Cardinals: The best Silver Slugger performances at each position.
The St. Louis Cardinals have won 23 Silver Slugger Award since 1980. But who are the best at each position?
The Silver Slugger Award has been awarded annually since 1980 at each position in both the National League and American League. The managers and coaches of Major League Baseball determine the winners after considering offensive statistics such as batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, home runs, and RBIs.
These managers and coaches are not allowed to vote for players on their respective teams.
The St. Louis Cardinals have had Silver Slugger Award winners at seven positions, for a total of 23 since the award has been introduced. Multiple Awards have been won at each of these positions, with exception of second base, where there has only been one.
In 2022, MLB required both Leagues to award Silver Slugger Awards at DH and Utility. The pitcher award, which had been exclusive to the National League, is no longer awarded.
Here, in my opinion, are the best Cardinal Silver Slugger Award winners at each position..
Pitcher: Bob Forsch – 1987
The St. Louis Cardinal pitchers have earned 4 Silver Slugger Awards, with Bob Forsch earning two, Jason Marquis and Adam Wainwright both earning one.
Marquis earned his in 2005, hitting a slash line of .310/.326/.460, with 1 HR,10 RBI, and a OPS+ of 103. Wainwright earned his in 2017, hitting a slash line of ..262/.279/.452, with 2 HR,11 RBI, and a OPS+ of 89.
However, Bob Forsch was probably the finest hitting pitcher the Cardinals ever had since I’ve been watching this team. Forsch earned his first Silver Slugger Award in1980 by hitting a slash line of .295/.313/..474, with 3 HR, 10 RBI, and a OPS+ of 114.
But it was Forsch’s 1987 season that best of bunch. The right handed 34-year old hit a slash line of .298/.333/.509 with an OPS + of 118, along with 2 HR and * RBI.
Catcher: Ted Simmons – 1980
The Cardinal catchers have earned 2 Silver Slugger Awards, with Ted Simmons and Yadier Molina both earning one.
We may forget what a good hitter Molina was at one point in his stellar career. In 2013, Yadi may have had his best year. Not only did he win his sixth consecutive Gold Glove and made his fifth straight All-Star appearance, he won the Silver Slugger Award.
His right handed bat hit a slash line of .319/..359/..477 with a 129 OPS+. He also added 12 HR and 80 RBI to the Cardinals offense during their 2013 World Series run. During the postseason, Molina hit an OPS of .929 during the NLDS against the Pirates, and had a BA of .304 during the World Series against the Red Sox.
Nevertheless, it was Ted Simmons 1980 Silver Slugger season that was the best of the two. The switch hitting Simmons, smashed 21 HR in cavernous Busch Stadium and had 98 RBI. His slash line in 1980 was .303/..375/.505 with a 141 OPS+.
Interestingly enough, as good as Simmons’ 1980 season was, it probably wasn’t his best. offensive performance while in St. Louis. He had more RBIs in ’74 (103) and ’75 (100) while wearing the Birds on the Bat, and had a higher OPS+ in ’75 (142), ’77 (144), and ’78 (148).
In fact, it’s a wonder, he won only one Silver Slugger Award during his Hall of Fame career.