Molina, Carpenter win Silver Slugger Awards

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

For the first time since 2010, the Cardinals have a Silver Slugger Award winner. Actually, they have two. On Wednesday, catcher Yadier Molina and second baseman Matt Carpenter each became first-time Silver Slugger winners.

The Silver Slugger Award, which has been given annually since 1980, recognizes the player who managers and coaches vote as the best offensively at each position in each league. Managers/coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. Winners receive a three-foot tall bat-shaped, silver trophy.

Of all NL catchers with at least 250 plate appearances, Molina ranked first in batting average (.319), slugging percentage (.476), OPS (.836), doubles (44), runs scored (67) and RBIs (76). No catcher since Ivan Rodriguez in 1996 had tallied more doubles than Molina did in 2013.

Carpenter had a breakout season in his first year as the Cardinals second baseman. With 55 doubles, Carpenter broke Rogers Hornsby’s franchise record for doubles by a second baseman and Stan Musial’s franchise record for doubles by a left-handed hitter.

The first-time All-Star led the Majors in runs (126), hits (199), doubles, multi-hit games (63) and three-hit games (18). He was clearly the top of the NL’s second base class and also led that group in extra-base hits (73), triples (seven), slugging percentage (.489), on-base percentage (.392) and OPS (.879).

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