In a statement included in the announcement on Juan Soto winning a Silver Slugger award for the second straight season last night, the Washington Nationals’ 23-year-old outfielder thanked a number of people he said helped him take home another trophy following a 2021 season in which he put up a .313/.465/.534 line with 20 doubles, two triples, 29 home runs, 145 walks, and 111 runs scored in 151 games and 654 plate appearances, over which he was worth 6.6 fWAR.
“I am so honored to win this award again and I am very proud to be included in this year’s group of winners,” Soto said in the Nationals’ press release on the award. “I want to thank my family who is always there to support me every day. I also want to thank my manager Dave Martinez, my hitting coaches Kevin Long and Pat Roessler and the rest of the staff for working with me and pushing me to be the best I can be. This award means a lot to me because it is voted on by opposing managers and coaches.
“I try to play the game the right way and having their respect means a lot to me.”
Soto, in his fourth big league campaign, “... led all [NL] outfielders in batting average (.313), on-base percentage (.465), runs scored (111), and walks (145), while ranking second in OPS (.999), and fourth in slugging percentage (.534),” the Nationals noted in their press release on their outfielder’s latest notable achievement, adding that in winning his second Silver Slugger award, Soto joined, “Ian Desmond (2012-14), Anthony Rendon (2014, 2019), Daniel Murphy (2016-17), and Ryan Zimmerman (2009-10) as the only players in Nationals’ history (2005-pres.) to win more than one Silver Slugger Award.”
“Congratulations to Juan on yet another incredible season and his second Silver Slugger Award,” GM and President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo said in the press release.
“He put together an MVP-caliber season, and is very deserving of all of the accolades that continue to come his way. He’s a pleasure to watch every day and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Juan Soto was the only @MLB hitter with more walks (145) than strikeouts (93) this season.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) November 12, 2021
Now he's got 2 @sluggernation Silver Sluggers to his name.
// https://t.co/SEyYNoYXaV pic.twitter.com/djOD7bKs7L
Soto’s MVP-caliber season did actually put him in the mix for the 2021 NL MVP award as well, a year after he finished fifth in the National League’s MVP voting, while leading the senior circuit with his .351 AVG in the 60-game COVID campaign.
He finished the 2021 season leading all, “... [NL] outfielders in batting average (.313), on-base percentage (.465), runs scored (111), and walks (145), while ranking second in OPS (.999) and fourth in slugging percentage (.534),” and Soto, “... ranked [2nd] among [all NL] hitters in OPS (.999), batting average (.313) and runs scored (111),” and, “... he was the only qualified player in Major League Baseball with more walks (145) than strikeouts (93).”
We’ll find out if Soto adds any more trophies to his shelf (or wherever he keeps them) when the 2021 NL MVP winner is announced on the MLB Network on Thursday, November 18th.