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Cleveland Indians batters come up empty in Silver Slugger Awards

It was close for a couple players.

I've been looking for a reason to use this image for so long.
I've been looking for a reason to use this image for so long.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Last year at this time, two Cleveland Indians players were named American Silver Sluggers at their positions. Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes both took home the hardware for leading the way in the outfield and catcher, respectively. This year, however, not a single Tribe batter won.

Do not start raising the banners and preparing to take down the Silver Slugger Award voters just yet, though. None of the Cleveland Indians losses look like snubs by any stretch. Jason Kipnis may have had a case over winner Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, but it is not an egregious loss. The Tribe’s second baseman lead Altuve in OBP (.372 compared to .353) and edged him out in wRC+ (125 compared to 120). However, Altuve hit 15 runs to Kipnis’ nine, and Altuve had the higher average (.313 compared to .303), which voters may still gravitate towards. I doubt it actually factored into voting, but Altuve also only struck out in 9.7% of his at-bats, which is a Michael Brantley level of excellence.

Speaking of which, Brantley missed out on winning a Silver Slugger, but only because of how the award is handed out. Being that the Silver Slugger is awarded to any three outfielders, not split out among right fielders, center fielders, and left fielders, Brantley could not beat the trio of J.D. Martinez, Mike Trout, and Nelson Cruz. Had the award been by position, Brantley would have won left field by a mile (hat top to Jordan Bastian for pointing this out on Twitter). He topped all left fielders in average (.310), on-base percentage (.379), slugging percentage (.480), wRC+ (.135), and was second in home runs (15) to only Brett Gardner (16).

Francisco Lindor could also be considered a snub over winner Xander Bogaerts, but again, it is not by much. Playing in only 99 games (compared to Bogaerts’ 156), Lindor lead Bogearts in home runs (15 compared to seven), had a big advantage in slugging percentage (.482), but trailed in on-base percentage (.353 compared to .355).

The full list of Silver Slugger winners can be seen below:

American League

  • 1B: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
  • 2B: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
  • SS: Xander Boegaerts, Boston Red Sox
  • 3B: Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
  • OF: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
  • OF: Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners
  • OF: J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers
  • C: Brian McCann
  • DH: Kendrys Morales, Kansas City Royals

National League

  • 1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 2B: Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins
  • SS: Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants
  • 3B: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
  • OF: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
  • OF: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • OF: Carlos Gomez, Colorado Rockies
  • C: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
  • P: Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants

The American League does not give out a Silver Slugger award to pitchers, but we all know who should win if they did.