posting a better batting average (.301), on-base percentage (.412, second in the NL) and slugging percentage (.547).  His .959 OPS was 61 points higher than Justin Upton and let us not forget that Berkman hits in a pitcher-friendly park (his 166 OPS+, which factors in ballpark statistics, was 2nd best in the NL). 

Jose Reyes might have hurt his chances by taking himself out of the final game of the season to secure a batting title but the fact remains, he won a batting title hitting .337.  That might seem like an oddity but in 32 years (the Silver Slugger began in 1980), the batting title winner has not earned a Silver Slugger twelve times.  Tulowitzki was a worthy recipient but Reyes' Offensive WAR of 6.2 was good for third best in the NL and he also led the league in triples.

Mike Napoli probably did not win the award because he was not the full-time catcher the entire season and played other positions (he only played 57 games behind the plate) but if Napoli was eligible, by most accounts, it sounds like he was, then he should have won the award.  His 1.047 OPS was good for second best in the AL.  His thirty home runs landed him in the top ten and his triple slash numbers (.320/.414/.631) were all better than Avila's.  It's tough to argue with the numbers but the fact that he was caught in a time share early on (and because catchers don't play every day) makes the debate a little sticky.  If you asked me who was the best offensive catcher in 2011 and showed me the numbers without any qualifiers, I would say Napoli was that guy. 

You could also make arguments for Yadier Molina, Joey Votto, Andrew McCutchen, Evan Longoria, Dustin Pedroia and Carlos Beltran, among a few others but I'm ok with the rest of the selections as is.  That's my $0.02, what do you think?


  1. i'm pretty upset you even made an argument for future phillies ss jose reyes. tulo was a landslide winner. its slugger, not contact hitter. to reiterate my point, if they do a bronze bunter award, it belongs to reyes

  2. I would have voted for Tulo... just trying to give my boy T-Mc some love.


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