Ex-Phillies prospect bests J.T. Realmuto for Silver Slugger

Travis d'Arnaud #16 of the Atlanta Braves (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Travis d'Arnaud #16 of the Atlanta Braves (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Former Phillies prospect Travis d’Arnaud has won his first career Silver Slugger Award

It appears the best chance for a Philadelphia Phillies player to receive an end-of-year honor will be rising star Alec Bohm for the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Otherwise, no player who donned red pinstripes during the 2020 season is being considered for other prestigious awards, such as the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger.

On Thursday, recipients of the latter award were announced; among them, including former Phillies catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, now of the Atlanta Braves. D’Arnaud wins his first career Silver Slugger after slashing a career-best .321/.386/.533 with eight doubles, nine home runs, and 34 RBI in 44 games. As MLB notes, d’Arnaud’s .919 OPS in 2020 was exactly 200 points higher than his previous .719 career OPS entering 2020.

D’Arnaud bests at least Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto, the 2019 National League Silver Slugger Award recipient at the catcher position. In 47 games this past season, Realmuto slashed .266/.349/.491 with six doubles, 11 home runs, and 32 RBI.

The Phillies drafted d’Arnaud, a Long Beach, California, native 37th overall in the first round of the 2007 draft out of Lakewood High School. After three professional seasons in the Phillies organization, he was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays in December 2009 — along with Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor — in exchange for future Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay.

Three years later, d’Arnaud was part of another trade that involved another notable starting pitcher, Noah Syndergaard. The Blue Jays dealt d’Arnaud, Syndergaard, and a couple of other players to the New York Mets in exchange for three players that included knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey.

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D’Arnaud, 31, has played for four teams across his eight-year MLB career since debuting in 2013: the Mets (2013-19), Los Angeles Dodgers (2019), Tampa Bay Rays (2019), and Braves (2020). Through 544 career games, d’Arnaud has slashed .253/.314/.423 with 89 doubles, 72 home runs, and 265 RBI. He finished seventh in the Rookie of the Year award race in 2014, slugging 13 home runs and 41 RBI in 108 games with the Mets.

The first-time Silver Slugger recipient D’Arnaud was among four Braves players who earned 2020 Silver Slugger Award honors — the three others now being two-time recipients: first baseman Freddie Freeman, as well as outfielders Ronald Acuna Jr. and Marcell Ozuna.

Juan Soto — who essentially replaced Bryce Harper in the Washington Nationals outfield — also won a Silver Slugger, his first. No former Phillie won a Silver Slugger, although it is notable that area native Mike Trout won his eighth with the Los Angeles Angels, while once-free-agent target Manny Machado, now of the San Diego Padres, won his first.

More. Two former Phillies infielders win 2020 Gold Glove Awards. light