Major League Baseball announced its 2011 Silver Slugger Awards last night. The honor is given to the best offensive player at each position. The Silver Slugger Awards are voted on by coaches and managers from the American and National Leagues. Let’s take a look at which AL players won the award.
C – Alex Avila – Tigers
1B – Adrian Gonzalez – Red Sox
2B – Robinson Cano – Yankees
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera – Indians
3B – Adrian Beltre – Rangers
OF – Curtis Granderson – Yankees
OF – Jose Bautista – Blue Jays
OF – Jacoby Ellsbury – Red Sox
DH – David Ortiz – Red Sox
As might be expected, the AL East claimed over half of the 2011 Silver Slugger Awards. David Ortiz and Robinson Cano had won in previous years, while Adrian Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson and Jacoby Ellsbury took home the honor for the first time.
There were two other first timers in the AL; Alex Avila and Asdrubal Cabrera. Avila was only one of two full-time backstops to maintain an OPS north of .800 in 2011, hitting 19 home runs and driving in 82 RBI’s. Mike Napoli had better offensive numbers, but only spent 76 games behind the plate in 2011 while also splitting time at first base and DH.
Cabrera had the third best OPS (.792) among AL shortstops, but did drive in the most RBI’s (92) and hit the second most home runs (25).
Jose Bautista won his second Silver Slugger in a row, posting another solid season in 2011. Adrian Beltre, a three-time winner, has now won the award in each league and with three different teams.