Years from now, we’re going to wonder what the heck happened in 2017. That’s the only time in the last nine years that Mike Trout has not won a Silver Slugger Award. The star Angels outfielder won his eighth such award on Thursday, recognized as the top offensive player at each position.
Trout hit .281/.390/.603, a 168 OPS+, with 17 home runs, 46 RBI, and 41 runs scored in 53 games in this truncated 2020. He was third in the American League in homers, runs batted in, OPS+ and offensive WAR (2.5), and fourth in runs scored.
The Silver Slugger Awards are voted on by managers and three coaches from each team in both leagues.
Back in 2017, Trout put up his usual Troutian numbers (.306/.442/.629, 186 OPS+, 33 home runs), but missed six weeks with a torn thumb ligament and was limited to only 114 games. That’s the only full season in which Trout hasn’t won a Silver Slugger Award.
The eight Silver Sluggers Trout has won puts him in select company. He’s the only player ever to win eight Silver Sluggers through his age-28 season, impressive for an honor that has existed since 1980. Trout is the third outfielder to win at least eight Silver Sluggers, along with Barry Bonds (12 awards) and Manny Ramirez (nine awards, eight as outfielder).
Put another way, Trout has 32% of all the Angels Silver Slugger Awards. Others to win multiple Silver Sluggers with the Halos are Vladimir Guerrero (2004-07), Troy Glaus (2000-01) and Garret Anderson (2002-03).