Nationals' Juan Soto named NL Silver Slugger for 2020 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Juan Soto received his first career Silver Slugger award Thursday, joining Braves phenom Ronald Acuña Jr. and former AL MVP Mookie Betts as the honorees for the best-hitting NL outfielders in 2020.
Soto, 22, joins former third baseman Anthony Rendon as the only Nationals players to win a Silver Slugger award over the last three seasons. The left fielder won his first NL batting title with a .351 batting average in addition to pacing the Senior Circuit in on-base percentage (.490), slugging percentage (.695) and, as a result, OPS (1.185) as well.
“I am so happy to win this award,” Soto said in a statement released by the Nationals. “Thank you to the opposing managers and coaches who voted for me. I am proud to be a part of this year’s talented group of award winners. I want to thank Dave Martinez, Kevin Long, Pat Roessler, Troy Gingrich and the rest of the staff for working with me and pushing me to be the best I can be. I also want to thank my family who is there to support me each and every day.”
Despite missing the first eight games of the Nationals’ season due to what he announced was a false positive coronavirus test, Soto led the NL with 12 intentional walks and placed ninth in FanGraphs’ measurement of WAR at 2.4. The pandemic forced MLB to cut the season down to just 60 games, but Soto still managed to hit two multi-home run games and win an NL Player of the Week honor.
“Congratulations to Juan on his first Silver Slugger Award and his incredible 2020 season as a whole,” Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement. “He continues to show that he is one of the top offensive players in Major League Baseball. This well-deserved honor is another addition to his growing list of tremendous accomplishments.”
Soto was not named one of the finalists for the NL MVP award but did finish among the top three for the MLBPA Players Choice NL Outstanding Player Award.