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 (4x) as the only Mariners designated hitters to win the Award.
Cruz, 37, hit .288 (160x556) with 91 runs, 28 doubles, 39 home runs, 119 RBI, 12 HBP, 70 walks, a .375 on-base percentage, a .549 slugging mark and a .924 OPS in 155 games with the Mariners in 2017. He led the American League in RBI with 119 while also ranking 4th in home runs (39), 5th in slugging (.549) and 5th in OPS (.924). He belted 38 home runs as a designated hitter, surpassing the previous club record set by Martinez in 2000 (37 HR).
Cruz, who played in his age-36 season in 2017, is tied with Kansas City's Hal McRae (133 RBI, 1982) as the 2nd-oldest player to lead the American League outright in RBI. Only Edgar, who was 37 when he collected a league-leading 145 RBI for the Mariners in 2000, has been older when leading the AL 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.
Cruz recorded at least 100 RBI for the 2nd consecutive season and the 3rd overall season in his career. He is one of 10 Mariners in club history with multiple 100-RBI seasons. Cruz made his 5th career appearance in the All-Star Game (also: 2009, 2013-15), his 2nd as a Mariner (also: 2015).
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 in 2015. 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.