Sox’s Martinez doubles up on Silver Slugger honours
Boston: JD Martinez pulled off an unprecedented feat on Thursday, becoming the first player to capture two Silver Slugger awards in the same year. The Boston Red Sox star received American League honours at designated hitter, where he played 93 games this season, and in the outfield, where he played 57 games.
The honours go to the top hitter at each position in each league. Votes are cast by managers and coaches, who are prohibited from selecting players on their teams.
Martinez led the AL with 130 RBIs, and he ranked second in both batting average (.330) and home runs (43). MLB.com noted that his offensive stats were better as an outfielder (.384 average,.450 on-base percentage,.680 slugging percentage) than as a DH (.297/.373/.597).
He previously won one Silver Slugger, as an outfielder with the Detroit Tigers in 2015. The other AL outfield winners were Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout, who captured his sixth Silver Slugger, and Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, who was honoured for the second time.
Betts, the AL Most Valuable Player front-runner, led the league with a.346 average and a.640 slugging percentage. He hit 32 homers, drove in 80 runs and stole 30 bases. A year ago, Trout saw his streak of winning a Silver Slugger end. He was honoured in each of his first five full major league seasons but missed a large chunk of the 2017 season because of injury.
He returned to form in 2018, hitting.312 with an AL-best.460 on-base percentage, an AL-best 1.088 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 39 homers, 79 RBIs and 24 steals. National League MVP front-runner Christian Yelich received his second Silver Slugger award.
The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder led the NL with a.326 average and a.598 slugging percentage. He tied for second with 110 RBIs and tied for third with 36 homers.