Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuña Jr. Headline 2023 MLB Silver Slugger Awards Winners
The Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani and Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts headlined the Silver Slugger Award winners for the 2023 MLB season Thursday.
This marked the first year teams were honored in the voting. The Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers were the winners for their respective leagues, and the Braves’ three Silver Sluggers (Matt Olson, Austin Riley and Ronald Acuña Jr.) were the most of any team
Acuña hit 41 home runs and had 149 runs scored while stealing 73 bases and hitting .337. His combination of power and speed is unparalleled among his peers as no player had ever finished with 40 homers and 70 steals.
Not to be outdone, Betts posted a .307/.408/.579 slash line to with his 39 home runs, 107 RBI and 126 runs scored. The 2018 AL MVP was especially productive after the All-Star break, posting a 1.018 OPS in the second half of the season.
The San Diego Padres’ Juan Soto rounded out the NL outfield after leading MLB in walks (132) for the third time in his career and posting a 158 OPS+, per Baseball Reference. In a year when little went right for his team, the three-time All-Star’s consistency at the plate was an outlier.
The 2023 season was defined in part by high-spending teams falling flat on their faces. The Padres, New York Mets and New York Yankees had the three most expensive payrolls, and none of the trio made the postseason.
The Texas Rangers are an example of how you can buy your way to success, though. Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, the crown jewels of the organization’s 2022 offseason, both played pivotal roles as Texas captured its first World Series title.
Seager, who might be adding an MVP to his trophy case, slugged a career-high .623 and led the American League in doubles (42) across just 119 games. He also matched a personal best in homers (33).
Semien, meanwhile, paced the Junior Circuit with 185 hits and 122 runs. His .276 average and .348 on-base percentage were among the best of his career as well.
Even if the Rangers never win another World Series with them on the roster, the $500 million Texas committed to Seager and Semien has paid off.