BOSTON -- Awards season continues to be far kinder to the Red Sox than the pennant race was. Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz, three cornerstones of Boston's offense in 2011, were all named American League Silver Slugger Award winners on Wednesday.
The recognition came just one day after Gonzalez, Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia were honored as Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners.
For Ellsbury, the recognition just keeps coming in for his breakout season. The center fielder was honored with the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award last month and is considered a leading candidate for the AL Most Valuable Player Award.
This is the center fielder's first Silver Slugger.
Ellsbury showed a rare combination of average, speed and power for a leadoff hitter. In 158 games, he hit .321 with 32 homers, 105 RBIs, a .928 OPS, an AL-leading 364 total bases and 39 stolen bases. At the age of 28, Ellsbury appears to just be entering his prime.
This was also Gonzalez's first Silver Slugger Award, but that takes nothing away from his production during the past few years with the Padres. When Gonzalez was in the National League, he had to compete with Albert Pujols for the Silver Slugger at first base. While the AL included other top sluggers such as Miguel Cabrera and Mark Teixeira at his position, Gonzalez still came out on top.
The accomplishment came after an All-Star season in which Gonzalez led the league with 213 hits while batting .338 with 27 homers and 117 RBIs.
But this was no first for Ortiz, a designated hitter. Big Papi needs to make room in his trophy collection for this Silver Slugger Award, which is his fifth, but first since 2007.
While some thought Ortiz's best days were behind him, he looked like the Big Papi from the middle of the last decade, hitting .309 with 29 homers, 96 RBIs and a .953 OPS in 2011.
Ortiz is a free agent, but he hopes to return to Boston, where he has been a force since his arrival in 2003.