The annual Silver Slugger finalists have been announced by Louisville Slugger, and while it's a typical who's who of standout hitters grouped at their fielding positions, there's no doubt that it's what they do at home plate that matters.
After all, Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner is listed asa second baseman -- a position he has played in one game over the past six seasons, and that was in 2019. Turner appeared at third base 143 times in 2021, and has no record of playing at second.
It's an odd situation for an award whose aim is to designate the top offensive player at each position, but probably speaks to the "fantasy eligibility" of the modern game.
Per the award's own guidelines, "Silver Slugger Award winners are decided by votes from the manager and three coaches of each MLB team. Votes are based on a combination of statistical production as well as the managers' and coaches' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value."
The decision to slide Turner over could have been a simple oversight in voting, or it could have been to accommodate an extra player at third. The National League's four listed players at third base are the Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley (.303, 33 home runs), the San Diego Padres' Manny Machado (.278, 106 RBI), the St. Louis Cardinals' Nolan Arenado (34 home runs, 105 RBI) and the Chicago Cubs' Patrick Wisdom (28 home runs) -- all four of whom had strong seasons.
Turner, 36, hit .278 this season with 87 RBI and 27 home runs.
Four teams had five players represented, including this year's World Series participants Atlanta and the Houston Astros. The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees also had five finalists.
The winners will be announced Nov. 11.
1B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays), Yuli Gurriel (Astros), Matt Olson (Oakland A's)
2B: Marcus Semien (Blue Jays), Jose Altuve (Astros), DJ LeMahieu (Yankees), Jorge Polanco (Twins)
3B: Rafael Devers (Red Sox), Jose Ramirez (Cleveland Indians), Kyle Seager (Mariners)
SS: Carlos Correa (Astros), Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox), Tim Anderson (White Sox), Bo Bichette (Blue Jays)
OF: Cedric Mullins (Orioles), Teoscar Hernandez (Blue Jays), Aaron Judge (Yankees), Kyle Tucker (Astros), Mitch Haniger (Mariners), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Blue Jays), Hunter Renfroe (Red Sox), Randy Arozarena (Rays)
C: Salvador Perez (Royals), Mike Zunino (Rays), Gary Sanchez (Yankees)
DH: Shohei Ohtani (Angels), Yordan Alvarez (Astros), Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees), Joey Gallo (Yankees), Nelson Cruz (Rays)
1B: Freddie Freeman (Braves), Joey Votto (Reds), Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals), Max Muncy (Dodgers)
2B: Ozzie Albies (Braves), Jonathan India (Reds), Jake Cronenworth (Padres), Justin Turner (Dodgers)
3B: Austin Riley (Braves), Manny Machado (Padres), Nolan Arenado (Cardinals), Patrick Wisdom (Cubs)
SS: Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres), Brandon Crawford (Giants), Trea Turner (Dodgers), Willy Adames (Brewers)
OF: Juan Soto (Nationals), Nick Castellanos (Reds), Bryce Harper (Phillies), Bryan Reynolds (Pirates), Adam Duvall (Braves), Jesse Winker (Reds), Tyler O'Neill (Cardinals)
C: Buster Posey (Giants), Will Smith (Dodgers), J.T. Realmuto (Phillies), Omar Narvaez (Brewers)
P: German Marquez (Rockies), Max Fried (Braves), Jacob deGrom (Mets), Madison Bumgarner (Diamondbacks)
--Field Level Media