Cardinals: The best Silver Slugger performances at each position.

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 07: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals high fives coaches and teammates during a pre-game ceremony prior to Game One of the NL Wild Card Series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium on October 7, 2022 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 07: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals high fives coaches and teammates during a pre-game ceremony prior to Game One of the NL Wild Card Series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium on October 7, 2022 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images) /
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DENVER – SEPTEMBER 19: Shortstop Edgar Renteria #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
DENVER – SEPTEMBER 19: Shortstop Edgar Renteria #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

Third Base: Albert Pujols – 2001

The Cardinals have three players who have won the Silver Slugger award. Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, and Nolan Arenado.

What was surprising to me, is Rolen only won one Silver Slugger Award while in St. Louis. In fact, it was the only one in his career. In 2002, Rolen hit a slash line of .266/..357/.503 with a with an OPS+ of 129. He slugged 31 HR and had 110 RBIs between Philadelphia and St. Louis. After he was traded to the Cardinals on July 29th, he had a OPS of .915 and an OPS+ of 139 in 55 games.

We’ve  just finished watching Arenado’s incredible 2022 and winning his 5th Silver Slugger Award.  His right handed bat hit a slash line of .293/.358/.533 with a 154 OPS+. Arenado also smashed 30 HR and knocked in 103 RBIs, in winning his first Silver Slugger Award as a Cardinal.

Still, the best Silver Slugger Award performance at third for a Cardinal was Pujols’ 2001 season. This surprised me, because some of us forget Albert did play third base early in his career. His right handed bat hit a slash line of .329/.403/.610 with a 157 OPS+.  He slugged 37 HR and brought in 130 RBIs, which also contributed to him being named the NL Rookie of the Year.

We should keep in mind, in his early years with the Cardinals, Pujols played several positions. But in 2001, third base was considered his primary position.

Shortstop: Edgar Renteria – 2003

The St. Louis Cardinals have won three Silver Slugger Awards between two players. Ozzie Smith won one in 1987, and Edgar Renteria won two in 2002 and 2003..

Ozzie first came to the Cardinals as a defense first type of player. But by 1987, he was a pretty good offensive weapon for Whitey Herzog’s Cardinals. Ozzie hit a slash line of .303/.392/.383 with an OPS+ of 105. The switch hitter managed to drive in 75 runs without an home run. But one of assets Ozzie brought to the 80s Cardinals offense was his speed. In 1987 he stole 43 bases.

Ozzie is a Cardinal institution and legend, but Edgar Renteria’s 2002 and 2003 seasons were better. Especially 2003. In 2003, the right handed Renteria had a career year. He hit a slash line of .330/.394/.480 with an OPS+ of 130. Although he only hit 13 HR, he knocked in 100 runs.

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