The New York Yankees are represented by two outstanding performers in the MLB’s list of Silver Slugger Award finalists announced this past Thursday.
The league released the contenders for the award at each position, with Yankees OF Aaron Judge and 2B Gleyber Torres garnering consideration.
Yankees: Judge Still Found a Way to Crack Leaderboards Despite Missed Time
Despite missing 56 games in 2023 due to a right toe injury that he sustained on June 3, Judge still earned a final spot among the seven outfielders gunning for the trophy. The other finalists include Randy Arozarena (Tampa Bay Rays), Adolis Garcia (Texas Rangers), Luis Robert Jr. (Chicago White Sox), Julio Rodriguez (Seattle Mariners), Anthony Santander (Baltimore Orioles) and Kyle Tucker (Houston Astros).
Judge’s 79 runs, 37 home runs, and 75 RBIs are all impressive considering the time he missed in comparison to his competition, which all played at least 148 games.
Garcia, Rodriguez, and Tucker headline the pack. Garcia (108 runs) and Rodriguez (102 runs) were the only ones to amass 100 runs in the field. Rodriguez particularly shined with an Al-leading 180 runs and came second in the league with 37 stolen bases.
Garcia led the field with 39 home runs, but his .245 batting average and lack of stolen bases could hurt his chances. Judge’s 37 home runs still came in at third among all of his contemporaries, but at the end of the day, missed time (and missing the playoffs) will likely keep him from winning in back-to-back years.
A Strong Season From Torres Overshadowed by Marcus Semien
Torres has a much smaller pool of players to beat out, with Marcus Semien (Texas Rangers) and Brandon Drury (Los Angeles Angels) in contention with him.
Torres sent 25 home runs into the stands in 2023 and came through for the Yankees with a .453 slug percentage — his best since 2019. Though he helped the Yankees win the 82 games they were able to secure in the win column, he has a hill to climb with the voters up against the dominance of Semien.
You name it, Semien did it. In almost a full clean sweep, Semien not only led Torres and Drury but all AL shortstops with 185 hits, 122 runs, 29 homers, and 100 RBIs while also giving the Rangers 40 doubles en route to a World Series crown.
Semien (14 SB) also stole one more base than Torres (13 SB) and narrowly edged him out with a .276 batting average compared to Torres’ .273 clip. Whether chalked up to his durability or frequency at the plate, his numbers don’t lie. Nevertheless, Torres winning his first Silver Slugger Award still remains a possibility.