BY SPNW Staff 04:45PM 11/12/2015

Mariners’ Cruz wins AL Silver Slugger award

Nelson Cruz is the first Silver Slugger winner for the Mariners since Ichiro Suzuki in 2009. Cruz belted 44 home runs and led Seattle in numerous offensive categories.

Nelson Cruz won an AL Silver Slugger award Thursday. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest

Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz Thursday won a 2015 Silver Slugger award, an accolade presented annually by Louisville Slugger to the best offensive producers at each position in the American and National leagues. Cruz, who hit .302 with 44 home runs last season, is the sixth Mariner to win a Silver Slugger and the first since Ichiro Suzuki in 2009.

The award is the first of Cruz’s career. He joins Ken Griffey Jr. (seven times) and Ichiro (three) as the only Mariners outfielders to win the award.

The 35-year-old Cruz tallied 90 runs, 22 doubles, one triple, 93 RBIs, a .369 on-base percentage and a 566 slugging percentage in 152 games. He ranked second in the AL in home runs, third in slugging percentage, fourth in OPS (.936), eighth in batting average and T11 in multi-hit games (49).

He became the first player since Miguel Cabrera (2012-13) to record consecutive 40-homer seasons and the 53rd in history to accomplish that feat. His 17 home runs at Safeco Field this season ranked T4 in ballpark history.

Cruz was voted as the starting designated hitter for the American League in the 2015 All-Star Game, his fourth selection (2009, 2013-15) and second start (also 2014).

Besides hits, home runs RBIs and average, Cruz led the Mariners in runs (90), walks (59), on-base percentage (.369) and slugging percentage (.566) while setting career bests in runs, hits, home runs and walks.

Silver Slugger winners are determined by a vote of coaches and managers.

Mariners’ Silver Slugger award winners

Year Player Pos. Skinny
1991 Ken Griffey Jr. CF Hit .327 with 22 home runs, 100 RBIs as 22-year-old
1992 Edgar Martinez 3B Led AL with 46 doubles, won AL batting title at .343
1993 Ken Griffey Jr. CF Batted .309 with 45 home runs and 109 RBIs
1994 Ken Griffey Jr. CF Led American League with 40 homers, also 90 RBIs
Edgar Martinez 3B Hit .284 with 13 homers in strike-shortened season
1996 Ken Griffey Jr. CF Batted .303 with 49 home runs and 140 RBIs
Alex Rodriguez SS Hit career-high .358, led AL with 54 doubles
1997 Ken Griffey Jr. CF 56 home runs, 147 RBIs, unanimous AL MVP
Edgar Martinez DH Posted .330 batting average, 35 doubles, 108 RBIs
1998 Ken Griffey Jr. CF Swatted 56 home runs, 146 RBIs in 161 games
Alex Rodriguez SS Batted .310 with 42 home runs and 124 RBIs
1999 Ken Griffey Jr. CF Led American League with 48 homers, drove in 134
Alex Rodriguez SS Hit 42 home runs with 111 RBIs in 129 games
2000 Alex Rodriguez SS Batted .316 with 41 homers and 132 RBIs
2001 Bret Boone 2B Hit .331 and led American League with 141 RBIs
Edgar Martinez DH Hit .306 with 24 doubles and 23 home runs
Ichiro Suzuki RF Won AL bat title (.350), 242 hits, AL MVP
2003 Bret Boone 2B Hit .294, belted 35 home runs, drove in 117 runs
Edgar Martinez DH Hit .294 with 24 homers in penultimate MLB season
2007 Ichiro Suzuki RF Hit .351 and led American League with 238 hits
2009 Ichiro Suzuki RF Batted .352 and led American League with 225 hits
2015 Nelson Cruz RF Led Mariners in BA (.302) with 44 HRs, 93 RBIs

YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    Well earned award for Cruz. Wonder when the last time a player hit over 40 HR’s but failed to have more than 100 RBI’s? That should be an automatic 100 when you have that many. Just another symptom of the disease that plagued the M’s last season.

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