DETROIT — The 2014 Major League Baseball Silver Slugger Awards were handed out Thursday night and Victor Martinez took home the hardware for American League Designated Hitters. Miguel Cabrera, a five-time Silver Slugger Award winner, did not win the award for the first time since 2011. It marks the fifth consecutive year a member of the Tigers has taken home a Silver Slugger Award.
Martinez had won the award before, in 2004 as a catcher with the Cleveland Indians, but this is the first time he's won it at DH. Martinez put together one of the most impressive seasons in MLB in 2014, earning his fifth All-Star nod (though he did not play due to an injury at the time) where he led the AL with a .409 on-base percentage. He also led all of MLB with a .974 OPS and intentional walks with 28, a career-high.
Martinez finished the season with a career-high 32 home runs and recorded 103 RBI and 33 doubles, both which were second only to Cabrera. Martinez also had a career-high .565 slugging percentage and drew 70 walks while striking out just 42 times, the lowest in MLB batters with 120-or-more plate appearances. His 5.6 oWAR was eighth in the AL and his .335 batting average was second in MLB only to Astros' Jose Altuve, who finished with an MLB-leading .341 batting average.
Miguel Cabrera had the worst season of his career since 2008, yet half-hobbled he finished with 25 home runs, a respectable .313 batting average, and an AL-leading 52 doubles. However, it wasn't enough for him to take his third consecutive Silver Slugger Award.
Cabrera lost out to the White Sox's first baseman, Jose Abreu, who hit .317, 36 home runs and 107 RBI. Cabrera's 109 RBI were second in the AL only to Angels' center fielder, Mike Trout (111), and third overall in MLB, but the ankle injury kept him from performing at full capacity.
While Cabrera was still dangerous at times, he was less of a threat at the plate because of the injury. His rough two-homer month in August showed it, and he ultimately lost out to Abreu for the 2014 award.