Cleveland Indians: Previewing MLB award winners on the 2017 roster

Apr 10, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) poses with the Cy Young Award before the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) poses with the Cy Young Award before the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 19, 2017; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Giovanny Urshela (right) congratulates third baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) after Encarnacion scored during the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 19, 2017; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Giovanny Urshela (right) congratulates third baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) after Encarnacion scored during the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

Silver Slugger

1. Edwin Encarnacion

In addition to players on last year’s roster, free agent acquisition Edwin Encarnacion adds an extremely productive offensive weapon to the Indians lineup. Encarnacion, who is no stranger to showcasing his strength, hit 42 home runs in 2016. Along with producing power, Encarnacion was a RBI machine, posting a career and league high 127 in 2016.

However, despite the fact that Encarnacion has blasted 34 or more home runs in each of the last five seasons, he has never won a Silver Slugger award.

After eclipsing 100 or more RBI in four of the last five seasons, Encarnacion’s productivity doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. With a shorter left field wall at Progressive Field, Encarnacion’s numbers should remain consistent if not increase, giving him a great shot at the award.

2. Francisco Lindor

Many of the reasons Lindor has a shot at MVP carry over to the Silver Slugger award. In his short but successful career, Lindor has been a shortstop who hits for average. Towards the end of last season and even in this year’s World Baseball Classic, Lindor has displayed a more powerful swing.

One thing Tribe fans don’t want to see disappear is Lindor’s ability to hit for average. Tribe fans don’t need to see a similar version of Willy Mays Hayes, a character in the movie “Major League,” who traded athleticism and contact for power. If Lindor can increase power and run production while maintaining his above .300 average, the Silver Slugger award may end up on his mantle.

3. Jose Ramirez

As far as 2016 bright spots go, Jose Ramirez may have been the brightest. After hitting .219 in 2015, Ramirez hit a remarkable .312, a stat line that very few people saw coming.  As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Ramirez added a whopping 46 doubles, helping him finish 17th in the MVP race.

Furthermore, Ramirez seemed to deliver every time the Indians needed him the most. Granted, duplicating that amount of success in going to be difficult, especially for a player really achieving success for the first time.

If Ramirez can add a little more power to his game, he may have a chance at this award. However, the difficulty in reproduction may hinder his effort. And don’t forget he has to compete with an already loaded Indians lineup for offensive production. All in all, Jose Ramirez is a long shot for the award.