Juan Soto was honored as a Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award winner for National League outfielders on Thursday night. Louisville Slugger made the announcement on MLB Network.
Soto, 22, paced all of Major League Baseball in on-base percentage (.490), slugging percentage (.695) and OPS (1.185). According to FanGraphs.com, he also led Major League Baseball in weighted runs created plus (200) and weighted on-base average (.478). Despite missing 13 games, Soto also ranked in the National League in intentional walks (1st, 12), walks (4th, 41), FanGraphs.com WAR (9th, 2.4), runs scored (T12th, 39), and home runs (T14th, 13).
“Congratulations to Juan on his first Silver Slugger Award and his incredible 2020 season as a whole,” said Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo. “He continues to show that he is one of the top offensive players in Major League Baseball. This well-deserved honor is another addition to his growing list of tremendous accomplishments.”
“I am so happy to win this award,” Soto said. “Thank you to the opposing managers and coaches who voted for me. I am proud to be a part of this year’s talented group of award winners. I want to thank Dave Martinez, Kevin Long, Pat Roessler, Troy Gingrich and the rest of the staff for working with me and pushing me to be the best I can be. I also want to thank my family who is there to support me each and every day.”
In addition to this award, Soto secured the National League batting title, finishing the season with a .351 batting average. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, at 21 years old, he became the youngest player to win the National League batting title in Major League history (since 1900). Elias also noted that - prior to Soto - since 1900, the youngest player to win the National League batting title was Pete Reiser in 1941 (22 years, 195 days).
Soto was named National League Player of the Week on Aug. 17, following a week in which he hit .462 (12-for-26) with one double, five home runs, 12 RBI, three walks, one stolen base and 12 runs scored in seven games.
On Aug. 12 at New York (NL), he recorded his first multi-home run game of the season and the sixth of his career. He put together his second multi-homer game of 2020 and the seventh of his career on Aug. 31 at Philadelphia. His seven career multi-home run games sit behind only Hall of Famer Mel Ott (8) for the most multi-home run games before turning 22 years old.
Nationals to win Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards (2005-2020):
* 2006: OF Alfonso Soriano
* 2009: 3B Ryan Zimmerman
* 2010: 3B Ryan Zimmerman
* 2012: SS Ian Desmond, 1B Adam LaRoche, P Stephen Strasburg
* 2013: SS Ian Desmond
* 2014: SS Ian Desmond, 3B Anthony Rendon
* 2015: OF Bryce Harper
* 2016: 2B Daniel Murphy, C Wilson Ramos
* 2017: 2B Daniel Murphy
* 2019: 3B Anthony Rendon
* 2020: OF Juan Soto