The 2021 MLB postseason is drawing toward a finish, which means it’s almost time to start handing out awards.
One Oakland A’s player already has his name in the conversation for some hardware. On Monday, the league announced finalists for the Silver Slugger award, and Matt Olson is among the American League first base candidates.
There’s a Silver Slugger for each position in each league, and Olson is one of three finalists for this spot. Up against him are Vladimir Guerrero Jr of the Blue Jays, and Yuli Gurriel of the Astros.
- Guerrero: .311/.401/.601, 166 wRC+, 48 HR, 111 RBI
- Gurriel: .319/.383/.462, 134 wRC+, 15 HR, 83 RBI
- Olson: .271/.371/.540, 146 wRC+, 39 HR, 111 RBI
The award will most likely go to Guerrero, who was statistically the best hitter in the AL regardless of position. He’ll be a finalist for the MVP too.
There’s not really any argument that Olson should win Silver Slugger over Vlad Jr, but the Oakland slugger makes a lot of sense as the runner-up, and that’s still worth something even if there isn’t a trophy for it. Olson had a phenomenal year, with a career-best performance in just about every category, and it’s nice to see him get a moment of national recognition.
The A’s have won 10 Silver Sluggers since the award began in 1980, split between six players. The most recent was third baseman Eric Chavez in 2002, and the most recent first baseman was Jason Giambi in 2001.
- 1981: Rickey Henderson, OF
- 1988: Jose Canseco, OF
- 1990: Jose Canseco, OF
- 1990: Rickey Henderson, OF
- 1990: Dave Parker, DH
- 1991: Jose Canseco, OF
- 1992: Mark McGwire, 1B
- 1996: Mark McGwire, 1B
- 2001: Jason Giambi, 1B
- 2002: Eric Chavez, 3B