Francisco Lindor edges out Astros shortstop Carlos Correa for the AL Silver Slugger.
As soon as I saw the verdict for who won the shortstop AL Silver Slugger Award, I knew what I was going to write about. For a moment, the thought of Carlos Correa winning flashed in my head. As Astros fans, we are programmed to think our players are better than others.
Most of the time, there is another player better. When you are talking about Jose Altuve, there are not too many players better than him. That’s why it was no surprise that Altuve won the AL Silver Slugger Award for second base. He’s pretty good, and hopefully, he will win the AL MVP on November 16.
What was surprising was George Springer beating out Mike Trout for the center field Silver Slugger Award. Both players missed some time this season with injuries, but Springer won his first Silver Slugger Award. Springer is becoming the face of the Astros with his appearance around the country and the SI cover.
The thought of a third Silver Slugger in Correa was an exciting thought, but instead, the award went to Francisco Lindor. These two will be tied together as the leaders of the next generation of shortstops. Correa won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 2015 over Lindor in a tight race. Unfortunately, we missed the battle of the two shortstops in the ALCS.
Let’s take a look at their stats.
The bottom line is that it would have been a different story had Correa not torn a ligament in his thumb. Lindor had 229 more at-bats than Correa. Projecting Correa’s stats over 651 at-bats, he would have hit 36 homers and driven in 126 runs. The WAR is also a telling stat, with Correa having the largest.
Like Jeff Bagwell’s 1994 season, we can’t sit around and worry about what could have been. The Astros won the World Series, something that Lindor has not done yet. Correa is part of this young and talented nucleus that can win multiple World Series.
Congrats to Lindor, but don’t expect to hold onto it too long. Correa will earn it next year, along with Springer and Altuve again. Alex Bregman was in the top five, but how do you compete with Jose Ramirez, who is in the top three finalists for the MVP award? Correa helped the Astros earn history.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***