Braves, Rangers are top teams in 2023 Silver Slugger Awards

AP photo by Matt Slocum / Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. warms up before a Sept. 12 game against the host Philadelphia Phillies.

When the annual Silver Slugger Awards were presented Thursday, the Atlanta Braves led the way with three players honored. They also became one of the first two MLB clubs to receive a team version of the honor.

The awards, which are voted on by Major League Baseball coaches and managers and presented by Louisville Slugger, date to 1980 and are currently presented to the top batters at eight of the nine positions in the field — with the designated hitter now universal, pitchers are no longer selected — plus a utility player and a DH in each league.

New for this year was a team award, with the Braves selected in the National League and the Texas Rangers the recipient for the American League.

Atlanta hit 307 home runs during the 2023 regular season, tying MLB's single-season record set by the 2019 Minnesota Twins. The Braves also led the majors in batting average (.276), on-base percentage (.344), slugging percentage (.501), hits (1,543), total bases (2,803) and runs (947).

It helped the team to a sixth straight NL East Division title and a 104-58 record that was MLB's best this season, but after a first-round bye in the playoffs, the Braves were eliminated in an NL Division Series by the rival Philadelphia Phillies for the second year in a row after winning the 2021 World Series.

The Rangers won this year's World Series as a wild card after finishing second in the AL West, but many of their offensive numbers were the best in the league. Their batting average (.263), on-base percentage (.337), slugging percentage (.452), hits (1,470), total bases (2,531) and runs (881) led the AL, and their 233 homers were tied with the Minnesota Twins for first place.

Atlanta first baseman Matt Olson, third baseman Austin Riley and outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. were the team's individual Silver Slugger Award winners. It's the first such honor for Olson, second for Riley and third for Acuña.

Olson led the majors with 54 home runs and 139 RBIs, while Acuña's .337 batting average trailed only the Miami Marlins' Luis Arraez (.354) and Riley's 37 homers ranked among the top 10. With 41 homers and 73 stolen bases, Acuña also became the first 40/70 player in MLB history.

The Braves were the only NL team with multiple selections, while the Rangers had two winners (second baseman Marcus Semien and shortstop Corey Seager) and the Baltimore Orioles, who led the AL with 101 regular-season victories, also had a pair of honorees (catcher Adley Rutschman and utility player Gunnar Henderson).

  photo  AP photo by Adam Hunger / Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley, left, and first baseman Matt Olson, right, celebrate after scoring against the host New York Mets during the eighth inning in the second game of a doubleheader on Aug. 12.
 
 

2023 SILVER SLUGGER AWARDS

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Catcher: Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles

First baseman: Yandy Díaz, Tampa Bay Rays

Second baseman: Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers

Third baseman: Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox

Shortstop: Corey Seager, Texas Rangers

Outfielder: Luis Robert Jr., Chicago White Sox

Outfielder: Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners

Outfielder: Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros

Designated hitter: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

Utility player: Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore Orioles

Team: Texas Rangers


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Catcher: William Contreras, Milwaukee Brewers

First baseman: Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves

Second baseman: Luis Arraez, Miami Marlins

Third baseman: Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves

Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, New York Mets

Outfielder: Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves

Outfielder: Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers

Outfielder: Juan Soto, San Diego Padres

Designated hitter: Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies

Utility player: Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs

Team: Atlanta Braves