If you were making bets on whether or not a Cincinnati Reds player was going to be nominated for a Silver Slugger Award in 2022 the chances were probably pretty good that you would have bet on zero of them. And I would have told you that it was a good bet to make, too. And we both would have been right. Or wrong.

No one currently under contract with the Cincinnati Reds was named as a finalist for a Silver Slugger. But someone who spent plenty of time with the Reds this year was. Brandon Drury was one of the five finalists in the National League for the utility player Silver Slugger Award. Raise your hand if you knew that existed. I didn’t, but here we are.

Brandon Drury turned out to be a good signing for the Reds as a late spring training signing. Despite being traded away to San Diego at the deadline for prospect Victor Acosta, Drury led the Reds in home runs with 20, and no one was remotely close to him (Kyle Farmer was next on the list with 14). He would hit eight more with the Padres, giving him 28 home runs on the season to go along with 31 doubles, 2 triples, 87 RBI, and a .263/.320/.492 line in his 138 games played.

The other players nominated for the Silver Slugger Award in the National League as utility players are Tommy Edman, Thairo Estrada, Jeff McNeil, and Chris Taylor. Here’s a quick glance at how the players stack up:

Player PA 2B 3B HR AVG OBP SLG OPS+
Tommy Edman 630 31 4 13 .265 .324 .400 108
Thairo Estrada 541 23 2 14 .260 .322 .402 104
Jeff McNeil 589 39 1 9 .326 .382 .454 140
Chris Taylor 454 25 3 10 .221 .304 .373 86
Brandon Drury 568 31 2 28 .263 .320 .492 122

It would seem that things would likely come down to Brandon Drury and Jeff McNeil. Drury had twice as many home runs as the next closest guy on the finalist list and was second in OPS+. McNeil only hit 9 home runs, but he led the league with a .326 average and he bested Drury in OPS+.

17 Responses

  1. ryan

    I wonder if he’d come back to the Reds ?

    • Votto4life

      Not if it means the Reds have to out bid someone for his services. If he is still unsigned, going into Spring Training, then maybe, but I suspect someone will sign him long before then.

  2. Mark Moore

    I had no idea … so he was in the running as a Red? Surprising to say the least. Good on him.

  3. LDS

    I guess there’s an award for everything these days

    • kypodman

      all you have to do is participate and get an award!

    • Harry Stoner

      This is a bit over cynical.

      Given the growing predeliction for Bell and other managers to opt for rotating players around to different positions, the set relationship between a position player and hitting performance such as the SS rewards can be strained.

      What position to Steer play this year? Or Drury on the Reds? Or Farmer? Or as folks are clamoring for Stephenson next year?

      Maybe cynics find the SS in an of itself questionable, which is fine.

      But offering such an acknowledgement to a hit who is asked to play mutliple positions and does respond with effective offensive numbers like Drury did, seems a reflection of the reality of the game.

      But cynics have been gnashing against reality since Antisthenes.

  4. Doc

    When he is in a game is his position listed as UP, for Utility Player?

  5. TR

    Getting rid of this past season’s one, of a few, Red’s productive hitters was a strange one. What did we get from S.D.? I guess Drury didn’t fit in Bob and Fredo’s plan for the Reds.

    • Old Big Ed

      They got a nice 18-year-old middle infielder from the Dominican named Victor Acosta. Like all18-year-olds, Acosta is no lock to make it, but at 18 he showed good plate discipline in Arizona. The Padres paid Acosta a $1.8 million signing bonus in early 2021.

      That is a decent return for a 29-year-old, 2-month rental player who even after a career year has a career OPS+ of 93.

  6. Old-school

    Krall did a nice job identifying Drury and trading him as well for a young prospect in a season not about winning. Krall pretty clear Reds arent bringing in veteran FA’s of significance in 2023 in another season not about winning. That said, only a year away from bringing in Free agents to fill holes identified after a season of development or non-development in 2023 of young players.

    • LDS

      2024? Strikes me as wishful thinking. Nothing this organization has done suggests future spending

      • Luke J

        I mean, the past spending should suggest future spending. Shouldn’t it? Or are you just too jaded at this point to accept it? They signed Bauer, Moose, Castellanos, Shogo, etc… the last time they thought they had a window to compete. It didn’t work out, but they certainly showed their plans to build through the farm then supplement with free agents when they think they have a shot to compete. I think you are just blinded by the frustration of the failure of the last re-build and them currently being in the midst of another one. But there is actually nothing to indicate they won’t sign free agents if/when the rest of the roster is ready to compete.

      • LDS

        That was Williams not Krall. And the organization has purged most of what Williams did. A complete teardown wasn’t necessary either. They could have remained competitive in a weak division with very little spending. They chose not to. Calling this a rebuild strikes me as generous at this point given the history of Castellini’s ownership. A handful of winning seasons out of the last 20 isn’t something that prompts one to give the organization the benefit of the doubt.

      • Luke J

        I see you are interested in “remaining competitive in a weak division”. So I guess we have little more to discuss. I’m not interested in having a goal of mediocrity. We clearly just have fundamental differences on where the franchise should head.

  7. AMDG

    McNeil had a better WAR, oWAR, dWAR, OPS+, etc.

    He also had more hits, more walks, and 1/2 the K’s, in fewer plate appearances.

    I could see Drury getting some votes from the crowd who use Wins to pick Cy Young winners. But otherwise, this seems like McNeil in a ‘no contest’.

  8. Harry Stoner

    This isn’t going to hurt Drury’s pricetag in free agency.

    Amidst all the nightmare of 2022 Cincinnati Reds, three stories stood out: Drury, Overton and Cruz.

    Guys remaking themselves.

    Baseball isn’t just all about winning.

  9. GreatRedLegsFan

    Congratulations to Brandon Drury for a fine season and I wish him the best with his next contract.