McCutchen, Walker win Silver Slugger Award
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- Center fielder Andrew McCutchen earned his customary Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award on Thursday, and was joined by Pirates teammate Neil Walker in the lineup of the National League's top offensive performers by position.
McCutchen became the first Pittsburgh outfielder to earn three consecutive Silver Sluggers since Barry Bonds in 1990-92.
Walker, conversely, landed his first career Silver Slugger following a season in which he broke Bill Mazeroski's 1958 club record for most home runs by a second baseman. Walker left the yard 23 times -- 11 more than any other NL second baseman.
McCutchen clearly stood out among players at his position. In addition to topping NL center fielders with a .314 average, his .410 on-base percentage was 54 points higher than runner-up Carlos Gomez's and his slugging average of .542 topped runner-up Matt Kemp by 36 points. Add it up, and McCutchen had an OPS (.952) that was the best in the league.
Walker is the sixth different second baseman to earn a Silver Slugger in the last six years.
Despite being limited by various minor injuries to the second-fewest games (137) among the league's second basemen, Walker led them with 23 homers and an OPS (.809) 63 points above runner-up Chase Utley. Walker's 76 RBIs were second to Utley's 78 -- in 77 fewer at-bats than the Philadelphia second baseman.
Walker is the first Pirates second baseman to earn a Silver Slugger since Johnny Ray of the 1983 team.
The Bucs joined the Giants and Nationals as the NL teams to earn twin Silver Sluggers. Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner won for San Francisco and Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond picked up the honors for Washington.
Two clubs had duel representation on the American League Silver Slugger Team -- the White Sox (first baseman Jose Abreu and shortstop Alexei Ramirez) and the Indians (outfielder Michael Brantley and catcher Yan Gomes).