Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter can both add “Silver Slugger Award winner” to their baseball resumes.
Silver Sluggers, given to the top offensive player at each position in the American and National Leagues as voted upon by major league managers and coaches, were handed out Wednesday night on MLB Network.
Carpenter is the first second baseman in Cardinals franchise history to take home the award. The first-time All-Star led the majors in hits (199), runs (126), doubles (55), multi-hit games (63) and three-hit games (18).
Molina, who was recently awarded his sixth straight Gold Glove and named as one of three NL MVP finalists, joins Ted Simmons as the only Cardinals catchers to take home the award after hitting for a career-best .319 average and driving in 76. Simmons claimed his prize in 1980.
World Series MVP David Ortiz has won his sixth Silver Slugger award as the top designated hitter, while Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera and Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer each was selected for the fifth time.
Nine of the 18 recipients were first-time winners.
The Orioles led all teams with three winners: Major league home run and RBI leader Chris Davis of Baltimore took home a bat-shaped trophy as the best AL first baseman. Outfielder Adam Jones and shortstop J.J. Hardy joined Davis in being picked for the first time.
Pittsburgh, Detroit and St. Louis each had two winners.
First-time selectee Pedro Alvarez (third base) was joined by Pirates teammate Andrew McCutchen. The star outfielder won his second prize.
The Tigers’ Torii Hunter (outfield) got his second.
Washington’s Ian Desmond (shortstop), Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce (outfield) and the Angels’ Mike Trout (outfield) each earned their second straight Silver Slugger.
Other first-time winners: Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt (first base), Colorado’s Michael Cuddyer (outfield) and the Dodgers’ Zack Greinke (pitcher).
Several players earned bonuses or salary escalators for winning the award:
Cabrera, Hunter and Ortiz each get $100,000 bonuses, while Hardy receives $75,000 and Bruce, Cuddyer, Davis and Molina earn $50,000 apiece. Jones’ base salary next year escalates by $200,000 to $10.2 million and Cuddyer’s rises by $500,000 to $11.5 million.