Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena, designated hitter Nelson Cruz and catcher Mike Zunino are among the finalists for American League Silver Slugger awards that are supposed to recognize the “best offensive players” at each position.
Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe — despite 39 homers, 99 RBIs, a .247 average and an .863 OPS — was not.
Of the four finalists at second base, only Toronto’s Marcus Semien had clearly better numbers than Lowe, with 45 homers, 102 RBIs, a .265 average and an .873 OPS. The others, curiously listed after Semien in the press release, are Houston’s Jose Altuve (31, 83, .278, .839), New York’s D.J. LeMahieu (10, 57, .268, .711) and Minnesota’s Jorge Polanco (33, 98, .269, .826).
Winners will be announced Nov. 11 on MLB Network (6 p.m.)
Voting is done by the managers and three coaches for each AL team and conducted during the final three weeks of the regular season. (Voters can’t pick players on their own team.)
Per Louisville Slugger, which runs the award, “votes are based on a combination of offensive statistics including OPS, OPS+, home runs, RBI, batting average, total bases and runs, as well as the managers’ and coaches’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value.”
Finalists with Arozarena (who hit .274 with 20 homers, 69 RBIs and an .815 OPS) are Cedric Mullins (Orioles), Teoscar Hernández (Blue Jays), Aaron Judge (Yankees), Kyle Tucker (Astros), Mitch Haniger (Mariners), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Blue Jays), Hunter Renfroe (Red Sox).
With Cruz (who hit .265-32-86-.832 overall and was acquired July 22 from the Twins): Shohei Ohtani (Angels), Yordan Álvarez (Astros), Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees), Joey Gallo (Yankees).
And with Zunino (who hit .216-33-62-.860): Salvador Perez (Royals), Gary Sanchez (Yankees).
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