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How Many Twins Should Win a Silver Slugger Award?

The Minnesota Twins have one of the greatest offensive teams ever assembled (put that into sentences that would’ve seemed crazy in March). They have received contributions from everyone who has put on the Twins uniform this season, but how many of them should win the Silver Slugger Award at their position? I talked about two who should win the award and put down a couple of close calls.
Image courtesy of © Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Cruz

Top three at the position (DH)
  • Nelson Cruz: .299/.382/.616 (.998), 37 HR, 97 RBI, 155 wRC+, 3.6 fWAR
  • J.D. Martinez: .301/.380/.564 (.944), 35 HR, 95 RBI, 138 wRC+, 2.9 fWAR
  • Yordan Alvarez: .316/.418/.674 (1.092), 26 HR, 76 RBI, 183 wRC+, 3.7 fWAR
The 39-year-old Nelson Cruz and the 32-year-old J.D. Martinez will be in the running with young rookie Yordan Alvarez who is putting up absolutely insane numbers this season. Top of the American League type of numbers.

The only problem is that he won’t reach even 89 games this season and nobody has ever won the award with less than 112 games played. If he was called up at the beginning of the season and put up these numbers then he would be in the top three for MVP votes. Sadly for him he wasn't called up and Nelson Cruz is here.

With Alvarez likely not getting enough time to win, it should come down to Cruz and Martinez, although Soler could sneak in depending on how much voters value RBIs.

Twins slugger Nelson Cruz should definitely win this award over the others. From helping lead his team to a playoff run to hitting 40 bombs as a 39-year-old, he has been one of the best hitters in baseball this season. If you are about to hit the age of 40 and you can still out-homer your age then you deserve a statue at that point.

Mitch Garver

Top three at the position (Catcher)
  • Mitch Garver: .276/.364/.636 (1.000), 30 HR, 66 RBI, 155 wRC+, 3.7 fWAR
  • Gary Sanchez: .233/.318/.531 (.849), 34 HR, 77 RBI, 118 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR
  • Omar Narvaez: .284/.357/.477 (.834) 22 HR, 55 RBI, 123 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR
If Mitch Garver does not win the Silver Slugger Award at catcher it will be the most insane rob of an award to ever occur. I don’t know if that is true, but it should be. Gary Sanchez will receive votes because he has the big name and he plays on the Yankees but Garver is playing on a whole different level right now.

Mitch is the only AL catcher win an OPS above .850 and his is sitting at .1000 so there is no one even remotely close to putting up the production he does. His 3.7 WAR while splitting playing time is insane. If he had played as many games as Sanchez (104), then he would be at 4.2 WAR and 36 home runs.

Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco?

These two players have played well enough to win the award, but the competition this season is just too much to overcome, it would seem.

Max Kepler should finish in the top 4-7 for the award but with Mike Trout locked in, along with competition of Mookie Betts, George Springer, Jorge Soler, and Austin Meadows, a lot will have to go right for Max to finish top three. It’s definitely possible, and if he gets hot over the last couple weeks it wouldn’t be a surprise.

Jorge Polanco was the starting shortstop in the All-Star Game, but he went through a rough stretch as players like Marcus Semien, Xander Bogaerts and Francisco Lindor were at their best. Polanco has been excellent this season but likely not good enough to win the award.

Are Cruz and Garver going to win the award for their respective positions? Could Kepler or Polanco sneak up and grab it? Is there anyone else who could win the award? Leave a comment and discuss below.

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13 Comments

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diehardtwinsfan
Sep 18 2019 07:15 PM

If Garver maintained that pace and had another 20 games or so, he'd probably be in MVP discussions... that's a fan freaking tastic season that he's had. 

    • Mike Frasier Law likes this
I think with a full season next year Sano could also be in the conversation. But next year. He missed a lot of games this year and still put up a lot of numbers.
    • Mike Frasier Law likes this
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Cooper Carlson
Sep 18 2019 07:34 PM

 

I think with a full season next year Sano could also be in the conversation. But next year. He missed a lot of games this year and still put up a lot of numbers.

Definitely. The only problem this year is that Alex Bregman and Rafael Devers are having career years.

Garver and Cruz for sure...

Zero. Only teams on the coasts deserve recognition.

    • ScrapTheNickname and MMMordabito like this
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yarnivek1972
Sep 18 2019 08:11 PM
I was always under the impression that the silver slugger wasn’t voted on, but determined based on objective numbers.
    • bighat likes this

I was always under the impression that the silver slugger wasn’t voted on, but determined based on objective numbers.


Silver slugger has always been voted on by the coaching staffs.

Definitely. The only problem this year is that Alex Bregman and Rafael Devers are having career years.


Yeah and it's possible that Bregman continues to get better. Devers is having a great year, but who knows at this point with him as he is so young. Maybe someone figures something out with him?
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ScrapTheNickname
Sep 18 2019 10:43 PM

Correction: Cruz has started 106 games so far at DH.

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Cooper Carlson
Sep 18 2019 11:00 PM

Correction: Cruz has started 106 games so far at DH.

I’m not sure where I said he hadn’t. I was referring to Alvarez with the 89 games part.
    • bighat likes this

 

I was always under the impression that the silver slugger wasn’t voted on, but determined based on objective numbers.

 

Me too! Frankly, I thought it was just the best batting average among qualified players at the position. Learn something new every day, I guess!

My guess, Cruz wins it for DH, but Sanchez gets it over Garver since he is a Yankee and has a few more home runs.

    • Danchat likes this

 

The Minnesota Twins have one of the greatest offensive teams ever assembled

 

Given the changes in the ball that have led to increases in HRs across the board, this seems to me to be simply not true. They are one of the best offensive teams this year, but do not even lead the majors in runs scored (the ultimate measure of offense) and are third in OPS.

 

Let's not get carried away. They are good, but only "one of the greatest this year."


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