The 2023 Louisville Silver Slugger Award finalists were announced on Thursday morning and the Chicago Cubs were well represented.
It should be no surprise to see Cody Bellinger as a finalist.
When Bellinger signed with the Cubs' last off-season, the team was hoping that a change of scenery would re-ignite the former National League MVP's career. It was a gamble that paid off for the Cubs as Bellinger was the anchor of the team's offense last season.
In 556 plate appearances with the Cubs, Bellinger slashed .307/.356/.525 with a wRC+ of 134. Bellinger also had his highest home run total, 26, since his MVP season in 2019 when he launched 47 home runs.
Of course, Bellinger is entering an off-season where he is expected to be one of the most sought-after free agents on the market. There is no doubt that the Cubs will have an interest in bringing Bellinger back on a long-term deal but with teams such as the New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants circling with interest, his price tag could put him in a position to sign the largest contract in franchise history if he returns to Chicago.
Three Chicago Cubs players are among the finalists for the 2023 Louisville Sliver Slugger Award for their respective positions.
Despite starting the 2023 season with an oblique injury and being benched by the team at the end of July, Seiya Suzuki's inclusion among finalists speaks to the success that he had during the final two months of the season.
During the second half of the season, Suzuki slashed .313/.372/.566 with a wRC+ of 149. As a whole, Suzuki finished the season with a slash line of .285/..357/.485 with 20 home runs and 126 wRC+. The goal for the Cubs is that the player Suzuki was for the final two months of the season is the player that he will be moving forward,
Swanson being a finalist is a bit of a surprise as well. Swanson got off to a hot start offensively with the Cubs but struggled down the stretch and finished with a slash line of .244/.328/.416 with 22 home runs and a 104 wRC+.
Of the three, it would seem that Bellinger has the strongest chance of taking home the hardware. The winners for each position will be announced on MLB Network on November 9.