Major League Baseball recognized the top hitters from the 2023 season on Thursday night with the unveiling of the Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award winners on MLB Network.
The Silver Slugger Awards, which are voted on by MLB managers and coaches, are given to the top offensive player at each position in each league. That includes three outfielders (regardless of specific position) in each league and one utility player in each league. And, for the first time, a team award was given out in each league.
Sixteen teams had at least one Silver Slugger winner, while the Braves led the pack with three. The Orioles and Rangers also had multiple winners. This group of 20 players includes seven first-time winners and one rookie recipient.
AL winner: Yandy Díaz, Rays (first win)
After becoming the first Rays player to win a batting title, Díaz captured the franchise’s first Silver Slugger since 2010. Díaz batted .300 or better in every month of the season, and his .330 average was a franchise best. He was one of only six players to post a slash line of at least .300/.400/.500. His .410 on-base percentage tied for the highest among first basemen.
NL winner: Matt Olson, Braves (first win)
Olson was typically the cleanup hitter in the Braves’ record-setting offense, and clean up he did. The Atlanta native topped the Majors in home runs and RBIs, while his .604 slugging percentage was the best in the National League. His 54 dingers and 139 RBIs were the most in Braves history. They were also the most by a primary first baseman in more than a decade.
AL winner: Marcus Semien, Rangers (second win)
For the second time in three seasons, Semien claimed a Silver Slugger and was named a finalist for AL MVP. He led the American League with 122 runs and 185 hits, and his 7.4 bWAR was second in the AL to Shohei Ohtani. Semien’s 73 extra-base hits and 320 total bases were the most among second basemen. He also drove in 100 runs for the second time in his career.
NL winner: Luis Arraez, Marlins (second win)
Arraez and Ted Williams were often mentioned in the same sentence this season, as Miami’s sparkplug carried a .400 average into late June. Arraez, who ended up at .354, won his second straight Silver Slugger on the back of his second straight batting title, a historic accomplishment. Following an offseason trade from the Twins, Arraez became the first player during the Modern Era (since 1900) to earn a batting title in each league in consecutive seasons.
AL winner: Corey Seager, Rangers (third win)
Just about any player would have loved to have the counting stats that Seager achieved during the regular season. He recorded 33 home runs, 96 RBIs, 88 runs and an AL-high 42 doubles. Those totals are even more impressive when you consider that Seager missed about six weeks due to injuries. He finished second in the AL in batting average (.327), slugging percentage (.623) and OPS (1.013).
NL winner: Francisco Lindor, Mets (third win)
It took a little while for Lindor to heat up at the plate, but over his final 90 games, he registered a .288/.371/.516 slash line with 19 homers and 54 RBIs. He finished with 31 home runs and a career-high 31 steals, becoming one of just six shortstops to go 30-30.
AL winner: Rafael Devers, Red Sox (second win)
Devers, in his age-26 season, reached the 30-homer, 100-RBI plateau for the third time in his career. It was also his fourth season with at least 65 extra-base hits and an OPS+ better than 125. He blistered the baseball throughout the year, logging a career-best 55.1% hard-hit rate that was tied for the sixth highest in MLB.
NL winner: Austin Riley, Braves (second win)
Like Devers, Riley enjoyed a monster season at age 26. He paced all qualified third basemen in runs (117), hits (179), home runs (37), extra-base hits (72), total bases (328) and OPS (.861). Riley has hit 30 homers three times in his career; Hall of Famers Eddie Mathews and Chipper Jones are the only third basemen with more such seasons in a Braves jersey.
Luis Robert Jr., White Sox (first win)
Robert amped up his power in a big way, smashing 38 home runs in 546 at-bats after hitting a total of 36 through the first 857 at-bats of his career. His 75 extra-base hits were the most among AL outfielders and the most by a White Sox outfielder since Jermaine Dye in 2008.
