5 Braves named Silver Slugger Award finalists

Braves division race Austin Riley

The World Series begins this weekend, which marks the beginning of award season for the MLB. Over the next few weeks, players will receive recognition for various accomplishments; four Braves were named Gold Glove finalists, and five have been named Silver Slugger finalists — three of whom are candidates for both awards.

Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson, and Travis d’Arnaud are the finalists for both awards, which is surprising considering Michael Harris II is the best defender on the team. But I digress. This is about celebrating the bats of the Braves Silver Slugger candidates.

Olson had a down year by his standards, but it was still productive. The Atlanta native slashed .250/.343/.503 with 39 home runs and 105 RBIs, good for an .846 OPS. d’Arnaud was one part of the best catchers duo in baseball. The veteran was named to his first All-Star game this season, thanks to his 18 home runs and 119 OPS+. Riley was in the thick of the MVP race for much of the year, but a cold streak to end the season locked it up for Paul Goldschmidt. Still, the newly extended Riley had 38 homers and 39 doubles, narrowly missing the 40/40 mark to join Chipper Jones¬†as the only player to accomplish that feat in franchise history.

All Swanson did this season was perform like arguably the best shortstop in baseball — hitting 25 home runs, nearly knocking in 100 runs, and recording the highest batting average of his career (over an entire season). In a contract year, Swanson had the best season of his career.

Last but certainly not least is Michael Harris. The Stockbridge native should be the Rookie of the Year favorite, and he would win it most years if not for teammate Spencer Strider’s unbelievable rookie campaign. I’d argue Harris’ impact is more influential to the Braves winning games than the hard-throwing righty. The rookie centerfielder should’ve been a Gold Glove candidate and what he did at the plate was even more impressive — slashing .297/.339/.504 with 19 home runs, good for a .853 OPS.

Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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