Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz has been selected to the 2017 American League Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger team. The award is the second of Cruz’s career after he was selected as one of the American League’s top offensive outfielders in 2015. He joins Edgar Martinez as the only Mariners designated hitters to win the award.
Martinez was so-honored four times.
Cruz, 37, hit .288 with 91 runs, 28 doubles, 39 home runs and 119 RBI in 155 games with the Mariners in 2017. He led the American League in RBI and ranked fourth in home runs, fifth in slugging (.549) and fifth in OPS (.924). Cruz, who played in his age-36 season in 2017, is tied with Kansas City’s Hal McRae (133 RBI, 1982) as the second-oldest player to lead the American League outright in RBI. Only Martinez, who was 37 when he collected a league-leading 145 RBIs for the Mariners in 2000, has been older when leading the A.L. outright in RBI.
Nelson led the club in games, runs, home runs, RBI, walks, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS and extra-base hits. He set career-bests in RBI, walks and on-base percentage.
Louisville Slugger’s Silver Slugger award winners were determined by a vote of Major League Baseball managers and coaches who vote for the players they felt were the best offensive producers at each position in both the American and National Leagues. Selections were based on a combination of offensive statistics including batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, as well as the managers’ and coaches’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value.