|Silver Slugger Award|
|League||Major League Baseball|
|Awarded for||Best offensive player at each position in the American League and National League|
|Presented by||Hillerich & Bradsby|
The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.
When the prize is presented to outfielders, it is irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. From 1980 to 2019, pitchers in only the National League received a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead. In 2020, MLB implemented a universal designated hitter rule for both leagues as part of the shortened season and changes mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic; as a result, there were no Silver Slugger Awards for pitchers in either league and the NL awarded one to a DH for the first time.
Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former Seattle Mariners shortstop Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position. In 2018, J. D. Martinez collected two silver slugger awards in one season (one as a designated hitter and the other as an outfielder), which marks the first and, so far only, time a player has accomplished that feat.