The hitters who occupied the top three spots in the Orioles’ lineup more than anyone else are all Silver Slugger Award finalists.
On Thursday, catcher Adleyrutschman, infielder Gunnar Henderson and outfielder Anthony Santander were named American League finalists, an award that recognizes the best offensive player at each position. Henderson, who split his time at shortstop and third base, is a finalist for the Utility Award.
The Silver Slugger winners will be announced next Thursday during a 6 p.m. broadcast on MLB Network.
In his first full major league season, the 25-year-oldrutschman hit .277 with 20 home runs, an .809 OPS and 92 walks against 101 strikeouts. rutschman led the other finalists, Salvador Perez of Kansas City and Cal Raleigh of Seattle, in hits, doubles, walks, average, on-base percentage and OPS.
The first draft pick of 2019 is also a finalist for the AL’s Gold Glove Award for catchers. The only Orioles catcher to win a Silver Slugger was Mickey Tettleton in 1989.
Henderson had a slow start to his rookie year before taking off. The 22-year-old finished the year with 28 home runs, tied with Cal Ripken Jr. for the second-most by an Orioles rookie, with a .255 average and an OPS of .814.
His fellow candidates are Brandon Drury of Los Angeles, Isaac Paredes of Tampa Bay and Whit Merrifield of Toronto. Henderson ranked second among them in home runs and OPS, trailing Paredes in both metrics. The utility award was introduced last year; The last time an Orioles infielder received the Silver Slugger was in 2013, when first baseman Chris Davis and shortstop JJ Hardy both won.
The 29-year-old Santander is a finalist in the outfield for the second straight year, joining Randy Arozarena of Tampa Bay, Adolis García of Texas, Aaron Judge of New York, Luis Robert Jr. of Chicago, Julio Rodríguez of Seattle and Kyle Tucker of Houston at. Three will be named winners, with no separation based on a specific outfield position.
Santander led the Orioles with 95 RBIs, while Henderson’s 28 homers tied for the team lead, but in that regard he ranks outside the top three among outfield finalists. Cedric Mullins was a Silver Slugger winner in 2021 after his 30-home run, 30-steal season, while Mark Trumbo (2016) and Adam Jones (2013) also won the honor as Orioles outfielders.