MLB News – The big bats finally arrived in 2020 which gave us quite a treat in this shortened but exhilarating season. From dramatic bat flips, earth-shattering grand slams and big-time offensive numbers, these players were richly rewarded for their talent, energy, and hard work.
Nearly half of the winners on this list have four Atlanta Braves players on it. All four of them were able to take home some hardware despite falling one game short of a World Series berth. World Series champion Juan Soto and Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr. have both come of age as each were able to win their first individual honors.
Here is the list of players from the National League who have won this year’s Silver Slugger Awards:
First Base: Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves)
A finalist for the 2020 NL MVP Award, Braves superstar Freddie Freeman once again showed his teammates how it should be done. The tenured first baseman led the Majors in extra-base hits (37) while taking home his second straight Silver Slugger.
Freeman hit 0.341 with 13 home runs, 53 RBIs, and a 1.102 OPS. His leadership skills are what makes this Braves team a force to be reckon with. Add Ronald Acuña, Jr. and Marcell Ozuna into the mix then this makes them already a super team ready to win a championship.
The Braves are still missing something that can get them all the way to summit. Hopefully, whatever the Braves find that “missing link” in the offseason, will surely get them to the place where they want to be in.
Second Base: Donovan Solano (San Francisco Giants)
Continuing his upward trend following a breakthrough 2019 campaign, Solano raised the bar even higher. Last season Solano slashed a 0.330/0.360/0.456 stat line in half the games he played for San Francisco.
This season he put up a similar output that consisted of a 0.326 batting average, a 0.365 OBP, and a 0.463 OPS in 54 games played. Donovan Solano has been one of the most efficient hitters on this Giants lineup the last 2 seasons and is looking to improve. Truly one of baseball’s biggest revelations and everybody likes what this second baseman brings.
Third Base: Manny Machado (San Diego Padres)
Simply a case of, “Manny being Manny”, Machado is taking the National League on notice. Like Freddie Freeman on the list, Machado is also gunning for NL MVP honors.
Manny Machado on the season delivered 16 home runs, 47 RBIs, and had a 0.304 batting average for the Padres. Already a 4-time All-Star and 2-time Gold Glover, you can add that Silver Slugger to Machado’s list of accomplishments.
He is definitely “The Man” for the so-called Slam Diego Padres. A moniker they were coined with after going 4 straight games of hitting a grand slam during 2020. Machado is enjoying his time in San Diego and aims to bring them to the next step in their maturity.
Shortstop: Fernando Tatis, Jr. (San Diego Padres)
Fernando Tatis, Jr. led all Major League shortstops in homers (17), RBIs (45), and runs scored (50). The 21-year-old superstar provided a lot of energy and swagger that makes San Diego a fun team to watch this year.
If the young shortstop can continue to put these consistent numbers, commit fewer mistakes, and keep a humbled image, then he will no doubt become a potential all-time great shortstop. Tatis has a lot of upside which is looking good right now for the Padres.
Catcher: Travis d’Arnaud (Atlanta Braves)
Travis d’Arnaud had himself a season with the Atlanta Braves. He posted a 0.321 average with 34 RBIs and a 0.919 OPS. He has been a solid pickup for the Braves in which he gave them defensive stability and then some.
D’Arnaud’s bat was a huge factor for the Braves’ lineup which is important for them in their next step towards their pursuit of a title. D’Arnaud has become a more complete player now that he is having a blast with his new team.