Three Canadians named 2021 Silver Slugger Award finalists

By Kevin Glew

Cooperstowners in Canada

Three players born in Canada were among the finalists for the 2021 Silver Slugger awards, announced by Louisville Slugger on Monday.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Montreal, Que.) and Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) are finalists at the first base position in the American League and National League respectively, while Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, B.C.) is a finalist among National League outfielders.

The Silver Slugger awards are designed to recognize the top offensive performers at each position in each league. The manager and three coaches from each big league squad vote for the awards.

The winners will be unveiled on the MLB Network on Nov. 11.

The 22-year-old Guerrero enjoyed a breakout season in 2021 that saw him top Canadian-born players in almost every offensive category. He tied for the American League lead in home runs (48) and was the outright league leader in on-base percentage (.401), slugging percentage (.601), on-base plus slugging percentage (1.002), runs (123) and total bases (363).

Votto belted his 36th home run on the final day of the 2021 campaign. With that, at the age of 38, he finished just one home run shy of his career-high that he established 11 years earlier. Votto also finished fourth in the National League with a .563 slugging percentage.

O’Neill also excelled at the plate in 2021. He batted .286 with 34 homers and posted a .560 slugging percentage, which was the seventh best in the National League. He also stole 15 bases, making him, according to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, one of just three Canadian players – joining Larry Walker (Maple Ridge, B.C.) and Votto – to have at least 34 home runs and 15 stolen bases in the same season.

Freddie Freeman, whose parents were born in Canada, has also been named a National League finalist at first base.

On top of Guerrero Jr., four other Blue Jays players were named finalists: Bo Bichette, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez and Marcus Semien.

Published by cooperstownersincanada

Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.

4 thoughts on “Three Canadians named 2021 Silver Slugger Award finalists

  1. Could be some Canadian history made. Only 4 Canadians have won the SS award (Walker, Morneau, Bay and Martin) in the history of the award so having two in one year would be a first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: