MLB award season is trickling in slowly, and the San Francisco Giants are finally getting involved. After being shut out of the Gold Glove Award nominations, the Giants have two nominees for the Silver Slugger Award, given out to the best hitters at each position.
Lefty slugger Joc Pederson was nominated for the outfield (it’s not separated by outfield position, there are just three outfielders from each league), while righty Thairo Estrada was nominated for the role of utility player, which is a new position designation for this season.
Pederson had a career year, slashing .274/.353/.521 with 23 home runs ... that was the highest batting average and on-base percentage of his career, and the third-highest slugging percentage (though some of this is due to being used almost exclusively as a platoon player). It added up to career highs in OPS+ and wRC+, with a 144 mark in each category, and earned him a second career All-Star appearance.
He’s up against Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers), Kyle Schwarber (Philadelphia Phillies), Juan Soto (San Diego Padres), Starling Marte (New York Mets), Michael Harris II (Atlanta Braves), Bryan Reynolds (Pittsburgh Pirates), Hunter Renfroe (Milwaukee Brewers), and Brandon Nimmo (New York Mets).
Estrada also had a career year, in which he established himself as a part of the Giants core. In his first full season — he had less than half as many plate appearances in his first three MLB seasons combined as he did in 2022 — he hit .260/.322/.402 with 14 home runs. That resulted in an OPS+ of 104, and a wRC+ of 107.
With time spent at five different positions — second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and center field — Estrada earned the nomination as a utility player. He’s up against Brandon Drury (Padres), Tommy Edman (St. Louis Cardinals), Jeff McNeil (Mets), and Chris Taylor (Dodgers).
If Pederson or Estrada wins, it will mark the third straight season with a Giant winning the award, as Buster Posey won at the catcher position in 2021, while Donovan Solano won at second base in 2020.
Here are the rest of the nominees in the National League.
First base — Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals), Freddie Freeman (Dodgers), Pete Alonso (Mets), Matt Olson (Braves), and Christian Walker (Arizona Diamondbacks).
Second base: McNeil, Jake Cronenworth (Padres), Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks), Kolten Wong (Brewers), and Brendan Rodgers (Colorado Rockies).
Third base: Manny Machado (Padres), Nolan Arenado (Cardinals), Austin Riley (Braves), and Justin Turner (Dodgers).
Shortstop: Trea Turner (Dodgers), Willy Adames (Brewers), Francisco Lindor (Mets), and Dansby Swanson (Braves).
Catcher: Will Smith (Dodgers), J.T. Realmuto (Phillies), Willson Contreras (Chicago Cubs), and Travis d’Arnaud (Braves).
Designated hitter: Josh Bell (Padres), Albert Pujols (Cardinals), Luke Voit (Washington Nationals), Justin Turner, Charlie Blackmon (Rockies), and Bryce Harper (Nationals [nominated, but ineligible to win due to games played]).