Posey, Crawford, MadBum win Silver Slugger Awards
SAN FRANCISCO -- Recognition for leading the National League in hitting shone Thursday upon the Giants, who were the Majors' lone team to place three players on the formidable list of Silver Slugger Award winners.
Catcher Buster Posey earned his third Louisville Silver Slugger. Left-hander Madison Bumgarner collected his second silver bat and shortstop Brandon Crawford received his first.
This sustained the Giants' week-long haul of individual honors that has included Crawford's Rawlings Gold Glove Award, Posey's defensive catcher of the year award from Wilson and third baseman Matt Duffy's ascent to finalist status in the NL Rookie of the Year Award competition.
"It's a special moment for the front office, ownership and the coaching staff," Giants hitting instructor Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens said from Taiwan, where he is managing the Dutch team in an international tournament.
Posey, who secured his previous Silver Sluggers in 2012 and '14, ranked among the league's top 10 in five offensive categories, including batting average (fourth, .318), hits (tied for fifth, 177), on-base percentage (sixth, .379), hitting with runners in scoring position (eighth, .351) and RBIs (ninth, 95). His team-high batting average paced the Giants to their league-high .267 figure.
Meulens said that Posey's "professionalism" is manifested in the numerous awards that he has won. "He's very low maintenance when it comes to his hitting," Meulens said. "He's a natural at it."
After hitting .248, .248 and .246 from 2012-14, respectively, Crawford exceeded the .250 mark this year while finishing at .256.
"I've always been known as a 'defensive' shortstop," he noted with irony at the end of the season after proving his offensive capability. He topped the Giants with 21 homers and led all Major League shortstops with 84 RBIs.
"We all knew he had that kind of talent," Meulens said of Crawford. "It was a matter of [him] getting comfortable."
Bumgarner, who also won the Silver Slugger in 2014, earned a repeat by leading all pitchers with five homers, nine RBIs and a .459 slugging percentage. He became the first pitcher to hit as many as five homers in a season since 2006, when Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs had six. None of that includes Bumgarner's thrilling Sept. 15 pinch-hit appearance against Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. Bumgarner coaxed a walk on a 3-2 pitch to earn the distinction of being the only pitcher to reach base safely off the left-handed flamethrower.
Meulens marveled at Bumgarner's ability to make authoritative contact despite spending relatively little time in the batting cage.
"I'll bet in the last four months, he didn't take BP more than twice," Meulens said. "But he talks about hitting all day."