Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, proudly announced the 2016 Silver Slugger Awards, as the Los Angeles Dodgers Corey Seager was honored with his first Silver Slugger, becoming the first Los Angeles shortstop to win the award since its inception in 1980.
The Silver Slugger Award is the top offensive award in Major League Baseball, with the top players at each position in each league selected by MLB coaches and managers.
The 22-year-old Seager is just the third Dodger rookie to be recognized as a Silver Slugger, joining pitcher Fernando Valenzuela (1981) and catcher Mike Piazza (1993), and is the first overall rookie shortstop to be honored since Boston’s Nomar Garciaparra in 1997.
Seager, who is also a finalist for both the National League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Awards, also won the Players Choice Award for Outstanding NL Rookie in addition to being recognized by both the Sporting News (National League) and Baseball America (MLB) as the publications’ Rookie of the Year.
Seager, a 2016 All-Star and the Dodgers’ Hank Aaron Award nominee, finished the season ranked among the NL leaders in hits (193, 2nd), runs (105, 5th), doubles (40, 7th), multi-hit games (57, T-2nd), extra-base hits (71, 7th), total bases (321, 4th), batting average (.308, 7th) and slugging percentage (.512, 10th).
According to Stats, LLC, he was just the fourth rookie in the divisional era (since 1969) to rank in the NL’s top 10 in batting average and slugging percentage, joining Dusty Baker (1972, ATL), Mike Piazza (1993, LA) and Albert Pujols (2001, STL). His 26 homers established a Dodger record for a shortstop, breaking the previous record of 22, held by Glenn Wright (1930).
Seager was one of 11 first-time winners, while two players, Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz, won their seventh Silver Slugger Awards. The 11 first-timers are Jake Arrieta, Mookie Betts, Charlie Blackmon, Yoenis Céspedes, Daniel Murphy, Salvador Perez, Wilson Ramos, Anthony Rizzo, Corey Seager, Mark Trumbo, and Christian Yelich.
Mike Trout won his fifth Silver Slugger, while Jose Altuve landed his third and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Xander Bogaerts claimed their second awards.
Seager earns Players Choice Award
Players selected Jose Altuve as this season’s best player and Curtis Granderson as the one who most inspires them to a higher level of achievement in their 25th Players Choice Awards.
The top rookies were pitcher Michael Fulmer in the AL and shortstop Corey Seager in the NL, and the Comeback Players were Jose Fernandez, who died in a tragic boating accident in September, and Mark Trumbo.
Seager, a 22-year-old from North Carolina, made the NL All-Star team in his first year and finished the regular season batting .308 with 26 home runs, 72 RBIs, 105 runs and 40 doubles for the NL West-champion Dodgers. His 6.1 offensive WAR was second in the NL.
Altuve won 2016 Players Choice Awards as both the AL Outstanding Player and the overall Player of the Year while Granderson was selected by his peers as winner of the prestigious Marvin Miller Man of the Year in balloting that was conducted in mid-September and announced Wednesday night during a 90-minute broadcast on MLB Network and presented by MLB The Show.
Daniel Murphy, who became one of the game’s top offensive forces in his first season with the Nationals, earned NL Outstanding Player honors while Kyle Hendricks and Rick Porcello were named the Outstanding Pitchers in their respective leagues.
It was the second time players have honored Granderson with their prestigious Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, which is named in honor of the Players Association’s first executive director and given to the player who most inspires his fellow players through his on-field performances and contributions to his community. He previously won the Marvin Miller award in 2009.
Through his Grand Kids Foundation, Granderson inspires and encourages positive youth development via education, physical fitness and nutrition - providing tools and resources for educational and societal advancement. Granderson hosts a number of annual events including Grand-Giving fundraiser in support of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, spring training and winter youth clinics and creative writing competitions for students. The 35-year-old Illinois native also serves his fellow players as one of their top elected union representatives.
Altuve, a 5-foot-6 second baseman from Venezuela who has made the All-Star team in four of his five full seasons with the Astros, batted .338 to win his second AL batting title in three years and reached career highs with 24 home runs, a .396 on-base percentage and .531 slugging percentage. The 26-year-old also led the AL in hits (216) for the third straight season.
Murphy, 31, a career .288 hitter who hadn’t previously hit more than 14 homers in a season, picked up during the 2016 where he left off in the 2015 postseason with the Mets, batting a second-in-the-majors .347 with 25 home runs, 104 RBIs and an NL-leading 47 doubles. His led the NL with a .985 OPS and a .595 slugging percentage.
The 27-year-old Porcello, a 6-foot-5 right-hander from New Jersey, who led the majors with 22 wins and a 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio with the Red Sox, lost just four games while posting a 3.15 ERA over 33 starts and 223 innings for the Red Sox.
Hendricks, a 26-year-old right-hander who relies on command, led the majors with a 2.13 ERA while going 16-8 for the Cubs over 30 starts and 190 innings. He struck out 170 and walked just 44 batters in the process.
Fullmer, an Oklahoman who turned 23 during Spring Training, was 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA over 26 starts and 159 innings for the Tigers with 132 strikeouts and 42 walks. Called up by the Tigers at the end of April, he won seven of his first eight decisions and was 9-2 by the All-Star break.
Fernandez won the Players Choice Award as the NL’s outstanding rookie in 2013 but was limited to 116 innings total in 2014 and 2015 before coming back to form this season with a 16-8 record and 2.86 ERA over 182.1 innings for the Marlins. The Cuban-born pitcher was only 24 on Sept. 28 when the boat he was riding in crashed into a jetty off the coast of Miami.
Trumbo came off a pretty good year with the Mariners (22 home runs, 64 RBIs) to have a great year after signing with the Orioles. The 30-year-old slugger led the majors with 47 home runs and placed sixth in the AL with 108 RBIs.
It was also announced that Altuve won his second consecutive “Always Game” award, presented by Majestic Athletic and given by the players to their peer who – game in and game out – exhibits grit, tenacity, perseverance and hustle; all for the benefit of his teammates and fans.
The Players Choice Awards, in which the players recognize each other’s excellence on and off the field, have been presented by the Major League Baseball Players Association since 1992, with the Players Trust providing more than $4 million in charitable grants to causes selected by the winning players.
The winners of the two overall awards – Player of the Year and Marvin Miller Man of the Year – each receive a $50,000 grant from the Trust that will go to a charity or charities he selects, while the winners of awards as top comeback, rookie, pitcher and player in their league each receive a $20,000 grant.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services