The Orioles ended their most cumbersome and painful streak this season, posting a winning record and making the playoffs for the first time since 1997, but they remain without a Louisville Silver Slugger Award over the last four years.
The winners were announced tonight on MLB Network, and none of the Orioles made the list.
Center fielder Adam Jones figured to have an outside chance after batting .287/.334/.505 with 39 doubles, three triples, 32 homers, 82 RBIs and 103 runs scored in 162 games. However, he finished behind Angels rookie Mike Trout, the Rangers' Josh Hamilton and the Twins' Josh Willingham.
Trout batted .326/.399/.564 with 27 doubles, eight triples, 30 homers, 83 RBIs and 129 runs scored in 139 games. Hamilton batted .285/.354/.577 with 31 doubles, two triples, 43 homers, 128 RBIs and 103 runs scored in 148 games. Willingham won his first Silver Slugger Award after batting .260/.366/.524 with 30 doubles, one triple, 35 homers, 110 RBIs and 85 runs scored in 145 games.
Trout also figures to be named the American League's Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. MLB Network will reveal the winners in both leagues on Monday. And Trout will find out Thursday whether he beat out the Tigers' Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, for AL Most Valuable Player.
Unlike the Gold Glove Awards, the Silver Slugger doesn't distinguish between outfield positions. Jones also was competing against left and right fielders.
MLB Network mentioned Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy as a candidate, but the Yankees' Derek Jeter won it. Hardy batted .238/.282/.389 with 30 doubles, two triples, 22 homers, 68 RBIs and 85 runs in 158 games. Jeter batted .316/.362/.429 with 32 doubles, 15 homers, 58 RBIs, 99 runs and a league-leading 216 hits in 159 games.
No Oriole has won a Silver Slugger Award, established in 1980 and voted by managers and coaches, since designated hitter Aubrey Huff in 2008. Shortstop Miguel Tejada won it in 2005, and Tejada and third baseman Melvin Mora won it in 2004. First baseman Rafael Palmeiro won it in 1998 and second baseman Robert Alomar won it in 1996. Cal Ripken won the last of his eight Silver Slugger Awards at shortstop in 1994.
Here's the list of 2012 winners in the American League:
C: A.J. Pierzynski CHI
1B: Prince Fielder DET
2B: Robinson Cano NY
SS: Derek Jeter NY
3B: Miguel Cabrera DET
OF: Mike Trout LA
OF: Josh Hamilton TEX
OF: Josh Willingham MIN
DH: Billy Butler KC