Braun: Voters got it right with Fielder

Ryan Braun was certainly happy to win the Silver Slugger Award for the fourth consecutive season, but he was just as happy to have some company. Prince Fielder, the Brewers free agent first baseman, also won the award for the second time.

“If you look at his numbers, you can make the argument that he could have won a Silver Slugger every year if not for the fact that [NL first baseman] is probably the most stacked position to win it in either league,” Braun said. “His competition is pretty crazy when you look at Albert, [Joey] Votto. They got that vote right.”

Fielder had to unseat the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols, who had won at first base in each of the past three seasons. Fielder had the edge over Pujols in home runs (38 to 37), RBIs (120 to 99), OPS (.981 to .906) and total bases (322 to 313).

Fielder finished second in the NL in homers, RBIs, walks (107) and on-base percentage (.415). He also was the only player in the Majors to start all 162 games.

Braun, meanwhile, led the NL with a .994 OPS and .597 slugging percentage, and finished second with a .332 batting average, 336 total bases and 109 runs scored. He ranked fourth with 111 RBIs and tied for sixth with 33 home runs. He’s the first NL outfielder to win the award four years running since Barry Bonds took five in a row from 2000-04, five of Bonds’ 12 career Silver Slugger Awards.

“The biggest challenge as a baseball player is consistency and longevity,” Braun said Wednesday night. “The only way to win this award four years in a row is to be pretty consistent. That’s the biggest thing that we all strive for, so it’s definitely pretty special.”

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