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).
2023 SILVER SLUGGER AWARDS
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
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