CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 16: Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a double during the game against the New York Mets at Great American Ball Park on August 16, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Copyright Getty Images
CINCINNATI - Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce was honored Thursday night with a Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award, which is awarded to the top offensive player at each position in both the National and American leagues
Bruce becomes the first Reds outfielder since Eric Davis (’89) to receive the honor and the first left-handed batter in team history to earn the award.
Bruce was one of 11 first-time honorees, including seven of the nine National League recipients this season.
The 25-year-old finished the 2012 season third in the NL with 34 home runs and ninth with 99 runs batted in. Bruce finished among National League leaders with 74 extra-base hits (fourth), 288 total bases (ninth) and a .514 slugging percentage (10th).
Bruce’s individual performance this season earned him a position on his second NL All-Star team. He was also the Reds' nominee for the Hank Aaron Award, which honors the most outstanding offensive performer in each league.
The Silver Slugger, which was created in 1980, is voted on by coaches and managers from both leagues. Voters are prohibited from rewarding players on their own team.
National League winners
Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun smashed a league-high 41 home runs to win his fifth Silver Slugger Award in as many years.
The D-backs' Aaron Hill is the only other player on the NL side to have previously been recognized with a Silver Slugger award. The second baseman batted .302 with 26 home runs en route to his second Silver Slugger.
The Nationals led all teams with three Silver Slugger Award winners. First baseman Adam LaRoche, shortstop Ian Desmond and starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg were all first-time recipients.
Giants catcher Buster Posey, Padres third baseman Chase Headley and Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen all finished at the top of at least one offensive category to earn their first awards. Posey led all of baseball with a .336 batting average, while Headley led the NL with 115 RBIs and McCutchen finished with a league best 194 hits.
American League winners
In the AL, Most Valuable Player front runners Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout each were honored. Cabrera, who is the third baseman for the Tigers, earned his fourth Silver Slugger after claiming the American League Triple Crown by leading the league in batting average (.330), home runs (44) and RBIs (139). The Angels rookie center fielder was awarded his first Silver Slugger after leading the Major Leagues with 129 runs and 49 stolen bases. The 21-year-old also finished with a .326 batting average and hit 30 home runs.
Cabrera's teammate, Prince Fielder, claimed his third Silver Slugger at first base after hitting a career-high .313 in his first season in Detroit.
Former Reds outfielder Josh Hamilton earned his third Silver Slugger Award after hitting .285 with a career-high 43 home runs for the Texas Rangers. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was honored for the fourth time (third in a row), while teammate and Derek Jeter claimed his fifth award at shortstop.
The rest of the AL honorees consisted of first-time winners. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski hit .278 with a career-high 27 home runs for the White Sox, while Twins outfielder Josh Willingham's hammered 35 home runs and drove in 110 RBIs for the Twins.
Kansas City Royals slugger Billy Butler hit .313 with 29 home runs and 107 RBIs as
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.