Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota Twins announced today that designated hitter Nelson Cruz and catcher Mitch Garver have been named recipients of the 2019 American League Louisville Slugger® Silver Slugger™ Award at their respective positions, with both selected as the top offensive producer at their position in a vote by AL coaches and managers. This marks Cruz’s third career Silver Slugger Award (also with Seattle in 2015 and 2017), while he joins Paul Molitor in 1996 as the second Twins DH ever to win. With his first career Silver Slugger Award, Garver joins five-time honoree Joe Mauer as the only two Minnesota catchers to earn the hardware. This marks the Twins’ third time having a pair of teammates earn Silver Slugger Awards in the same season, joining Mauer and Justin Morneau in both 2006 and 2008.
Cruz, 39, played in 120 games and hit .311 (141-for-454) with 26 doubles, 41 home runs, 108 RBI, 81 runs scored, 56 walks and a 1.031 OPS – the best of his 15-year career and matching the Twins all-time record. His home run and RBI totals, all collected as a DH, set Twins single-season records for the position. Cruz ranked second in the American League in OPS and slugging percentage (.639), tied for third in home runs, sixth in batting average and seventh in RBI, joining Boston’s J.D. Martinez as the only two players to rank in the top-10 for all three AL Triple Crown categories. He also joined Hank Aaron (1963) and Barry Bonds (2003 and 2004) as the only three players in baseball history to hit 40 homers at age 39-or-older.
Garver, 28, played in 93 games overall and finished the season with a .273 batting average (85-for-311), 16 doubles, one triple, 31 home runs, 67 RBI, 70 runs scored and a .995 OPS – the sixth-best ever by a Twin with at least 350 plate appearances. He led all major league catchers with a club-record 30 home runs at the position and topped American League backstops with 65 RBI.
The Louisville Slugger® Silver Slugger™ Award winners are decided by a vote of MLB managers and coaches who select the players they determine to be the best offensive producers at each position in the American and National Leagues. Selections are based on a combination of offensive statistics, including batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, as well as the managers’ and coaches’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value. The accounting firm of Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP verified the tabulation of balloting.