CLEVELAND — The season may have not ended the way the Indians and their fans wanted, but there was one thing everyone could agree was a bright spot to the year.
First baseman Carlos Santana returned to Cleveland in 2019 after spending the previous campaign in Philadelphia. The 33-year-old spent his first eight big league seasons with the Tribe before signing a three-year contract with the Phillies during the 2017-18 offseason, only to return last December as part of a three-team trade.
Happy to be back where he felt he belonged, Santana became the Indians' most-consistent hitter. On Thursday, he was rewarded for his efforts with the honor of the American League's Silver Slugger Award for first basemen.
The Silver Sluggers are voted by coaches and managers throughout Major League Baseball for each position in each league, with the American League giving an award for designated hitters and the National League handing one out to pitchers. All 18 winners each year receive a 3-foot trophy with a silver replica of a Louisville Slugger baseball bat.
Santana more than earned his trophy, setting career-highs in batting average (.281), OPS (.911), runs scored (110), RBIs (93), and bWAR (4.5) to go with 34 home runs and 108 walks. He was, at times, the only bat the Tribe could count on in a lineup that was often spotty, and was even elected to his first All-Star team (held at Cleveland's Progressive Field) as the AL's starter at first base.
Santana is the 18th different Indians player to win a Silver Slugger since the award's inception in 1980, and the first to do so as a first baseman.