Andrew McCutchen continued his postseason awards haul on Thursday, when he picked up his first Silver Slugger Award, named one of the National League's top offensive outfielders.The award, presented by leading bat-maker Louisville Slugger, goes to the top offensive player at each position in both the National and American Leagues, according to voting by Major League managers and coaches. McCutchen earlier received a Gold Glove, emblematic of defensive excellence. He is the fourth member of the Pirates to earn both awards in the same season, following Barry Bonds, Andy Van Slyke and Jay Bell (the Bucs' new hitting coach). McCutchen is one of only four Major Leaguers to score the Gold-Silver parlay for the 2012 season, joining Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche and Padres third baseman Chase Headley. Silver Sluggers are awarded to three outfielders, regardless of their regular alignment, but fittingly, the center fielder was joined by a left fielder, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, and a right fielder, Cincinnati's Jay Bruce, in an NL Central sweep. Minutes after the awards were announced on MLB Network, McCutchen said via Twitter, "My 1st Silver Slugger! Must say it feels pretty good! Just living life to the fullest!" That's the way McCutchen played the game in 2012. In only his third full big league season, he established career highs in homers (31) and RBIs (96); led the league in hits, with 194; and finished second in the batting race, with a .327 average. In addition to winning the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove, McCutchen was named the Pirates' Top Defensive Player by Wilson and, most significant, was the Players Choice as NL Outstanding Player, voted upon by fellow players through the Major League Baseball Players Association. McCutchen is also a finalist for the NL MVP Award, as determined by voting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Winner of that award will be announced on Nov. 15, also on MLB Network.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.