Juan Soto joins stellar company with second-straight Silver Slugger award

Juan Soto wins second-straight Silver Slugger Award originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Washington Nationals phenom Juan Soto has been named a Silver Slugger Award winner in the National League among outfielders, MLB announced Thursday. It’s the second consecutive time Soto has won the award.

At just 23 years old, Soto’s second Silver Slugger honor puts him in very impressive company. He joins Fernando Tatís Jr., Ronald Acuña Jr., Mike Trout, and Fernando Valenzuela as the only players in league history to accomplish that feat by that age per MLB Stats.

“I am so honored to win this award again and I am very proud to be included in this year’s group of winners,” Soto said in a press release. “I want to thank my family who is always there to support me every day. I also want to thank my manager Dave Martinez, my hitting coaches Kevin Long and Pat Roessler and the rest of the staff for working with me and pushing me to be the best I can be. This award means a lot to me because it is voted on by opposing managers and coaches. I try to play the game the right way and having their respect means a lot to me.”

The team also highlighted Soto joining Ian Desmond, Anthony Rendon, Daniel Murphy, and Ryan Zimmerman as the only players in Nationals history to win the award multiple times. Former National Bryce Harper also took home the award this season as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Soto’s 2021 campaign was historic for many reasons. He led all NL outfielders in batting average, OBP, runs, and walks. His tear at the plate, especially during the second half of Washington’s season, was enough to earn him a nomination for NL MVP along with his Silver Slugger win. MLB will announce the winners of the MVP award on Nov. 18.

“Congratulations to Juan on yet another incredible season and his second Silver Slugger Award,” Mike Rizzo, Washington’s general manager, said of Soto. “He put together an MVP-caliber season and is very deserving of all of the accolades that continue to come his way. He’s a pleasure to watch every day and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Soto was lauded this season mostly for his discipline at the plate, as arguably no player in the majors exhibited a better command of the strike zone. Soto’s 145 walks on the year led the MLB by a mile, and at age 22 he became the youngest player to walk that many times since Ted Williams in 1941. Soto only struck out 93 times this year.

Washington would be unable to make the postseason, but often times Soto was the only player keeping the Nats competitive in certain games. He set career highs in runs, hits and walks, while also being a key member of the team’s outfield lineup which saw its fair share of shakeups.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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