Hardware: Anthony Rizzo and Jake Arrieta Are Silver Sluggers

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Hardware: Anthony Rizzo and Jake Arrieta Are Silver Sluggers

Chicago Cubs

The Silver Slugger awards were handed out tonight for stellar offensive performance at each position in 2016, and the Chicago Cubs had two winners, though they may or may not be the two you would have expected.

Anthony Rizzo took home his first Silver Slugger for a huge year at first base. Jake Arrieta also netted his first Silver Slugger for being the most pitchers-who-rake-type-guy in the NL this year.

Rizzo hit .292/.385/.544 this year with a 145 wRC+ (third best for NL first basemen). He hit 32 homers, drove in 109, and was generally awesome. You could have made an argument for Joey Votto or Freddie Freeman here, but it’s close.

Arrieta hit .262/.304/.415, and his 91 wRC+ was best in the NL. Adam Wainwright might have an argument here based on his similar wOBA (.305 to .310) and wRC+ (89) and more RBI (18 to 7), but we’d kinda be picking nits. Arrieta was deserving, and also hit one of the Cubs’ longest homers of the year (and also hit another in the regular season, and hit one in the playoffs).

The guy you might be wondering about is Kris Bryant, whose 149 wRC+ led the NL at third base by a country mile. Bryant lost out to Nolan Arenado (124 wRC+), who had an inferior slash line, but bested Bryant in homers (41 to 39) and RBI (133 to 102). For that reason, I won’t gripe too much about the award, but I will say that if you put Kris Bryant in Coors Field for half his games, he might hit 60 homers and drive in 150. So, you know.

The full list of Silver Slugger winners is here at MLB.com.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.