Thursday, October 09, 2008

2008 Silver Slugger Awards (NL Only)


First Base

Runners Up:
Ryan Howard - After getting off to a horrid start, things weren't looking good for the superstar who was making a record $10 million arbitration contract. He deserved it though, after winning the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards, he was due some coin. However, Howard got things moving after the slump. He led all first basemen with 48 HRs and an 146 RBIs. Helped drive the Phillies into the postseason with a monster September. He whiffed 199 times though.

Lance Berkman - A model of consistency, on BOTH sides of the plate. Berkman is the heart of the Astros team. His numbers were great 106 RBI's with a .312 AVG, that gets you consideration, but someone's #'s were better.

The Winner:
Albert Pujols - While he does have almost 100 ABs less than Howard, Pujol's numbers are, as usual, amazing! He had 116 RBIs, 342 TB, 37 HR, 104 BB, with an astonishing .357 AVG. Should I even have to mention he struck out only 54 times?

Second Base

Runner Up
Dan Uggla - The Marlins were in the playoff hunt for 2/3 of the year before they finally fell back to reality. Uggla helped to give them that chance. He belted 32 HR and had 92 RBIs. Not bad for a middle infielder. He only had 5 SB though, and an ugly 171 Ks with a .260 AVG.

The Winner
Chase Utley - There really was no contest here. Utley, as expected, was the best hitting second baseman in the NL. 33 HRs, 104 RBIs, 292. AVG, and swiped 14 bags. He is a true five tool player!

Third Base

Runners Up
Aramis Ramirez - I hate to say it, but this guy can hit. His lack of hustle of course is something to be worried about if you were a Cub fan, but you can't get too upset with a guy hitting .289 with 27 jacks, and 111 RBIs. Ramirez though, should be able to put up better number than this.

Chipper Jones - This poor guy can't stay healthy. Shame too, in only 439 ABs he hit a remarkable .364 with 22 HRs and 75 RBIs. If he had a full season, this award is his for the taking.

The Winner
David Wright - Once again, there wasn't much contest here. He is easily the leader of the Mets sqaud. And while once again. the Mets managed to have a fatal September collapse, Wright's numbers helped them at least be in it until the end. 115 Rs, 33 HRs, 124 RBIs, 15 SB, 94 BBs, all while batting .302.

Shortstop

Runner Up
Jose Reyes - This is such a tough call, as there are two amazing SS's in the NL. I actually just switched Reyes from the winner to the runner up. Reyes batted a ridiculous 688 times and maintained a .297 AVG. However, if I have to look at those extra 100 ABs, how does he stack up to his main competitor. He has 17 HRs less, 1 more RBI, and 12 less runs scored. His stolen base number is 56, which is jaw dropping, but, that doesn't mean he is the best hitter, just a better runner. I am looking at it this way: in 100 extra plate appearances, he only has 1 more RBI than his closest competitor.

The Winner
Hanley Ramirez - Hanley hit a stupifying 33 HRs for a shortstop. Have you seen how big this guy is? He scored 125 times and finished with a .301 AVG. He was able to work the count often with 92 BBs (Reyes 66).

Left Field

Runners Up
Matt Holliday - I had Matt winning until I noticed one thing, he only had 290 total bases. He hit an amazing .321 over the course of 539 plate appearances. Not to mention 25 HRs and 88 RBIs. I wouldn't be surprised to see Holliday get the award, but, not in my books.

Manny Ramirez - He really stands no chance of winning, as he only played the NL for 1/2 a season. But his numbers the 2nd half, and what he did for the Dodgers are certainly noteworthy!

The Winner
Ryan Braun - I really tried to not be a Homer on this, but the numbers don't lie. I started writing why he didn't win, but I was kidding myself. He led all of MLB outfielders with 338 Total Bases! He hit 37 HR's and had 106 RBIs. While his AVG was much lower than Holliday's at .285, it is still respectable, and he did have more than 70 ABs more than Matt did.

Center Field

Runners Up
Nate McClouth - Not sure what the Pirates would have done had they not had this guy? 26 long balls and 94 RBIs with a .276 AVG. Keep an eye on this kid for the future!

Matt Kemp - Another star in the making. He stands no chance to win, but is someone of note for sure.

The Winner
Carlos Beltran - It is still baffling on how the Mets failed to make the playoffs, well at least with their batting lineup. Beltran had 303 TB , batted .284, hit 27 Homers, and batted in 112 while he himself scored 116 times. He accounted for a lot of Met runs throughout the season!

Right Field

The Winner
Ryan Ludwick - Wow, it is shocking to see how average the National League outfielders are! There is not runner up, the winner straight up goes to Ludwick! Batting .299 he hit 37 long balls and drove in 113. His 318 total bags is impressive as well.

Catcher

Runners Up
Geovany Soto - Lets not kid ourselves, this kid is going to win a few of these awards when he is said and done. He can rake! In his rookie year, he hit .285 with 86 RBIs and 23 dingers!

Russell Marten - Another extremely bright future! Hit .280 with 69 driven in

The Winner
Brian McCann - It used to be, the catcher was just about defense and controlling the pitching staff. The new wave of catchers can also hit, as seen with the two youngsters above as well. McCann hit .301, 23 HRs, 87 RBIs, and had 266 TBs. Not shabby!

Pitcher

Runners Up
Micah Owings - So, I thought he would be the winner going into this part. But apparently I was thinking of his 2007 numbers still. Also, apparently he became a Red during the whole Dunn trade, I missed that. His average for the year was still great for a pitcher well over .300 for the year.

CC Sabathia - Like Manny, stands no chance at winning. But his AVG is respectable and he hits for power, big time! If he stays in the NL, he should get 1 or 2 of these awards. 1 HR with 6 RBIs.

The Winner
Carlos Zambrano - No big shocker here. If you are the Ace of a team, and you bat .337, hit 4 HRs, and drive in 14....as a pitcher with 83 ABs! You pretty much are guaranteed this hardware.



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