Chicago Cubs: Zero Cubs win Silver Sluggers

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 18: Javier Baez
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 18: Javier Baez /

The Chicago Cubs were shutout at the Silver Slugger Awards as not a single Cubs player won the award.

In 2016, the Chicago Cubs had a good showing during the award presentations at the end of the year, both as a team and individually. Jake Arrieta and Anthony Rizzo took home Silver Slugger awards, which are awarded to the best hitter at their respective position. To put the cherry on top, Kris Bryant won the National League MVP, but somehow lost out on the Silver Slugger to Nolan Arenado. This year, the Cubs lost out on all Silver Sluggers.

Now, Rizzo lost out to Paul Goldschmidt, and there’s no shame in that, as Paul Goldschmidt is arguably the most underrated player in baseball. Goldy could very well win the MVP of the National League as well. One could argue that Willson Contreras got snubbed for the award, but then you remember that Buster Posey is still alive and puts up career numbers every year.

But, they weren’t that far off, really…Contreras led all National League catchers in dingers, with 21, and had a slugging percentage of .499, with a 121 wRC+. Posey had a SLG% of .462, with a wRC+ of 128, and only 12 home runs.

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Reigning MVP (until November 15th, anyway) Kris Bryant, was still really good. .295/.409/.537 slash line, with 29 home runs. His walk rate was up by almost a full 4%, while his K% decreased again by almost a full 3%.

If Kyle Schwarber hadn’t had a bad first half, who knows what happened there. Of course, it would help if Marcell Ozuna was actually human out there in left field, the position Schwarber plays.

Potential 2018 candidates

Rizzo and Bryant will be contenders for this award year in and year out. Contreras might only get better from here on, which is absolutely frightening for the rest of the National League. One guy to keep an eye on, due to possible trades, is Javier Baez.

Baez split time at second with Ian Happ and Ben Zobrist this season, before shifting to shortstop for the better part of the second half with an injury to Addison Russell. Baez has only gotten better since coming to the major leagues, and expect nothing less in 2018, and he should contend for a Silver Slugger if he stays healthy.

Next: Butterfield still at the top of his game

After all, regardless of how an award is perceived, it’s always fun to talk about when your player wins it. Some other notable Silver Slugger selections were Nolan Arenado getting his third in a row, while Daniel Murphy and Corey Seager were both repeat winners. Giancarlo Stanton, to the surprise of nobody, won the SS after cranking 59 bombs.