Rockies’ Trevor Story Wins Second Straight Silver Slugger Award; Nolan Arenado’s Streak Ends

Rockies shortstop Trevor Story won his second consecutive Silver Slugger Award. But third baseman Nolan Arenado, winner of four consecutive Silver Sluggers, saw his string end Thursday when Louisville Slugger announced the winners.

Story set career highs in runs (111), batting average (.294) and on-base percentage (.363). He hit 35 home runs – two shy of his career-high set in 2018 – and became the first shortstop in major league history to begin his career with four consecutive seasons of 20 or more home runs.

Story became the first Rockies player with multiple seasons of at least 30 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Five Rockies have had one such season, most recently outfielder Carlos Gonzalez in 2010. Story joins Alex Rodriguez (1998-1999) as the second shortstop in major league history with multiple 30/20 seasons.

Story joins Gonzalez and Dante Bichette as the only Rockies players with multiple 20-steal, 20-homer seasons and is the first Rockies shortstop with consecutive years of 15 or more steals.

Story, who turns 27 on Nov. 15, is the 10th player in Rockies history to win a Silver Slugger and second shortstop to win the award multiple times. Troy Tulowitzki won it in 2010-2011.

Story made $5 million in 2019, the first year he was eligible for arbitration. He is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $11.5 million next year via arbitration. It’s possible that during the offseason, the Rockies and Story might discuss a multi-year contract. In the past two years, the club signed such deals with outfielder Charlie Blackmon, Arenado and pitcher German Marquez.

Silver Slugger Awards are given to the best offensive player at each position in each league. The winners are chosen by managers and coaches, who vote for players in their league but are restricted from voting for players on their team.

Arenado lost out to Anthony Rendon of the Nationals, who won his second Silver Slugger; the first was in 2014. Rendon hit .319 with a 1.010 OPS last season and 34 home runs and a National League-leading 126 RBI. His OPS+ was 153, which ranked third in the NL as did his OPS.

It’s not like Arenado’s offense declined. On the contrary, he hit .315 with a .962 OPS – both career-high figures – 41 homers and 118 RBI. His OPS was fifth in the NL, while his OPS+ of 129 was not in the top 10 in the NL. In addition, Rendon was third in the league in slugging percentage (.598), and Arenado was fifth (.583). And Rendon was second in the NL in on-base percentage (.412), while Arenado (.379) did not finish in the top 10.

During spring training, the Rockies signed Arenado to an eight-year, $260 million contract extension. His salary rises $9 million to $35 next season. He can opt out of the deal after the 2021 season when Arenado will have $164 million remaining on the contract and be entering his age-31 season.

Arenado’s four Silver Sluggers are tied with first baseman Todd Helton (2000-2003) for the most won by a Rockies player.

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I have written about major league baseball regularly since 1982, beginning at the Kansas City Star through 1992 before moving Denver to work for the Rocky Mountain News ...