Julio Rodríguez, Mariners (second win)
How do you follow up winning a Silver Slugger as a rookie and being the first player to collect 25 homers and 25 steals in your debut season? Win the award again by going 30-30 in your second year. Thanks to 32 homers, 37 steals and an .818 OPS, Rodríguez was the first player to win this award in each of their first two seasons in the big leagues, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Kyle Tucker, Astros (first win)
While the Astros missed Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez for large chunks of the season due to injuries, Tucker was right there to pick up the slack. He had a .284/.369/.517 slash line and finished one home run shy of Houston’s first 30-30 season since 2004. Tucker, who batted .354 with runners in scoring position, racked up an AL-leading 112 RBIs.
Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves (third win)
The 25-year-old Acuña won a third Silver Slugger in the wake of his unprecedented 41-homer, 73-steal season. His special blend of power and speed grabbed headlines, but his maturation as a hitter shouldn’t be overlooked. Acuña reduced his strikeout rate by more than half in the span of a year, from 23.6% to 11.4%. That played a significant role in his .416 on-base percentage, which led the Majors.
Mookie Betts, Dodgers (sixth win)
Betts put some late pressure on Acuña in the NL MVP race by batting .364 with a 1.075 OPS over the season’s final two months. He slashed .307/.408/.579 -- his best marks in each category since his 2018 AL MVP campaign -- and hit a career-high 39 home runs. He recorded 80 extra-base hits for the second time in his career and led all position players – aside from Shohei Ohtani – with 8.3 bWAR.
Juan Soto, Padres (fourth win)
Soto’s season didn’t garner as much attention as the two aforementioned names at this position, but it came with a lot of big numbers. That included a career-high 35 dingers, a .410 on-base percentage and a 158 OPS+. With 132 walks, Soto became the first player since Barry Bonds from 2002-04 to lead MLB outright in bases on balls for three consecutive years.
AL winner: Adley Rutschman, Orioles (first win)
Rutschman followed up his strong rookie season by hitting .277 with 20 homers and 80 RBIs this year. The 25-year-old showed fantastic plate discipline by drawing 92 walks, tops at his position. His 256 total bases were also the most among catchers and the second most by a primary catcher in Orioles history.
NL winner: William Contreras, Brewers (first win)
The Brewers traded for Contreras last winter to add more pop to their lineup, and he delivered by belting 17 home runs. He led all qualified catchers in doubles (38), extra-base hits (56) and slugging percentage (.457). After a little swoon in May and June, Contreras batted .314 with an .873 OPS following the All-Star break.
AL winner: Shohei Ohtani, Angels (second win)
Ohtani might soon add a second AL MVP Award to go with his second Silver Slugger. He was sublime with the bat in his free agent year, finishing with 44 homers and leading the Majors with a 184 OPS+. His .412 on-base percentage and 325 total bases were at the top of the American League. And of course, he accomplished all of this while still being a top-shelf starting pitcher.
NL winner: Bryce Harper, Phillies (third win)
Despite not debuting until May 2 following offseason elbow surgery and enduring a career-long power outage, Harper still socked 21 homers and had 51 extra-base hits this year. He went homerless for 37 games during the middle of the season, but once he snapped that streak on July 15, he looked like the player we all know. From that day, Harper recorded 18 home runs and a 1.000 OPS over his final 68 games.
AL winner: Gunnar Henderson, Orioles (first win)
The favorite for AL Rookie of the Year was also the 15th rookie to claim a Silver Slugger. Henderson crushed 28 home runs, including the longest to land on Eutaw Street during a game in Camden Yards’ 31-year history. He scored 100 runs, picked up 66 extra-base hits and had a 125 OPS+ as he split his time between shortstop and third base.
NL winner: Cody Bellinger, Cubs (second win)
Whether he was in center field or at first base, Bellinger made the most of his one-year deal with Chicago. After accruing 1.0 bWAR through the past three seasons, he recorded 4.4 bWAR as a Cub. Bellinger batted .307 with 26 homers and an .881 OPS. He also cut his strikeout rate to just 15.6% after it was north of 25% in 2021 and ‘22.
OFFENSIVE TEAMS OF THE YEAR
This year also marked the first time Silver Slugger Awards have been given to the best offensive team in each league. The winners -- the Rangers in the American League and the Braves in the National League -- were determined by a combination of team offensive statistics and a vote of MLB fans who cast ballots for finalists via MLB.com during the final week of the regular season.