Hill's bounce-back season nets Silver Slugger

Hill's bounce-back season nets Silver Slugger

Hill's bounce-back season nets Silver Slugger

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- In recognition for a season in which he made history by hitting for the cycle twice, D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill was rewarded with a National League Silver Slugger Award on Thursday.

The award, presented by Louisville Slugger, honors players who were the best offensive producers at their position as voted on by managers and coaches.

Hill hit .302 with 44 doubles, 26 homers and 85 RBIs for the D-backs in 2012. He led NL second baseman in average, home runs, doubles, RBIs, total bases (318), on-base percentage (.360) and slugging (.522).

"He's the guy you want up with the game on the line," D-backs GM Kevin Towers said. "He always finds a way to hit the good pitching, come up with the big hits."

Hill became the first player since 1931 to hit for the cycle twice in a season. Hill accomplished the feats on June 18 against the Mariners and June 29 against the Brewers.

Other than Babe Herman in 1931, the only other pair of players to hit for the cycle twice in a season came during the 1800s.

Hill also won the American League Silver Slugger in 2009 with Toronto. He struggled toward the end of his tenure with the Blue Jays, but seemed re-energized when he was dealt to the D-backs in August 2011.

At the time of the trade, he had a .655 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS), but he compiled an .878 OPS with the D-backs as they captured the NL West crown.

"He's certainly really impacted our ballclub," Towers said. "I don't know if we would have won the division without him."

This year, Hill picked up where he left off, with an .882 OPS.

"I just kept working hard and stuck with my routine," Hill said. "I always believed that it was going to turn around."

Hill becomes the first D-backs infielder to earn a Silver Slugger Award. Previous Arizona recipients include Luis Gonzalez (2001), Micah Owings ('07), Daniel Hudson ('11) and Justin Upton ('11).

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.