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Duke City Power: Garver, Bregman win Silver Slugger awards

Minnesota Twins catcher Mitch Garver (18), shown scoring against the New York Yankees in a playoff game in October, earned AL Silver Slugger honors on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

New Mexico was well-represented when the 2019 Silver Slugger award winners were announced Thursday, as Albuquerque natives Mitch Garver and Alex Bregman were named as American League recipients.

Silver Slugger honors go to the top hitter at each position in the National and American leagues. Garver was selected as the top AL catcher, while Bregman picked up the honor at third base. Both are first-time winners.

Garver, a former La Cueva High and University of New Mexico standout, enjoyed a breakthrough season for the Minnesota Twins. The second-year player hit .273 in 93 games with a .995 OPS (on-base plus slugging), 31 homers and 67 RBIs. Garver helped the Twins win an AL Central title and advance to the American League Division Series.

Bregman, who is considered a candidate for American League MVP honors, was a key cog in the Houston Astros’ run to an AL pennant. The Albuquerque Academy and LSU alum hit .296 in 156 games with a 1.015 OPS, 41 homers and 112 RBIs.

Bregman filled in for injured teammate Carlos Correa at shortstop during the regular season, but the bulk of his playing time was at third base.

Garver and Bregman were among eight first-time Silver Slugger winners. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout won his seventh. Only six players (Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza, Barry Larkin, Wade Boggs, Cal Ripken Jr., and Manny Ramirez) have won more.

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