6 Atlanta Braves Who Could Win Silver Sluggers in 2023

We take a look at six Atlanta Braves hitters who are in contention to win an NL Silver Slugger in 2023.

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The Atlanta Braves have had a magical season. They have clinched a sixth-straight NL East title, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and are threatening the team home run record. They are virtually a lock to win the new team Silver Slugger Award because they have a roster full of guys who have a shot at individual Silver Sluggers. Let's take a look at the six Braves who could walk away with some Silver in 2023.

6. NL Silver Slugger - 1B, Matt Olson

Matt Olson and Freddie Freeman are both top-four finalists for the MVP this year. They will forever be connected after the Braves traded for Matt Olson as Freddie Freeman's replacement prior to 2022 when Freddie signed with the Dodgers.

This year, they have both dominated. Freeman has continued his legacy of excellence with a .331 batting average, 28 homers, 207 hits, 128 runs scored, 101 RBI, 23 stolen bases, a .410 OBBP, a .565 SLG, and a 161 OPS+.

Matt Olson has created his own legacy in Atlanta by breaking the Braves single-season franchise home run and RBI record. Olson has hit .281 with 54 homers, 136 RBI, a .387 OBP, and a .605 SLG. He has an OPS+ of 162.

Freeman has also established his own franchise record, racking up an incredible 58 doubles on the season. This is his second consecutive season to lead the league in doubles. How big of an accomplishment is Freeman's 60 doubles? Nobody has had 60 doubles in a season since Charlie Gehringer in 1936.

This Silver Slugger Award could go either way.

5. NL Silver Slugger - 3B, Austin Riley

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Austin Riley is in the midst of his third straight 30-homer season. He has an OPS+ of 129 on the year with a .282 average, .346 OBP, and a .519 slugging percentage. His 96 runs batted in are second among NL third basemen to Max Muncy's 105. He leads NL 3B in homers (37), hits (175), and games played (157). Austin has also added 30 doubles to his cause this season.

Austin is our favorite to win his second Silver Slugger this season. He leads all NL third basemen by a wide margin in Offensive Runs Above Average and wRC+. It's pretty clear that Riley's bat is the most silver of all the NL third basemen.

4. NL Silver Slugger - 2B, Ozzie Albies

Mookie Betts split duties between second base and RF this season, so if that allows us to disregard his candidacy, then Ozzie Albies has a chance. Albies is the top second baseman in Offensive Runs Above Average in 2023. Albies leads all NL second basemen (excluding Betts) in homers (33) and RBI (108). This is Albies' second 30-HR, 100-RBI season of his career.

Albies will have some stiff competition with Luis Arraez have a phenomenal season. Arraiez leads all NL second basemen in wRC+ (132), batting average (.354), and OPS (.861). Despite not being known for his power, Arraez slugged .469 on top of hitting .354. Arraez might have the edge but Ozzie's season is certainly worth noting.

3. NL Silver Slugger - C, Sean Murphy

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Sean Murphy has struggled in the second half. Even so, he has managed to ride his scorching-hot first half to some of the best overall offensive numbers at the catcher position in the NL this year. Murphy doesn't have enough playing time to qualify for a batting title thanks to his talented backup, Travis d'Arnaud. The Braves have the luxury of trying to keep him fresh.

Despite only registering 434 PAs, Murphy has the second-most homers among NL catchers with 21. His 68 RBI are fourth-best. The players ahead of him on the RBI list have a lot more plate appearances. William Contreras: 603, Will Smith: 460, and Elias Diaz: 523. Even so, Murphy's RBI totals are right there with the leaders.

So, his counting stats are AMONG the leaders but not necessarily leading. The thing that may give Murphy a shot is his per-plate appearance performance. Murphy led all NL catchers in OPS (.845) and wRC+ (129). The fact that he did play a lot fewer games than the rest of the catchers could be the thing that costs him the Silver Slugger but he still has his name in the hat with a solid first year in Atlanta.

2. NL Silver Slugger -RF, Ronald Acuna Jr.


I don't need to run through the accolades here. Acuna has had one of the greatest seasons in MLB history. He's going to win the MVP and it better be bundled with the Silver Slugger. While this one is an easy one, nobody would have guessed the final player at the beginning of the season.

1. NL Silver Slugger - DH, Marcell Ozuna

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You would not have guessed this one at the end of April! Marcell Ozuna has had an incredible bounceback season for the Braves. After the first month, he was hitting .085 with two homers and two RBI.

Somehow, Ozuna finds himself in contention for a Silver Slugger Award. Despite that atrocious first month, Ozuna has a .268 batting average, 37 homers, 93 RBI, and a 131 OPS+. How did he do that!?

Since the end of April, Ozuna has blasted 35 HR, 91 RBI, and slashed .292/.360/.580!

His 37 homers are second among NL DH's, trailing only Kyle Schwarber's 46. He's third in RBI, behind only Schwarber and J.D. Martinez. He is second to Bryce Harper in Offensive Runs Above Average with 22.9 and is second in SLG.

After an April that left fans calling for Ozuna to be traded, released, or made the team mascot, it's quite an accomplishment for him to get his name in the running for an NL Silver Slugger.

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