Mitch and the Boomstick honored with Silver Slugger awards

Twins catcher Mitch Garver and designated hitter Nelson Cruz were honored Thursday with American League Silver Slugger awards at their respective positions. The awards go to the top offensive players at each position and are voted on by American League coaches and managers.

The 28-year-old Garver hit .273/.365/.630 with 31 home runs and 67 RBIs in 93 games and 311 at-bats this season in helping the Twins win their first American League Central title since 2010. His home run total set a single-season mark for Twins catchers and led all major league backstops.

The 39-year-old Cruz, who signed as a free agent with the Twins last winter, hit .311/.392/.639 with 41 homers and 108 RBIs in 120 games and 454 at-bats. Cruz joined Hank Aaron (1963) and Barry Bonds (2003 and 2004) as the only three players in baseball history to hit 40 homers at age 39-or-older.

Cruz has now won three Silver Slugger awards in his career — he also was honored in 2015 and 2017 while with Seattle — and joins Paul Molitor (1996) as the second Twins DH ever to win. Garver joins five-time Silver Slugger winner Joe Mauer as the only Twins catcher to earn the honor. This is the third time the Twins have had a pair of teammates be recognized with Silver Slugger awards in the same season. Mauer and Justin Morneau both won in 2006 and 2008.

The selections for the Silver Slugger are based on a combination of offensive statistics, including batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, as well as the managers’ and coaches’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value.