MLB: Silver Slugger Winner Aaron Hill
Back on August 24th 2011 the Diamondbacks traded away starting 2nd baseman Kelly Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays for Aaron Hill (and John McDonald). Johnson had struggled in his second season with the Diamondbacks, posting a .209 average with 18 home runs and 49 RBI. Hill had been an All-Star in 2009, when he hit .286 with 36 homers and 108 RBI, but fell off the next season, hitting just .205. Hill continued to struggle at the plate for the Blue Jays in 2011, hitting .225 with six homers and 45 RBI in 104 games, so when the trade was made it was considered an equal player trade.
Now let’s fast forward to 2012 season. The 30-year-old Hill was arguably the Diamondbacks’ best hitter last season; and he just won the 2012 Silver Slugger Award, being named the best offensive National League second baseman. The great thing about this award is that it is voted on by coaches and managers from both leagues.
This is Hill’s second career Silver Slugger Award for an outstanding offensive season. Hill’s 2012 statistics included a .302 batting average, a .360 on base percentage. a .522 slugging percentage, and a .882 on-base plus slugging average, which was more than 100 points higher than the next highest second baseman in the National League.
Hill hit 26 home runs, which led the National League, 6 triples, 44 doubles, and drove in 85 runs, which also led the National League. He also stole 14 bases and scored 93 runs. Hill was the first hitter in 81 years to hit two cycles in a season (and he did it 11 days apart).
Here is an interesting note for all Diamondback fans; Hill is the first Arizona Diamondbacks infielder to win the Silver Slugger Award. Pitcher Daniel Hudson and outfielder Justin Upton won last year; Micah Owings and Luis Gonzalez are also past winners.
In August 2011 Hill signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the Diamondbacks that runs through the end of the 2013 season, but it is quite possible that at some point during this offseason; Diamondbacks General Manager, Kevin Towers, will reach out to Aaron Hill’s representatives about a contract extension.
We are less than 100 days from Arizona Diamondbacks spring training.