Quentin wins Silver Slugger Award
Outfielder put up career-best numbers in first season with White Sox
CHICAGO -- If not for a season-ending injury suffered by Carlos Quentin during the first game of September, his selection Thursday for one of the three Louisville Slugger's Silver Slugger Awards for AL outfielders might have been just the start of an exciting two weeks of individual honors.
Instead, the fracture in Quentin's right wrist will probably prevent the White Sox left fielder from finishing in at least the top two of the American League Most Valuable Player voting when results are announced on Nov. 18. Quentin appeared to be the odds-on MVP favorite heading into the season's final month.
Quentin's absence during the 2008 stretch run categorically does not take away from his breakout performance with the bat. Acquired from the Diamondbacks at the start of the 2007 Winter Meetings, Quentin finished with a .288 average, 36 home runs and 100 RBIs. He posted a .394 on-base percentage, which included being hit by a pitch an incredible 20 times to lead the AL. The 26-year-old also knocked out 26 doubles, scored 96 runs and produced a .571 slugging percentage.
2008 Silver Sluggers
|C||Joe Mauer, MIN|
|1B||Justin Morneau, MIN|
|2B||Dustin Pedroia, BOS|
|3B||Alex Rodriguez, NYY|
|SS||Derek Jeter, NYY|
|OF||Josh Hamilton, TEX|
|OF||Carlos Quentin, CWS|
|OF||Grady Sizemore, CLE|
|DH||Aubrey Huff, BAL|
|C||Brian McCann, ATL|
|1B||Albert Pujols, STL|
|2B||Chase Utley, PHI|
|3B||David Wright, NYM|
|SS||Hanley Ramirez, FLA|
|OF||Ryan Braun, MIL|
|OF||Matt Holliday, COL|
|OF||Ryan Ludwick, STL|
|P||Carlos Zambrano, CHC|
Joining Quentin as fellow 2008 AL Silver Slugger winners were Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer, Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau, Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Cleveland outfielder Grady Sizemore, Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton and Baltimore designated hitter Aubrey Huff. Carlos Zambrano represented the Cubs at pitcher among the National League honorees.
Louisville Slugger's Silver Slugger Award winners were determined by Major League Baseball coaches and managers who vote for the players they felt were the best offensive producers at each position in both the American and National League in 2008. Selections are based on a combination of offensive statistics, including batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, as well as the coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value.
Managers and coaches were not allowed to vote for players on their own team.
The specially designed Silver Slugger Award will be presented to each player by a representative of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., makers of Louisville Slugger, the official bat of Major League Baseball, in a ceremony early in the 2009 season. The trophy is three feet tall and bears the engraved name of the winner and his Silver Slugger teammates in his respective league. The Silver Slugger Award was instituted by H&B in 1980.
Simply put, Quentin was the most consistent offensive force from start to finish for the White Sox, earning him his first Silver Slugger Award, along with his first trip to the All-Star Game.
Quentin was injured during an at-bat against Cliff Lee, the AL Cy Young winner, who stood two outs away from win No. 20. Quentin fouled off the second pitch from Lee, and, in frustration, punched the bat with his right hand.
About 40 minutes later, Quentin knew there was a problem.
"What did happen, it's kind of unfortunate and something that, geez, I still have trouble believing it happened that way," said Quentin, speaking to a group of media in the White Sox dugout days after the injury. "Something I've done thousands of times since I was a kid.
"I kind of hit down on the bat head with my right hand, closed fist. I hit it a little bit low, nicked my wrist. I woke up the next morning and that was that. It's something I've done a lot. Unfortunately, it hit the bone perfectly and not in a good spot."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.