Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Arenado, Blackmon win Silver Slugger Awards

Both sluggers are repeat winners at their respective positions
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- Rockies center fielder and leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon and run-producing third baseman Nolan Arenado won Louisville Silver Slugger Awards as the best National League offensive players at their positions.

It was the second straight year Blackmon earned the award, and the third straight for Arenado. The Rockies and Marlins each had multiple winners in the NL, and the Astros, Indians and Yankees had multiple winners in the American League.

DENVER -- Rockies center fielder and leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon and run-producing third baseman Nolan Arenado won Louisville Silver Slugger Awards as the best National League offensive players at their positions.

It was the second straight year Blackmon earned the award, and the third straight for Arenado. The Rockies and Marlins each had multiple winners in the NL, and the Astros, Indians and Yankees had multiple winners in the American League.

It seems every season is better than the previous one for Blackmon, 31, who earned his first NL batting title with a .331 average. He also led the league in plate appearances (725), runs (137), hits (213), triples (14) and total bases (287). Additionally, he parked a career-high 37 home runs and drove in 104 runs. His homers were the third-most all-time for a leadoff hitter, behind Alfonso Soriano's 38 with the Yankees in 2002 and 39 with the Nationals in 2006.

Blackmon also set the record for RBIs from the leadoff spot with 103, three more than the Angels' Darin Erstad in 2000.

Video: Blackmon wins his second NL Silver Slugger Award

Since becoming the regular leadoff man and center fielder in 2014, Blackmon has improved each season in runs, hits, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. It's Blackmon's consistent and intense work on hitting and staying physically fit -- he played 159 games at a demanding position and in a demanding park -- that makes him special.

Silver Slugger history

"That's kind of the reason I try to stay on an even keel with the ups and downs, because it's such a long season, and until the last out is recorded, you've got to stay focused," Blackmon said at the end of the regular season.

Tweet from @Rockies: Your Batting Champ is also a #SilverSlugger!Congratulations to @Chuck_Nazty on BACK-TO-BACK Silver Slugger Awards. pic.twitter.com/nQFPnRfvDv

Arenado became the first NL third baseman to win at least three straight Silver Slugger Awards since Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt (1980-84). Hall of Famer Wade Boggs (1986-89) also accomplished the feat in the AL.

Arenado hit a career-high .309 -- 24 points above his career average entering the season -- and led the NL with 43 doubles. He hit 37 homers to tie Blackmon for the team lead and racked up 130 RBIs. He is the only third baseman in MLB history to hit at least 35 homers and drive in at least 130 runs in three straight seasons.

Arenado, 26, joined Hank Greenberg, Chuck Klein and Hal Trosky as the only Major Leaguers in history with multiple seasons of 40 doubles, 35 homers and 130 RBIs before turning 27. Arenado also joined Jimmie Foxx as the only players with at least three seasons of 35 home runs and 130 RBIs before age 27. (Foxx had four.)

Tweet from @Rockies: THREE IN A ROW!#NolanBeingNolan 🐐 pic.twitter.com/ICKeUSAAnn

Arenado, also the premier defensive player at his position, is the 12th player since the Silver Slugger Award began in 1980 to earn both the Silver Slugger and the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in three straight seasons. Schmidt (1980-84) is the only other third baseman.

Other players to accomplish the feat: Ivan Rodriguez (1994-99), Barry Bonds (1990-94), Ken Griffey Jr. (1996-99), Ryne Sandberg (1988-91), Kirby Puckett (1986-89), Dave Winfield (1982-85), Dale Murphy (1982-85), Joe Mauer (2008-10), Don Mattingly (1985-87) and Lou Whitaker (1983-85).

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colorado Rockies, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon