Finalists for the 2022 American and National League Silver Slugger Awards are chock-full of strong candidates who all have a case to be made for themselves. Managers and coaches around Major League Baseball cast their votes for the award, with winners being announced on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.
Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees is a hot name with his record-setting season, but a loaded third baseman class in the AL is a hotly contested race with Rafael Devers, José Ramírez, and Alex Bregman. But the talk of the race might be in the outfield, with the AL having an incredibly logjammed group, fronted by Judge, Julio Rodríguez, Kyle Tucker, Mike Trout, Randy Arozarena, and numerous other standouts.
In the NL, the contested matchups lie at third base with Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado seeming to battle it out for two awards, a Most Valuable Player, and for the Silver Slugger. At first base, Paul Goldschmidt looked as if the MVP was his for the better part of the season, and if not for his St. Louis Cardinals teammate and his own slight dip in production, it could’ve been a runaway.
Out West, Freddie Freeman logged one of his more productive seasons in terms of on-base percentage, and after taking home the award every season since 2019, has another shot.
Finalists: Nathanial Lowe(Texas Rangers), Vladimir Guerrero Jr.(Toronto Blue Jays), Anthony Rizzo(New York Yankees), Jose Abreu(Chicago White Sox)
Nathanial Lowe isn’t the top name to win, but the 27-year-old now with his second club, the Texas Rangers, should be the clear favorite. In 157 games this season, Lowe slugged 27 home runs, while posting a .368 wOBA, the best in the class. His 143 wRC+ and .851 on-base plus slugging headed the group.
Jose Abreu has quietly performed at a high level with the White Sox for a number of years, and could absolutely take this honor, his 137 wRC+ and .824 OPS make him a 1B candidate, but when it comes to nitpicking the numbers, his OBP cleared Lowe by .20 points.
Finalists: Jose Altuve(Houston Astros), Andrés Giménez(Cleveland Guardians), Marcus Semien(TEX), DJ LeMahieu(NYY)
The top guy here is Altuve, after logging a .300 batting average, and a wRC+ of 164, a five-time recipient of this award put up another elite season that was head and shoulders above the next worthy candidate. Giménez was an All-Star for the first time in his career, with 17 homers and 20 steals, and is a name to watch out for in years to come.
Finalists: Rafael Devers(Boston Red Sox), José Ramírez(CLE), Alex Bregman(HOU), Matt Chapman(TOR)
In one of the more hotly contested position battles among all groups, Devers, Bregman, and the slight favorite Ramírez, whose first half was far better than his second, is able to edge out the others listed to take home his fourth piece of hardware.
Ramírez slugged 29 homers and stole 20 bags, and posted an isolated power of .235, the best among the class, while driving in 126 runs, second to only Judge. However, Devers and Bregman have a case for themselves as well, and could easily be the guy.
Finalists: Bo Bichette(TOR), Xander Bogaerts(BOS), Carlos Correa(Minnesota Twins), Corey Seager(TEX)
Another loaded position among shortstops in the AL, the decider could come down to various factors and nitpicking between minor things, but Bo Bichette exploded in the second half, posting a wRC+ of 163 in his final 67 games while slugging 10 of his 24 total home runs just in the back half of the year.
Bichette’s AL-leading hit total was impressive in just his third season in MLB.
Finalists: Aaron Judge(NYY), Julio Rodríguez(Seattle Mariners), Kyle Tucker(HOU), Mike Trout(Los Angeles Angels), Randy Arozarena(Tampa Bay Rays), George Springer(TOR), Taylor Ward(LAA), Anthony Santander(Baltimore Orioles), Adolis García(TEX), Teoscar Hernández(TOR)
Judge, Judge, Judge. Then the rest. But realistically, for a historic season, write his name in sharpie, with the number 62 next to it, and circle it. He broke Roger Maris’ historic AL home run mark and will take home his third Silver Slugger. Next to him is Trout, who logged 80 RBI this season after being diagnosed with a rare back disorder, and of those runs batted in numbers, 40 of them were from home runs, a remarkable feat.
Rodríguez, the rookie from Seattle quickly became a household name with his performance at the All-Star Game festivities, and after launching 28 homers of his own and posting a 146 wRC+, he’s deserving of the honor.
Finalists: Alejandro Kirk(TOR), Sean Murphy(Oakland Athletics), Cal Raleigh(SEA), Adley Rutschman(BAL), Salvador Perez(Kansas City Royals), Martín Maldonado(HOU)
The rookie Rutschman could very well take home this award with his class-leading 133 wRC+ and .806 on-base plus slugging. Alejandro had an impressive season in his own right, carrying a .285 batting average over 139 games.
Finalists: Shohei Ohtani(LAA), Yordan Alvarez(HOU), Giancarlo Stanton(NYY), George Springer(TOR), Adolis García(TEX)
The race between Ohtani and Yordan Alvarez will be a solid one after the two-way star logged a .273 batting average with 34 home runs and 95 RBI with a .875 OPS. But he’ll have to outlast Alvarez, who is in pursuit of his first Silver Slugger Award, with 37 home runs and a .306 batting average. His 1.019 OPS only trailed Judge in 2022 and has a slight statistical edge over Ohtani.
Finalists: Luis Arraez(MIN), Shohei Ohtani(LAA), DJ LeMahieu(NYY), Luis Rengifo(LAA)
Arraez took home the AL batting title with his .316 batting average, but the other candidates, especially Ohtani, will make it difficult for him to take home this award. Ohtani’s season might not win him the Silver Slugger as a DH, but in the Utility role, his performance was a clear-cut dominant season.