Arizona Diamondbacks’ second baseman Aaron Hill has been named a Louisville Slugger 2012 Silver Slugger Award® recipient for the National League, as announced by Louisville Slugger. The award recognizes the players who were the best offensive producers at each position in both leagues as voted by Major League Baseball managers and coaches with selections based on a combination of offensive statistics, including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, as well as the managers’ and coaches’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value.
Hill, 30, is the first infielder in D-backs history to earn a Silver Slugger Award® and fifth overall, joining outfielder Luis Gonzalez (2001), pitcher Micah Owings (2007), pitcher Daniel Hudson (2011) and outfielder Justin Upton (2011).
Hill hit a career-high .302 (184-for-609) with 44 doubles, 6 triples, 26 home runs and 85 RBI in his first season with Arizona. He also established career-highs in slugging percentage (.552), OPS (.882) and extra-base hits (76) on his way to being selected as the D-backs’ Most Valuable Player by the Arizona chapter of the BBWAA.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder led all NL second basemen in average (.300), home runs, doubles, RBI, total bases (316), on-base percentage (.358) and slugging percentage (.521) [statistics as second basemen only]. Hill is also 1 of 5 players in club history to hit at least .300 with a .500 slugging percentage or better, joining Gonzalez (1999-2001, ’03), Matt Williams (1999), Chad Tracy (2005) and Upton (2009).
Hill’s Silver Slugger season also included hitting for 2 cycles (June 18 vs. Mariners and June 29 @ Brewers), the second player in the modern era of Major League Baseball to record to cycles in a season (also Brooklyn Robins’ Babe Herman in 1931) and fourth in baseball history (also Cincinnati Red Stockings’ John Reilly in 1883 and St. Louis Browns’ Tim O’Neill in 1887).
The Silver Slugger Award® trophy is 3-feet tall and bears the engraved name of the winner and his Silver Slugger teammates in his respective league. The awards will be on display for public viewing at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory over the winter. In a ceremony early in the 2013 season, the specially-designed Silver Slugger Award® will be presented to Hill by a representative of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., makers of Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball. The Silver Slugger Award was instituted by Louisville Slugger in 1980 as a natural extension of the Silver Bat Award, which is a silver-plated bat presented by Louisville Slugger to the batting champions in the AL and NL.