White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski won his first career American League Silver Slugger Award as Major League Baseball handed out its topping hitting awards for positions in each league.
Pierzynski, 35, joins Carlton Fisk (1981, 1985 and 1988) as the only catchers in White Sox history to win the award, which is presented by Louisville Slugger to honor the best offensive performers at every position. The votes are cast by managers and coaches, and they cannot vote for their own players.
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Pierzynski, now a free agent, hit .278 (133-479) with a career-high 27 home runs and 77 RBI in 135 games in 2012, his eighth season with the White Sox. His 27 home runs were the second-highest total in White Sox history by a catcher, trailing only Fisk's 37 in 1985. Pierzynski also set career bests in runs scored (68), slugging percentage (.501) and OPS (.827) and matched his season high in RBI (also 2004).
Among AL players with a minimum of 100 games caught in 2012, Pierzynski ranked first in average, runs scored, home runs, slugging percentage, OPS and total bases. He homered in a career-best five consecutive games from July 30-Aug. matching the franchise record (seventh time).
Pierzynski, who caught Philip Humber's perfect game on April 21 at Seattle, eclipsed 1,000 innings caught for the 11th consecutive season, extending the longest active streak in baseball, and caught 100-plus games for the 12th straight season, tied for the fourth-longest streak in major-league history.
AL Silver Sluggers
Catcher: A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox
First base: Prince Fielder, Tigers
Second base: Robinson Cano, Yankees
Third base: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
Shortstop: Derek Jeter, Yankees
Outfield: Josh Hamilton, Rangers
Outfield: Mike Trout, Angels
Outfield: Josh Willingham, Twins
Designated hitter: Billy Butler, Royals
NL Silver Sluggers
Catcher: Buster Posey, Giants
First base: Adam LaRoche, Nationals
Second base: Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks
Third base: Chase Headley, Padres
Shortstop: Ian Desmond, Nationals
Outfield: Ryan Braun, Brewers
Outfield: Jay Bruce, Reds
Outfield: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
Pitcher: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals