Christian Yelich Adds To Miami Marlins Silver Slugger Tally

Last night, Major League Baseball announced that Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich would be one of three recipients of the National League Silver Slugger Award.

While certainly a first for Yelich, who took a huge step forward offensively in 2016, it is by no means the first time a member of the Marlins was deemed worthy of being honored for having a silver stroke at the plate.

Overall, nine Silver Slugger Awards have been awarded to the Marlins, and Yelich’s 2016 win marks the fourth time it went to one of the club’s outfielders.

However, Yelich is only the seventh individual Marlin to receive one, as there were two occasions in club history where a player earned the award twice. Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez would each win in consecutive years: 2005 and 2006 for Miggy, 2008 and 2009 for Hanley. 

Cabrera is the only Marlin to win the award at two different positions, having earned it as an outfielder in 2005, only to shift to third base the next season on account of the Mike Lowell trade. A trade that, incidentally, brought Ramirez to Miami.

Lowell, Dee Gordon, Gary Sheffield, and Giancarlo Stanton are the other three Marlins recipients. The Fish have had a player earn the award at every position but first base and catcher.

Cabrera and Sheffield are the only winners to have done so with another team. Sheffield won it, as a third baseman no less, with San Diego in 1992. Cabrera went on to win many more as a member of the Detroit Tigers, even earning one at a third position during his stint as a first baseman.

Winning national awards is always a bit of a challenge for the Marlins, a small market team that just doesn’t get the same level of coverage as rival clubs. Although, that gap is closing in the digital age. That said, I like Yelich’s chances of winning a couple more of these awards before his time in South Florida is done. And, for that matter, wouldn’t be shocked to see one or two of his teammates chip in as well. J.T. Realmuto seems like a prime choice now that his secret is out, so to speak, and would even cross catcher off the list.

In any event, congrats to Christian Yelich. Certainly just getting started.

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