On Thursday night, November 5, Washington Nationals Outfielder Juan Soto won his first-ever Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award winner for National League outfielders.
Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo was quoted as saying: “Congratulations to Juan on his first Silver Slugger Award and his incredible 2020 season as a whole. He continues to show that he is one of the top offensive players in Major League Baseball. This well-deserved honor is another addition to his growing list of tremendous accomplishments.”
“I am so happy to win this award,” Soto said. “Thank you to the opposing managers and coaches who voted for me. I am proud to be a part of this year’s talented group of award winners. I want to thank Dave Martinez, Kevin Long, Pat Roessler, Troy Gingrich, and the rest of the staff for working with me and pushing me to be the best I can be. I also want to thank my family who is there to support me each and every day.”
In addition to this award, Soto secured the National League batting title, finishing the season with a .351 batting average. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, at 21 years old, he became the youngest player to win the National League batting title in Major League history (since 1900). Elias also noted that — before Soto — since 1900, the youngest player to win the National League batting title was Pete Reiser in 1941 (22 years, 195 days).
Soto, who is only 22, paced all of Major League Baseball in on-base percentage (.490), slugging percentage (.695) and OPS (1.185). According to FanGraphs.com, he also led Major League Baseball in weighted runs created plus (200) and weighted on-base average (.478). Despite missing 13 games, Soto also ranked in the National League in intentional walks (1st, 12), walks (4th, 41), FanGraphs.com WAR (9th, 2.4), runs scored (T12th, 39), and home runs (T14th, 13).
Juan Soto becomes the fifteen Washington National to win the Silver Slugger Award from 2005. He joins Nationals such as Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy, Bryce Harper, and Stephen Strasburgh to win the award.