Whit Merrifield is the only Blue Jay in the mix for a Silver Slugger Award
Photo credit:Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis1 month ago
The Toronto Blue Jays are well represented among the “finalists” for this season’s Gold Glove Awards, but that unsurprisingly isn’t the case when it comes to the Silver Slugger Awards.
The only Blue Jay who’s listed as a finalist (a top three or four vote-getter in a given position) for the Silver Slugger is Whit Merrifield. The veteran is up against Brandon Drury of the L.A. Angels, Gunnar Henderson of the Baltimore Orioles, and Isaac Parades of the Tampa Bay Rays in the utility player category.
Merrifield was acquired from the Kansas City Royals ahead of the 2022 trade deadline and slashed a .281/.323/.446 line for the team down the stretch. He continued that strong play out of the gates in 2023 and was named to the third All-Star team of his career after putting up a .286 batting average and .734 OPS in the first half of the season.
The success that Merrifield was having at the plate dried up in the second half of 2023 and he ultimately finished the season with a .272 batting average and a .700 OPS over 592 plate appearances. He also slugged 11 homers and 27 doubles while driving in 67 runs.
The Blue Jays got a solid season out of Merrifield but it’s difficult to see him beating any of the other candidates for the Silver Slugger.
The most likely candidate to win the utility player Silver Slugger is Henderson, who put together an excellent rookie campaign for the Orioles. The second-round pick from the 2019 draft slashed a .255/.325/.489 line over 622 trips to the plate and hit 28 home runs along with 82 RBIs. Drury, the former Blue Jay, hit 26 home runs with 83 RBIs and produced a .803 OPS, while Parades put up an .840 OPS with 31 homers and 98 RBIs.
This will be the first time since the 2019 season that the Blue Jays don’t have a Silver Slugger winner. Alejandro Kirk won in 2022, Marcus Semien, Teoscar Hernandez, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. won in 2021, and Hernandez won in 2020.
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