The Braves had one of baseball’s top offenses this season.
Thus, Thursday’s news should be no surprise: Five Braves are Silver Slugger Awards finalists. The honor is given annually to the best offensive player at each position.
The winners are voted upon by MLB managers and coaches, who are not allowed to vote for players on their own teams.
The Braves’ finalists, at their respective positions: first baseman Matt Olson, third baseman Austin Riley, shortstop Dansby Swanson, outfielder Michael Harris and catcher Travis d’Arnaud.
Riley played at an MVP level for a few months of the season. He finished the regular season with a .278 batting average and an .878 OPS. He homered 38 times (a career high) and drove in 93 runs.
Swanson’s .277 batting average was the highest of his career for a full season. He posted a .776 OPS. He hit 25 homers and drove in a career-high 96 runs.
Despite a couple of extended slumps this season, Olson ended the regular season with 34 homers and 103 RBIs.
With d’Arnaud and William Contreras, the Braves had a catching tandem that posted incredible offensive numbers. D’Arnaud launched a career-high 18 homers and drove in 60 runs.
The Braves knew Harris would play outstanding defense. They might not have expected this level of production at the plate: He hit .297 with an .853 OPS, homered 19 times and drove in 64 runs. He could win NL Rookie of the Year.
Riley, Swanson and d’Arnaud were NL All-Stars this season.
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