Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz Thursday won a 2015 Silver Slugger award, an accolade presented annually by Louisville Slugger to the best offensive producers at each position in the American and National leagues. Cruz, who hit .302 with 44 home runs last season, is the sixth Mariner to win a Silver Slugger and the first since Ichiro Suzuki in 2009.
The award is the first of Cruz’s career. He joins Ken Griffey Jr. (seven times) and Ichiro (three) as the only Mariners outfielders to win the award.
The 35-year-old Cruz tallied 90 runs, 22 doubles, one triple, 93 RBIs, a .369 on-base percentage and a 566 slugging percentage in 152 games. He ranked second in the AL in home runs, third in slugging percentage, fourth in OPS (.936), eighth in batting average and T11 in multi-hit games (49).
He became the first player since Miguel Cabrera (2012-13) to record consecutive 40-homer seasons and the 53rd in history to accomplish that feat. His 17 home runs at Safeco Field this season ranked T4 in ballpark history.
Cruz was voted as the starting designated hitter for the American League in the 2015 All-Star Game, his fourth selection (2009, 2013-15) and second start (also 2014).
Besides hits, home runs RBIs and average, Cruz led the Mariners in runs (90), walks (59), on-base percentage (.369) and slugging percentage (.566) while setting career bests in runs, hits, home runs and walks.
Silver Slugger winners are determined by a vote of coaches and managers.
Mariners’ Silver Slugger award winners
|1991||Ken Griffey Jr.||CF||Hit .327 with 22 home runs, 100 RBIs as 22-year-old|
|1992||Edgar Martinez||3B||Led AL with 46 doubles, won AL batting title at .343|
|1993||Ken Griffey Jr.||CF||Batted .309 with 45 home runs and 109 RBIs|
|1994||Ken Griffey Jr.||CF||Led American League with 40 homers, also 90 RBIs|
|Edgar Martinez||3B||Hit .284 with 13 homers in strike-shortened season|
|1996||Ken Griffey Jr.||CF||Batted .303 with 49 home runs and 140 RBIs|
|Alex Rodriguez||SS||Hit career-high .358, led AL with 54 doubles|
|1997||Ken Griffey Jr.||CF||56 home runs, 147 RBIs, unanimous AL MVP|
|Edgar Martinez||DH||Posted .330 batting average, 35 doubles, 108 RBIs|
|1998||Ken Griffey Jr.||CF||Swatted 56 home runs, 146 RBIs in 161 games|
|Alex Rodriguez||SS||Batted .310 with 42 home runs and 124 RBIs|
|1999||Ken Griffey Jr.||CF||Led American League with 48 homers, drove in 134|
|Alex Rodriguez||SS||Hit 42 home runs with 111 RBIs in 129 games|
|2000||Alex Rodriguez||SS||Batted .316 with 41 homers and 132 RBIs|
|2001||Bret Boone||2B||Hit .331 and led American League with 141 RBIs|
|Edgar Martinez||DH||Hit .306 with 24 doubles and 23 home runs|
|Ichiro Suzuki||RF||Won AL bat title (.350), 242 hits, AL MVP|
|2003||Bret Boone||2B||Hit .294, belted 35 home runs, drove in 117 runs|
|Edgar Martinez||DH||Hit .294 with 24 homers in penultimate MLB season|
|2007||Ichiro Suzuki||RF||Hit .351 and led American League with 238 hits|
|2009||Ichiro Suzuki||RF||Batted .352 and led American League with 225 hits|
|2015||Nelson Cruz||RF||Led Mariners in BA (.302) with 44 HRs, 93 RBIs|