Kansas City Royals: Eric Hosmer earns AL Silver Slugger award

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 16: Eric Hosmer
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 16: Eric Hosmer /

Eric Hosmer continues to rack up awards. The Kansas City Royals first baseman earned the first Silver Slugger award of his career and a Gold Glove this year.

The wonderful offseason for Eric Hosmer (and Scott Boras) continued on Thursday. The Kansas City Royals star took home the American League first baseman Silver Slugger award. Combine that with his Gold Glove award from Tuesday night, and it’s turning into a productive week for Hosmer’s trophy cabinet.

It could also lead to his wallet being a little thicker in the near future. Hosmer leads a free agent class loaded with Royals and former Royals. While teams don’t necessarily base a player’s value on the individual awards he lands, it doesn’t hurt to have the top offensive and defensive honors on your resumé in a contract year.

Unlike the Players Choice Comeback Player of the Year award Mike Moustakas landed on Wednesday, Hosmer’s honor comes from a vote by managers and coaches. It’s a vote that isn’t without controversy. Some could argue Jose Abreu deserved the award over Hosmer. It would be a fair point with both players displaying similar numbers in many categories.

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Abreu clearly showed more power, banging out 33 home runs and 102 RBI. Meanwhile, Hosmer totaled 25 dingers and 94 ribbies. Hosmer held the edge in batting average (.318 to .304) and on-base percentage (.385 to .354). Thanks to a decent advantage in slugging percentage, Abreu’s OPS wound up 24 points higher. The White Sox slugger also posted a 140 OPS+ to Hosmer’s 132.

However, Abreu’s snub — if you want to call it that — was far from the most egregious. In fact, it wasn’t even the most controversial decision when it came to first basemen. Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto inexplicably lost out to Paul Goldschmidt, despite a higher batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The two had the same number of home runs (36) with Goldschmidt driving in 20 more runs. Votto, though, had the highest OPS and OPS+ in the National League.

It goes to show at the end of the day that awards are a flawed notion. Hosmer won two in the past few days. He earned them and others were deserving, but it likely won’t be the difference between him earning $100 million or $150 million this offseason. If anything, it shows just how much the Kansas City Royals should be willing to risk to re-sign him.

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Hosmer is just the 10th player in franchise history to win a Silver Slugger award. The only other first baseman to do so was George Brett in 1988. (Yes, he played first at one point.) He’s also just the seventh AL first baseman to win a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in the same year. That’s a special season — from a special player.