Three Philadelphia Phillies have been selected as finalists for the Louisville Silver Slugger Award, Major League Baseball announced on Thursday. Outfielder Kyle Schwarber, catcher J.T. Realmuto, and designated Bryce Harper are the Phils that made the cut.
The Silver Slugger Award is decided by four voters from each team, the manager and three coaches. The criteria for the award is a combination of offensive statistics and the “general impression of the players’ offensive value.”
Let’s start with the returning winners, Harper and Realmuto have both won the award twice. Harper in 2015 as a member of the Washington Nationals and last season with the Phillies. Realmuto won the award in back-to-back years, 2018 and 2019. Both players have some stiff competition to beat to earn the hardware.
Realmuto has to contend with the Atlanta Braves’ Travis d’Arnaud, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Will Smith, and Chicago Cubs’ Willson –two L’s– Contreras. All four finalists put up similar numbers during the course of the season. LA’s Smith led the NL catchers in the power department with 24-homers and 87 RBIs. Contreras had 22-homers and Realmuto added 20-homers and 20-stolen bases. That’s some tough competition for the “best catcher in baseball.”
Harper’s inclusion on the list is interesting because he only played 99-games due to injury. The threshold for the award is 100-games. Based on that criteria, Harper is unlikely to win the award. The Cardinals’ Albert Pujols is in the running for the NL Silver Slugger Award, chances are EXTREMELY high the future Hall of Famer gets the nod.
Schwarber also faces some tough competition for the outfield version of the award. He is joined by the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts, San Diego’s Juan Soto, the Giants’ Joc Pederson, Atlanta’s Michael Harris II, Pittsburgh’s Brian Reynolds, the Brewers’ Hunter Renfro, and a pair of New York Mets–Starling Marte and Brandon Nimmo.
The Louisville Silver Slugger Awards will be announced on November 10 during a special on MLB Network.