With the year-end awards being released in October, the Kansas City Royals have three players that should be nominated for the Silver Slugger award.
We’re just over two weeks from another Kansas City Royals season coming to a conclusion. While the team didn’t achieve what they had hoped in 2019, one could argue that the future is extremely bright. Led by a boatload of flourishing pitching prospects in the lower levels, this team figures to be competitive again in 2021 when they are projected to be called up.
New team owner John Sherman will have his hands full this offseason and hopefully, can make a couple of splashes in free agency or via trade to make the offense a bit more consistent. Certainly, the rotation needs a lot of work, but we’ll get to that later. This year’s team featured a couple of players that continued to develop while also breaking in a couple of new stars.
Each October, Major League Baseball releases its list of nominees for the Silver Slugger Award, which is presented to the best offensive player at each position in the American and National League. If you recall, Royals catcher Salvador Perez won his second Silver Slugger Award last season after putting up a slash line of 0.235/0.274/0.439 with 27 home runs and 80 RBI’s.
Perez, 29, has missed all of this season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery in Spring Training. Let’s take a look at three candidates who are worthy of a Silver Slugger Award and who has the best chance of actually winning one.
1. Whit Merrifield, 2B
Merrifield is well on way to leading the American League in hits for the second consecutive season. He’s been as consistent as they come on a bad Royals roster. Entering Friday, Merrifield has a slash line of 0.305/0.353/0.470 with 36 doubles, 9 triples, 16 home runs and 72 RBI’s.
2. Hunter Dozier, 3B
Dozier has been amazing in his sophomore season and is on track to play in over 130 games. He’s locked down the third base gig until proven otherwise and has been clutch beyond belief this season. He has a slash line of 0.291/0.363/0.554 with 26 doubles, 9 triples, 26 home runs and 82 RBI’s entering Friday.
3. Jorge Soler, DH
I feel like Soler has been mentioned in every one of our articles lately, but he’s been that good this season. With a 3.0 WAR entering Friday, Jorge is slashing 0.257/0.348/0.557 with 28 doubles, 44 home runs and 107 RBI’s. Given all of his home runs seem to be moonshots, he should definitely be considered for the award.
Who has the best shot of winning a Silver Slugger Award?
Merrifield has a really good shot at winning one as a second baseman. He currently has 10 more hits than Yankees DJ LeMahieu and 7 more RBI’s. LeMahieu has him beat in home runs with a 24-16 advantage. Of course, Jose Altuve is going to be considered for the award on merit alone. He has missed some time this season but still has similar stats to Merrifield.
It depends on whether team record will play a factor in this but Merrifield “should” win the award. Soler is certainly worthy of the award as a designated hitter, but there’s not a chance that Nelson Cruz doesn’t win the award for Minnesota. Cruz has 36 home runs with 94 RBI’s while slashing 0.301/0.381/0.623.
And while Dozier is having a nice season, he simply cannot compete with Alex Bregman‘s stats this year: 35 home runs, 103 RBI’s, 0.294/0.415/0.575 slash line.