Angels’ Mike Trout wins ninth Silver Slugger Award
Angels outfielder Mike Trout added some hardware to his personal collection of accolades Thursday, winning his ninth Silver Slugger Award.
The three-time American League most valuable player is the first player to win the award nine times by his age-30 season and has the most Silver Slugger Awards for an AL outfielder. Manny Ramirez collected eight as an outfielder and one at designated hitter.
Trout also is the sixth player with at least nine Silver Sluggers — the other five are Ramirez and Barry Larkin, who each had nine, Mike Piazza and Alex Rodriguez, who each had 10, and Barry Bonds, who had 12.
Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner (his first) and right fielder Mookie Betts (his fifth) also earned the honor. They are the first pair of Dodgers to win the award in the same season since Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in 2009. Betts, who also picked up a Gold Glove this season, is the first Dodger to win both awards in the same year multiple times. Betts won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 2020.
Managers and coaches in their respective leagues vote on the award, given to the top offensive player at each position.
Trout made sure to leave no stone unturned when he returned from a back injury that sidelined him for more than a month this season.
Shohei Ohtani and his agent, Nez Balelo, said they are focused on 2023 season. Anything beyond 2023 with the Angels continues to be just wait and see.
Trout — whose 2021 season was cut short because of a calf injury — first went down with back spasms on July 12. He was batting .270 with a .967 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 24 home runs, 51 RBIs, 76 hits and 55 runs scored at the time. The injury forced him to miss playing in the 2022 All-Star Game, his 10th All-Star nod.
He returned more than five weeks later, then finished the season batting .283 with a .999 OPS (giving him a career 1.002 OPS). He also had 85 runs, 80 RBIs, finished third in the AL with 70 extra base hits and became the Angels all-time leader in runs scored, passing Garrett Anderson’s 1,024 on Aug. 26.
Along the way, he added a seven-game home run streak, finishing with 40.
He hit the second-most home runs in the AL, behind the 62 from New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, and tied with the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso for third-most in the majors. Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber hit 46.
“It was one of my goals when I came back, I told the guys 40 would be a good number, a cool number to get to,” Trout said after hitting that last home run.
Trout hit No. 39 during the final home game of the season, after which manager Phil Nevin said, “I mean, he’s one away from 40 and missed a big chunk of the season. He looks good.”
The Angels have hired Marcus Thames, who played with the Dodgers and Yankees, as their new hitting coach. He was the Miami Marlins’ hitting coach in 2022.
After Trout hit No. 40, Nevin said, “I think if Mike plays a full season this year, the [MVP] conversation’s a lot different.”
Angels two-way star and reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani did not win a Silver Slugger this year, though he was one of four Angels finalists — Luis Rengifo and Taylor Ward were the others. Ohtani was a finalist in the designated hitter and utility categories. The Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez collected the award as AL designated hitter and the Minnesota Twins’ Luis Arraez won the award in the utility category.
Trout holds the Angels record for the most Silver Slugger awards — Vladimir Guerrero Sr. had the second-most with four.
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