MINNEAPOLIS — Nelson Cruz’s prolific first season with the Twins already earned him the third Silver Slugger Award of his career. On Monday, he added his second Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter of the Year Award in three years in a vote by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Cruz won the award for the first time in 2017, batting .288 with 39 home runs and 119 runs batted in. He bettered that in 2019, finishing the year hitting .311 with 26 doubles, 41 home runs and 108 RBIs.
His 1.031 OPS was the highest in his career and second in the American League behind Mike Trout. His 2019 season included his 400th career home run and a pair of three-homer games as Cruz led the top home-run-hitting team of all time.
And he did it while dealing with a wrist injury for much of the season — first a strain and then a ruptured tendon that initially looked like it might require surgery.
Cruz, who is returning to the Twins after they picked up his $10 million option earlier this offseason, joins Chili Davis (1991) and Paul Molitor (1996) as the only Twins to win this award.