The Silver Slugger Awards are always a bit weird. The awards, voted on by coaches and managers across the league, are meant to recognize the top offensive performers at each position in both the American League and National League.
One caveat here is that outfielders are not divided up by position...they are all lumped together by the voters and the top three get the award. This makes a certain amount of sense although it does stink that a centerfielder is highly unlikely to win the award given this arrangement. The awards can also get really weird when it comes to guys that play multiple positions like Javier Baez, for example.
The Braves had a few very reasonable candidates for the award including Josh Donaldson, Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, and Ozzie Albies. Julio Teheran or Max Fried were possibilities at pitcher, but the pitching Silver Slugger always feels like a bit of a crapshoot and there were far better candidates there anyways.
Well the awards were given out and the Braves got three Silver Sluggers for the 2019 season.
Braves' Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies both join Acuña as first-time Silver Slugger Award winners. Wow. #Braves win 3 of the NL awards. Freeman beat out Pete Alonso and Josh Bell among NL 1B, one day after he won Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award for all MLB 1B.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) November 7, 2019
Freddie had to beat out Pete Alonso who had an incredible rookie season and Josh Bell who had a crazy first half, but felt like a decent bet to win this season nonetheless with less than spectacular campaigns from perennial contenders Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt. Ronald Acuna Jr. is one of the best young players in baseball period, so him getting a nod isn’t that surprising either. Ozzie Albies getting the win over Ketel Marte was a bit of a surprise given how good he was, but Marte was listed as a finalist for the outfield so it wasn’t a total snub.
As for Josh Donaldson not winning, well he had some really tough competition in Anthony Rendon, so it isn’t really a knock on him or the process that he didn’t take home the award.
The Braves were the only team in Major League Baseball to get three Silver Sluggers and the first time a Braves team has done it since 2003 when there was....well, a significantly different roster.