Ryan Braun missed out on the Hank Aaron award and the prevailing opinion is he’ll miss out on the MVP, but at least he’ll take away one piece of hardware from the 2012 season: Braun won his fifth consecutive Silver Slugger award Thursday.
Looking at the list of National League Silver Slugger winners, Braun joins a very small group of NL outfielders to win five in a row — although you’ll have to forgive the Brewers if they don’t want to draw attention to who else has done it. Sammy Sosa accomplished the feat by winning five in a row from 1998 to 2002. Barry Bonds did it twice: 1990-1994 and 2000-2004.
Aramis Ramirez missed out on his second straight Silver Slugger at third base, as San Diego’s Chase Headley took that honor this year. This is the first time since 2009 that the Brewers only have one winner. The Brewers have had at least one winner every year since 2007, when Prince Fielder took home his first.
Like the Gold Gloves, the Silver Sluggers are voted on by coaches and managers, not the BBWAA. Braun winning again shows that the league’s coaches still view him as a dangerous bat, even if there are some that have lingering doubts about what went on last season.
Braun hit .319/.391/.595 in 154 games this season, putting up a .413 wOBA and racking up 7.9 fWAR. His fWAR was third-highest in baseball, behind Mike Trout (10.0) and Buster Posey (8.0). His wOBA was second only to Miguel Cabrera (.417). He also became the first Brewer to ever put up back-to-back 30-30 seasons and was the first Brewers outfielder since Ben Oglivie (1980) to hit 40 home runs in a season.