The Blue Jays had a trio of players take home Silver Slugger Awards Thursday night as the winners were announced.
Marcus Semien takes home the Silver Slugger Award as the top hitter at second base, which comes a few days after also taking home the Gold Glove Award for the same position. Vladimir Guerrero Jr, who was announced as the Hank Aaron Award winner two days ago was selected as the Silver Slugger Award winner for first base and lastly, Teoscar Hernandez takes home his second consecutive Silver Slugger Award in the outfield.
After the 2020 campaign, Guerrero Jr. spent the entire offseason getting into shape and working on his craft. The Dominican product knew where he faltered, which primarily came to his conditioning, to which he stepped up his workout routine last offseason and it paid off. Guerrero Jr. was in contention all season long for the Triple Crown award, which he ultimately did not win, as he did tie for the league lead in home runs (48) but finished second in batting average (.311) eight points behind Yuli Gurriel and fifth in Runs Batted In (111), ten behind Salvador Perez. Guerrero Jr will now wait to hear whether or not he will take home the AL MVP as it has come down to him or Shohei Ohtani for the award. If he were to the win award, he would become the third Blue Jay to do so, as George Bell (1987) and Josh Donaldson (2015) had previously taken home the honours.
Marcus Semien won his first Silver Slugger Award, which comes days after his first Gold Glove Award and caps off a career season for the 31-year old free agent. It was well documented that Semien bet on himself this season by signing a one-year $18 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays last offseason. There is not much more he could have done to set himself up for free agency this winter in regards to a big payday while setting the MLB record for home runs (45) at that position in a single season.
The 2021 Toronto Blue Jays have three players win Silver Slugger Awards as the top offensive players at their respective positions.
This is the second consecutive season that Teoscar Hernandez has taken home one of the Silver Slugger Awards at the outfield position. Some wondered if the 2020 season was not a true indication of what Hernandez was as a ballplayer because of the shortened season but he proved doubters wrong in 20201.
For the first part of Hernandez’s Blue Jays career, it looked like he was going to be at best a fourth outfielder as he posted a slash line of .238/.304/.482 over his first 286 games while struggling defensively in the outfield. However, since the start of the 2020 season, Hernandez has now posted a slash line of .295/.345/.538 over 193 games, including hitting 48 home runs and 150 RBI. Hernandez finished the 2021 season hitting 30 home runs and 100 RBI for the first time in his career and had the second highest batting average of any outfielder.
Bo Bichette and Lourdes Gurriel Jr were both finalists for the Silver Slugger Award at their respective positions but fell short. Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox took home his fourth Silver Slugger Award to beat out Bichette while the two other outfielders were Aaron Judge and Cedric Mullens to block Gurriel Jr.