Award season continued on Thursday night, with MLB handing out their Silver Slugger awards to the best hitters at every position in each league. Among the major awards, perhaps only the Hank Aaron award has less prestige, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an honor. This time around, something truly amazing has happened and we have yet another reason to be amazed at a fact regarding the 2018 Red Sox. For the first time in the 39-year history of this award, a player won two in one season. That player was J.D. Martinez, who not only took home the DH award but also was one of three outfielders to get it.
If anyone was deserving of this little piece of history, it was Martinez for his work at the plate in 2018. Over 649 plate appearances he hit .330/.402/.629 for a 170 wRC+ with 43 homers, 111 runs and 130 RBI. Furthermore, he split his time somewhat evenly between DH and the outfield, getting 219 plate appearances in either left or right field with 350 coming as the DH. Silver Sluggers are voted upon by managers and coaches around the league, and apparently they were split about whether he should receive votes as a DH or an outfielder. To be fair, Martinez isn’t the first player to receive votes at multiple positions, but he is the first to actually win both. I’m going to choose to look at like one is for his own performance at the plate and the other is for the impact his presence had on the rest of the lineup.
Martinez is certainly the story of these Silver Slugger awards, but the Red Sox did have one more winner in Mookie Betts. It kind of got lost in the fact that he was such a great overall player, but at least by wRC+ Betts was actually the better hitter between himself and Martinez. Betts hit .346/.438/.640 for a 185 wRC+ with 32 homers, 129 runs and 80 RBI. Betts has already won a Gold Glove, and he’s likely to add an MVP award to his list of honors in 2018.