Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Jack Suwinski has been nothing short of incredible with the bat this year, and he could very well be on his way to winning a Silver Slugger
Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Jack Suwinski could very well win the National League Silver Slugger for his position. At the time of writing this, he’s been one of, if not the best hitter at his position, and there’s little competition for him.
If Suwinski were to take home a Silver Slugger for center field, it would be the first time since 2015 when a Pirate outfielder took home the award, that being Andrew McCutchen. It would also be the first time since Cutch’s 2015 season that a Pirate won a Silver Slugger.
Suwinski has an outstanding .240/.360/.530 triple-slash on the season. In that time, he’s hit 15 home runs in just 222 plate appearances. He’s averaging a home run every 14.8 plate appearances. Hitting for power hasn’t been Suwinski’s only positive trait. He’s also walked at an extremely high 15.3% rate. The only downside is that he’s struck out 32% of the time. This has led to a .379 wOBA, and 139 wRC+.
Suwinski leads National League center fielders in nearly every single rate statistic. He has the highest qualified OPS by 82 points, as well as the highest wOBA by 23 points. Brandon Nimmo of the New York Mets currently is in second place in both statistics, as well as wRC+ at 130 (9% worse than Suwinski). In terms of isolated slugging percentage, nobody even comes close to Jack. His .290 mark is also 82 points greater than second place. His overall slugging percentage is nearly 100 points higher than James Outman. Plus his walk rate is better than anyone else in the NL. The only rate statics he isn’t first in is on-base percentage (which still comes in second place), and batting average (3rd place).
You’re not just talking about the best hitting NL center fielder either, you’re talking about one of the best hitting outfielders in the NL. Suwinski ranks top ten in wRC+, wOBA, and OPS. There is no other NL outfielder with a greater isolated slugging percentage, and the only others with more home runs are Kyle Schwarber and Mookie Betts.
The only player who could possibily overtake Suwinski for the NL center field Silver Slugger is Arizona Diamondback outfielder Corbin Carroll. The standout new comer not only is a National League Rookie if the Year candidate, but also a potential MVP candidate. He’s batting .308/.391/.586 with a .414 wOBA, and 161 wRC+. However, he hasn’t spent much time in center field. Of all three outfield positions, center field has been the one he’s spent the least amount of innings at. His time at center field accounts for just about a quarter of his innings in the field. In comparison, Suwinski has spent 75.5% of his innings up the middle.
If Suwinski continues to hit anything like he has this year, then he’ll surely be a front runner for the National League center field Silver Slugger award. However, awards like this are up to complete subjectivity. More than once has a player been robbed of a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, or what have you because of bias. But it’s hard to imagine Suwinski not taking home the award given to the most outstanding batter at his position if he leads all other hitters in nearly every statistic possible.