Dodgers Come Up Empty on Silver Slugger Award

The Dodgers did not place anyone on the annual Sliver Slugger Award list that honors the best hitter in each league at their position. 2004 Major League home run leader Adrian Beltré became the first Dodger third baseman to be given award and in 2005 second baseman Jeff Kent earned the trophy for an outstanding season.

Beltré's spectacular 2004 season saw him lead the major leagues with 48 home runs and tied Mike Schmidt's 1980 Major League record for home runs by a third baseman and came within one of Shawn Green's single-season Dodger franchise record of 49.

He set a Los Angeles single-season record for total bases (376) and became only the sixth Los Angeles Dodger to have 200 hits in a season (Steve Garvey 5, Tommy Davis, Maury Wills, Mike Piazza). His total bases were second in Los Angeles history behind Shawn Green's 370 and his 80 extra base hits were second to Green's 84.

After the spectacular season, he was not offered a contract until he was nearly ready to sign with Seattle and the offer was a apparently not enough or not long enough and the club has suffered through 2005-06 without a permanent player at the position.

In 2005, Kent led the club in every offensive category, including at bats (553), hits (160), homers (29), slugging percentage (.512) and set a Los Angeles record with 105 runs batted in. His 29 home runs broke the club record for season baseman held by Davey Lopes (28) set in 1979.
The 2006 winners

 American              National
DH/P David Ortiz      Carlos Zambrano 
C Joe Mauer           Brian McCann 
1B Justin Morneau     Ryan Howard 
2B Robinson Cano      Chase Utley 
SS Derek Jeter        Jose Reyes 3B 
3B Joe Crede          Miguel Cabrera 
OF Jermaine Dye       Carlos Beltran 
OF Vladimir Guerrero  Alfonso Soriano 
OF Manny Ramirez      Matt Holliday
Catcher Mike Piazza earned the award five times while with playing in Dodger Blue. Other double winners include Dusty Baker in 1980-81 and Fernando Valenzuela in 1981-83. Baker was the first Dodger to be awarded a the coveted silver bat when he was chosen in 1980, the year the award started. Over the seasons, the Dodgers have won five catching awards (Piazza), four outfielders (Baker 2, Guerrero, Gibson), four pitchers (Valenzuela 2, Leary, Hershiser), two first basemen (Murray, Karros), one second baseman (Sax) and Beltré.
Previous Dodger winners:

1980—Dusty Baker, of
1981—Dusty Baker, of
     Fernando Valenzuela, p
1982—Pedro Guerrero, of
1983—Fernando Valenzuela, p
1986—Steve Sax, 2b
1988—Kirk Gibson of
     Tim Leary, p
1990—Eddie Murray, 1b
1993—Mike Piazza, c
     Orel Hershiser, p
1994—Mike Piazza, c
1995—Mike Piazza, c
     Eric Karros, 1b
1996—Mike Piazza, c
1997—Mike Piazza, c
2004—Adrian Beltré, 3b
2005—Jeff Kent, 2b
To select the Silver Slugger team, mangers and coaches from each league choose the nine players they would want in their lineup, based solely on performances at the plate.

Their selections are based on a combination of offensive statistics for the season, such as batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage, and their general impressions of a player's overall offensive value. The coaches and managers are not allowed to vote for a player on their own team.

The specially designed Silver Slugger award will be presented to the winners by a representative of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., makers of Louisville Slugger® bats, the sponsor of the award, in a ceremony early in the 1999 season.

The trophy is three feet tall and bears the engraved names of all 18 winners from both league. The Silver Slugger award was instituted by Hillerich & Bradsby in 1980 as a natural extension of the Silver Bat award, which is, as its name indicates, a silver-plated bat presented by the company to the batting champion in each league.

Dodger Blue Notes-- ESPN reports that although third baseman Aramis Ramirez took advantage of an out clause in his contract to walk away from the two years and $22.5 million still owed him by the Chicago Cubs it will take a six-year, $100 million+ offer to sign him. "If we go out, we're going to look for six years," his agent said. "I'm pretty confident it would go there. Aramis is only 28 years old, and that puts him in his prime." Free agent outfielder Alfonso Soriano is reportedly seeking a deal similar to Carlos Beltran's seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets. Ramirez has averaged 35 homers and 105 RBI over the past three seasons in Chicago. Halfway through a four-year, $42 million contract, he exercised his right to void the final two years and become a free agent. …San Diego acquired former Dodger pitcher Andrew Brown. Brown was the player to be named in the 2004 trade when the Dodgers picked up Milton Bradley from Cleveland. The Indians turned him into a reliever in the Minor Leagues, and he went 5-4 with five saves and a 2.60 ERA in 39 appearances for the Bisons. With the Indians, seven of his nine outings were scoreless, and he held batters to a .171 average. …Former Dodger outfielder Gary Sheffield was traded to Detroit by the New York Yankees.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories