MLB announced the finalists for the Silver Slugger Award, and Brewers backstop William Contreras is one of the National League finalists at catcher.
Sent to Milwaukee as part of a three-team trade that shipped Sean Murphy from the Oakland Athletics to the Atlanta Braves, Contreras emerged as the most reliable hitter in a lineup that struggled to score runs for much of the season. He led qualified Brewers hitters with a 124 wRC+.
In 617 plate appearances, Contreras slashed .289/.367/.457 and hit 17 home runs.
While that output looks like a step back from an All-Star 2023 season in which he slugged .506 and hit 20 home runs in 97 games, Contreras displayed a more mature approach as a hitter that bodes well for his long-term outlook. He cut his strikeout rate from 27.7% to 20.6% without sacrificing hard contact.
Contreras also made a leap forward defensively. His 5.0 fWAR as a catcher led all qualified backstops in baseball.
The Silver Slugger is awarded to the top offensive player at each position in each league. Managers and coaches vote on the winners.
Contreras’ fellow finalists for the catcher award are Atlanta’s Murphy, Philadelphia’s J.T. Realmuto, and Los Angeles’ Will Smith.