Major League Baseball announced the winners of the 2013 Silver Slugger awards this evening for the best hitting player at each position in baseball, as voted by big league managers and coaches. Unsurprisingly, Baltimore Oriole Chris Davis took home the hardware at first base in the American League. Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy also won for the Orioles. Jones is the first outfielder to ever win the Silver Slugger for the Orioles (the award has only existed since 1980).
The trio are the first Orioles to win a Silver Slugger since Aubrey Huff won as designated hitter in 2008, and the first Oriole to win at first base since Rafael Palmeiro in 1998. It's the first year that multiple Orioles have won in a season since Miguel Tejada and Melvin Mora in 2004.
Davis was a no-brainer for the award as he put up video game numbers for most of the season, before cooling down a tad to end the year with simply one of the best offensive performances of the season instead of one of the best offensive performances of all time. Here are his offensive stats with his rank in the American League next to them:
The only hitters in the American League who had a better year than Chris Davis are Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout, who were both named as finalists for the A.L. Most Valuable Player award along with him. If you go by wOBA, which is considered by many to be the best one-stop shop to determine a player's offensive value, Davis' 2013 was the eighth best single season in the history of the Baltimore Orioles, tied with 2004 Melvin Mora (I had to include that tidbit because I find it very amusing).
Jones didn't have the crazy season that Davis did, but his 2013 was very good offensive. He ranked 5th among AL outfielders in wOBA with .350 and his 33 home runs and 108 RBI were first. He ranked 5th in wRC+ and 2nd in runs scored with 100. (only Jones and Trout hit triple digits).
Hardy's win is most surprising as you don't imagine a player with an OBP hovering around .300 to take home any offensive awards. But Hardy is saved by his power. He hit 25 home runs to lead all AL shortstops by a wide margin. The next most HR were by Jed Lowrie, who hit just 15. His wOBA of .322 was second only to Jed Lowrie's .345.
Here are all the winners:
C - Yadier Molina (STL)
1B - Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)
2B - Matt Carpenter (STL)
3B - Pedro Alvarez (PIT)
SS - Ian Desmond (WAS)
OF - Jay Bruce (CIN)
OF - Michael Cuddyer (COL)
OF - Andrew McCutchen (PIT)
P - Zack Greinke (LAD)
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