The Minnesota Twins announced today that designated hitter Nelson Cruz has been named the recipient of the 2020 American League Louisville Slugger® Silver Slugger™ Award as the top offensive producer at his position in a vote by AL coaches and managers. This marks Cruz’s fourth career Silver Slugger Award (also with Minnesota in 2019 and with Seattle in 2015 and 2017). He joins Kirby Puckett (1986, ’87, ’88, ’89, ’92 and ’94), Chuck Knoblauch (1995 and ’97), Joe Mauer (2006, ’08, ’09, ’10 and ’13) and Justin Morneau (2006 and ’08) as the only Twins to win the award in multiple seasons.
Cruz, 40, played in 53 games last season, hitting .303 (56-for-185) with six doubles, 16 home runs, 33 RBI, 33 runs scored, 25 walks, a .397 on-base percentage, a .595 slugging percentage and a .992 OPS. The slugger ranked third in the American League in on-base percentage, fourth in OPS, fifth in slugging percentage, tied for fifth in home runs and seventh in batting average. He joined Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna as one of two players in baseball with at least 15 home runs, 30 RBI, 25 walks, a .300 batting average and a .990 OPS.
He was recently named the winner of the 2020 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, an honor voted on by his peers for a player they “most respect based on his leadership on the field and in the community.” Following the season, he was also named the winner of the Most Valuable Twin Award and the Bob Allison Award for team leadership, winning both honors for the second consecutive season.
He originally signed with the Twins in January of 2019 and has hit .308 (197-for-639) with 32 doubles, 57 home runs, 141 RBI, 114 runs scored, 81 walks, a .394 on-base percentage, a .626 slugging percentage and a 1.020 OPS over his two seasons in Minnesota. In that span, he ranked second in baseball in OPS and slugging percentage, fifth in home runs, seventh in on-base percentage and 10th in batting average.
The 16-year major league veteran has played in 1,742 career games, hitting .278 (1777-for-6397) with 330 doubles, 13 triples, 417 home runs, 1,152 RBI, 952 runs scored, 632 walks, a .347 on-base percentage, a .529 slugging percentage and an .876 OPS. The Las Matas de Santa Cruz, Dominican Republic native ranks 53rd on baseball’s all-time home run list.
The Louisville Slugger® Silver Slugger™ Award winners are decided by a vote of MLB managers and coaches who select the players they determine to be the best offensive producers at each position in the American and National Leagues. Selections are based on a combination of offensive statistics, including batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, as well as the managers’ and coaches’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value.