Major League Baseball and Louisville Slugger tonight announced that GUNNAR HENDERSON (utility) and ADLEY RUTSCHMAN (catcher) have been named recipients of the 2023 American League Silver Slugger Award, the top offensive award in Major League Baseball. This marks the first career Silver Slugger Award for both players. Henderson becomes the first Orioles rookie to win the award in club history and the AL’s second-ever winner from the utility spot since the position’s addition in 2022. Rutschman joins MICKEY TETTLETON (1989) as the only Orioles backstops to earn the honor. Outfielder ANTHONY SANTANDER was tabbed as a finalist but was not selected as a winner.
Henderson, 22, batted .255/.325/.489 (143-for-560) with 29 doubles, nine triples, 28 home runs, 100 runs scored, 82 RBI, 56 walks (1 IBB), and 10 stolen bases in 150 games (143 starts) during his rookie campaign. From July 1 through the end of the regular season, he ranked among all AL infielders in runs (1st, 62), triples (2nd, 6), extra-base hits (T-2nd, 41), total bases (3rd, 169), hits (T-3rd, 88), RBI (4th, 52), doubles (18, T-5th), home runs (6th, 17), and slugging percentage (7th, .511). Henderson finished ahead of fellow AL finalists Brandon Drury (LAA), Whit Merrifield (TOR), and Isaac Paredes (TB).
Rutschman, 25, appeared in 154 games (149 starts), slashing .277/.374/.435 (163-for-588) with 31 doubles, one triple, 20 home runs, 84 runs scored, 80 RBI, 92 walks (6 IBB), and one steal. He appeared in 110 games (104 starts) at catcher and 46 games (45 starts) as the designated hitter; his 687 plate appearances were 76 more than any other MLB player who appeared in more than half of his games at catcher. Rutschman led AL backstops in nearly every offensive category, including batting average, on-base percentage, OPS (.809), hits, doubles, walks, total bases (256), times on base (257), and game-winning RBI (10). The Portland, Ore., native established himself as one of the game’s top players in 2023, making his first All-Star team and participating in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. Rutschman finished ahead of fellow AL finalists Salvador Perez (KC) and Cal Raleigh (SEA).
Baltimore was one of three MLB teams with multiple winners, along with Atlanta (Acuña, Jr., Olson, Riley) and Texas (Seager, Semien). Rutschman and Henderson become the fifth set of Orioles teammates to win the award in the same season, joining EDDIE MURRAY and CAL RIPKEN, JR. (1983 & 1984), Ripken, Jr. and Tettleton (1989), MELVIN MORA and MIGUEL TEJADA (2004), and CHRIS DAVIS, J.J. HARDY, and ADAM JONES (2013).
The Louisville Slugger Award winners are selected by a vote of MLB managers and coaches, who cast ballots for the players they determine to be the best offensive producers at each position in their respective league. Votes are based on a combination of offensive statistics including OBP, OPS, OPS+, home runs, hits, RBI, and batting average, as well as the managers’ and coaches’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value. Louisville Slugger has presented the Silver Slugger Awards annually since 1980.