Despite an early exit in the NLCS, the Dodgers and Dodger fans should celebrate their best players and their individual accomplishments. With that in mind, the Dodgers have four players nominated for the silver slugger award.
Congratulations to our Silver Slugger Award finalists! pic.twitter.com/Gnngf5lEVj
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 28, 2021
Let’s remind us all what this award is. As defined, “the Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage in addition to “coaches’ and managers’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value.”
Will Smith: 25 HR, 130 OPS+
Smith’s numbers fell just slightly over the last two months of the season, but that is the life of a catcher. Most catchers begin to struggle towards the end of the season due to the wear and tear of the position. Still, Smith put up great numbers and is one of the best catchers in Major League Baseball.
Max Muncy: 35 HR, 138 OPS+
The Dodgers and every Dodger fan missed Muncy terribly during the postseason. Arguably the Dodgers’ best overall hitter in 2021, he has hit 35 home runs in each of his first three full seasons for the Dodgers. He is also a gold glove finalist this year, so Muncy is a legitimate MVP candidate.
Trea Turner: 28 HR, 146 OPS+, BATTING TITLE
Trea’s numbers were mostly with the Washington Nationals of course, but Turner still hit 10 home runs, 152 OPS+, and hit .338 for the Dodgers. His struggles in the postseason probably still sit poorly with Dodger fans, but his regular-season numbers are off the charts good. One of the best offensive seasons in a while.
Justin Turner: 27 HR, 123 OPS+
In a year where he hit 27 dingers and posted a 123 OPS+, this was actually a slightly down year for our postseason Dodgers hero. His batting average was down from his norm. Normally cares about batting average as much anymore, but for Turner, it was his lowest since 2016. Still, at Turner’s age and mileage, it’s a great year from Turner.
When Will We Know?
The winners will be announced on MLB Network at 6 p.m. ET on Nov. 11. Dodger fans are going to have be a little patient. It’s important to enjoy these awards, even in a year where the Dodgers came up short of the goal we all wanted to see: a world series championship. If we don’t appreciate these awards, if we don’t appreciate the good things about our team–what are we fans for?