The Silver Slugger Awards have been announced, and Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero are both among the winners.
Hamilton, the favorite to win the A.L. MVP, wasn't at all surprising. Hamilton led the A.L. in batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS, and was 2nd in OBP...he was a pretty obvious choice.
Vlad, on the other hand...
Vlad hit .300/.345/.486, with 29 homers and 115 RBIs.
Luke Scott hit .284/.368/.535, with 27 homers and 78 RBIs. Scott, pretty clearly, in my mind, had the better year as a DH.
That being said, Luke Scott isn't well known, and he plays in Baltimore, so him being overlooked isn't exactly shocking.
But David Ortiz hit .270/.370/.529, with 32 homers and 102 RBIs. Ortiz is considered a star, and he plays for Boston.
So why did Guerrero win, instead of Ortiz?
A couple of things, I think. First of all, the Rangers were a playoff team, while Boston fell out of the race early in September. That was a factor.
The other thing, though, is that the storylines for Guerrero and Ortiz were pretty well established by May. Vlad was the heartwarming comeback story, having a huge bounceback year for the Rangers and helping lead them to the top of the A.L. West. Ortiz was old, his bat was slow, and the BoSox were looking at declining his option and trying to find someone else to be their DH.
That's not how the whole year played out, of course...but I bet if you asked 100 baseball fans who had the better year in 2010, Vlad or Ortiz, 80 would say Vlad.
And I think that played out in the Silver Slugger voting.