Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson have usually been paired collectively.
They have been the Orioles’ first two picks within the 2019 draft, the group’s first below govt vp and common supervisor Mike Elias, and subsequently roomed collectively within the Florida Complex League. They have been consecutively ranked as Baseball America’s No. 1 general prospect. In greater than a 3rd of Baltimore’s video games this season, they occupied the highest two spots within the lineup.
On Thursday, the Orioles’ phenoms have been each named first-time recipients of Silver Slugger Awards, recognizing the highest offensive performers at every place in every league. Rutschman was the American League’s top-hitting catcher, whereas Henderson, who break up his standout rookie yr between shortstop and third base, obtained the AL’s utility Silver Slugger. It’s Baltimore’s first season with a number of winners since 2013 and marks the sixth such case in franchise historical past.
Rutschman, 25, joins Mickey Tettleton in 1989 as the one Orioles catchers to win a Silver Slugger. The 2019 No. 1 general choose hit .277/.374/.435 with 20 dwelling runs, 80 RBIs and 92 walks in opposition to 101 strikeouts to comply with up a 2022 season during which he was the runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year. A switch-hitter, he raised his OPS in opposition to left-handed pitchers from .552 in his rookie season to .895 this yr, hitting six dwelling runs from the suitable aspect after managing just one in 2022.
In 2023, Rutschman led all AL catchers in FanGraphs’ model of wins above alternative, weighted runs created plus, video games performed, plate appearances, batting common, on-base share, OPS, runs, walks and doubles. Only six certified main league hitters at any place posted a greater strikeout-to-walk ratio than Rutschman, whose information of the strike zone has benefited him and the Orioles on each side of the ball.
Despite the defensive calls for of his place, he constantly occupied one of many prime two spots in Baltimore’s batting order; Rutschman’s 681 plate appearances within the higher third of the lineup tied for the tenth most within the majors, with Will Smith of the National League’s Los Angeles Dodgers being the one different main catcher with at the very least 500.
Henderson, 22, was usually alongside him. He struggled within the first two months of the season however stood out throughout the following 4, filling the stat sheet to determine himself because the front-runner to be AL Rookie of the Year and develop into the thirteenth rookie to win a Silver Slugger for the reason that awards have been launched in 1980.
In 150 video games, Henderson slashed .255/.325/.489 with 29 doubles, 9 triples, 28 dwelling runs, 82 RBIs and 10 steals. Despite his sluggish begin — Henderson was batting .199 on May 29 — Henderson ended the season ranked 14th amongst AL hitters in fWAR, trailing solely Rutschman amongst Orioles. He was voted Most Valuable Oriole, the second straight yr a rookie received the native honor after Rutschman did so in 2022.
Henderson has been named the AL’s prime rookie by the Major League Baseball Players Association, Sporting News and Baseball Digest. He’s anticipated to be named the official AL Rookie of the Year on Monday; an Oriole hasn’t received the glory since Gregg Olson in 1989.
Baltimore’s Anthony Santander joined Rutschman and Henderson as Silver Slugger finalists however was not among the many three winners within the outfield as voted by managers and coaches all through the league. Regardless, the Orioles have been one in every of three groups with a number of Silver Slugger recipients, together with the Atlanta Braves (Ronald Acuña Jr., Matt Olson, Austin Riley) and World Series champion Texas Rangers (Corey Seager, Marcus Semien).
Rutschman and Henderson be part of Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. (1983 and 1984); Ripken and Tettleton (1989); Melvin Mora and Miguel Tejada (2004); and Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones (2013) as Orioles teammates to win Silver Slugger Awards in the identical season.