The Dominican Republic was unable to surpass the record set in 2020 with the Silver Bat award, however, it managed to obtain five winners of the award that recognizes the best hitters at each position throughout the Major League Baseball season.
In the National League, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto won the award at the shortstop and outfielder positions, respectively. For both, it is the second consecutive time they have won the award, joining Ronald Acuña Jr., Mike Trout and Fernando Valenzuela as the only hitters in history to win multiple Silver Bats before their 23rd birthday.
Tatis Jr. played 130 games during the season, finishing as the “Old Circuit” home run leader with 42, a .282 batting average and a .975 OPS. He also contributed 97 runs batted in and 99 runs scored, as well as 25 stolen bases and 292 total bases, despite several trips to the injured list as a result of a shoulder injury.
For his part, Soto was the MLB leader in bases on balls with a total of 145, 23 of them intentional, where he also led the league. Likewise, he dominated in OBP (.465). He batted for an average of .313 along with an OPS of .999, 29 homers, 95 RBI and 111 runs scored. Soto finished the year with 268 total bases and an OPS+ of 175.
Both are finalists for the National League Most Valuable Player award.
On the “Young Circuit” side, another MVP finalist joins them as a recipient of his first Silver Slugger. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. won the award as first baseman in the American League. He led MLB in runs scored (123), home runs along with Salvador Perez (48) and total bases (363). He led the American League in OBP (.401), SLG (.601), OPS (1.002) and OPS+ (169), along with a .311 batting average and 111 runs batted in.
Guerrero Jr. was joined by another teammate with a Silver Bat award, outfielder Teoscar Hernández. “El Chino” won his second consecutive award, following an impressive 2021. He hit 32 home runs to the tune of a .296 batting average, which was accompanied by an OPS of .822. He drove in 116 runs and scored 92 times.
The last Dominican to win the award was Rafael Devers, who won a Silver Bat for the first time in his career. The Boston Red Sox shortstop finished with a .279 batting average, a .352 OBP and a .538 SLG, good for an OPS of .809. He fired 38 homers (personal best) and towed 113 runs, leading both departments among third basemen in 2021.
The rest of the winners
In the American League: Marcus Semien (second base), Xander Bogaerts (shortstop), Salvador Pérez (catcher), Shohei Ohtani (designated hitter) and outfielders Aaron Judge and Cedric Mullins.
In the National League: Freddie Freeman (first base), Ozzie Albies (second base), Austin Riley (third base), Buster Posey (catcher), Max Fried (pitcher) and outfielders Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos.