Willingham wins first Silver Slugger

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota’s most productive hitter in 2012 was rewarded for his season on Thursday. Twins left fielder Josh Willingham was given a Silver Slugger Award as one of the best offensive outfielders.

It’s the first Silver Slugger award 33-year old Willingham during his nine-year major league career. In his first season with the Twins, Willingham hit a career-high 35 home runs and drove in 100 runs — also a career best. He batted .260/.366/.524 with 30 doubles in 145 games for Minnesota in 2012.

Joining Willingham as the other American League outfielders to win the award were Texas’ Josh Hamilton and Angels rookie Mike Trout. Former Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski, now with the Chicago White Sox, also won the award for the first time.

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