2018 continues to be a banner year for Nick Markakis. After earning his first career All-Star game appearance and his first Gold Glove award since the 2014 season, Markakis can add another first to his resume following the 2018 season: Silver Slugger.
The 2018 Silver Slugger awards have been announced and Nick Markakis is one of the three NL outfielders to receive recognition for their efforts with the bat over this past season. Markakis finished the season hitting .297/.366/.440 with 114 wRC+, an OPS+ of 117 and 14 home runs as well. It was a solid season at the plate for Markakis and as I noted in the review of his 2018 season, it was his best season at the plate since the prime of his career and easily his best season as an Atlanta Braves hitter.
Still, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher when you compare his numbers with the rest of the league’s top outfield hitters. You could even make a solid argument that Markakis probably wouldn’t have won the Silver Slugger just for the Atlanta Braves roster alone, as the nod probably would have gone to Ronald Acuña Jr. had he been eligible. However, that wasn’t the case, and the coaches and managers across baseball felt that Markakis’ work in 2018 was enough to merit an award.
If we were going by what Markakis did in the first half of the season, then it would be a no-brainer. His second half was extremely underwhelming but apparently not enough to deny the 34-year-old of his first career Silver Slugger award. Either way, it’s nice to see the unassuming vet continue to rack up the hardware and earn some recognition that he hasn’t received for most of his career.
Here are the rest of the award winners. As it turns out, Markakis was one of six first-time winners and all of them were in the National League. He was also the oldest player to win the award this season.
2018 AMERICAN LEAGUE SILVER SLUGGER AWARD WINNERS
1B: Jose Abreu (Chicago White Sox)
2B: Jose Altuve (Houston Astros)
3B: Jose Ramirez (Cleveland Indians)
SS: Francisco Lindor (Cleveland Indians)
C: Salvador Perez (Kansas City Royals)
OF: Mookie Betts (Boston Red Sox)
OF: Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels)
OF and DH: J.D. Martinez (Boston Red Sox)
2018 NATIONAL LEAGUE SILVER SLUGGER AWARD WINNERS
1B: Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks)
2B: Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs)
3B: Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies)
SS: Trevor Story (Colorado Rockies)
C: J.T. Realmuto (Miami Marlins)
OF: Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers)
OF: David Peralta (Arizona Diamondbacks)
OF: Nick Markakis (Atlanta Braves)
P: German Marquez (Colorado Rockies)