Competition aplenty for NL Silver Sluggers

Competition aplenty for NL Silver Sluggers

They were the best of the best with the sticks at their positions. Mashers in every sense of the word, regardless of how proficient they were with the leather.

Expect some familiar faces to walk away with the National League Silver Slugger Awards, but even perennial winners like Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, face challenges. Cincinnati's Joey Votto will make a run at Pujols, while Giants rookie Buster Posey is in the mix at catcher. Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla could set the voting on its ear.

The Silver Slugger Award winners were determined by a vote of Major League Baseball coaches and managers who named the players they felt were the best offensive producers at each position in the National League in 2010. Both the AL and NL winners will be announced on MLB Network, with a simulcast on MLB.com, on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET.

Selections were based on a combination of offensive statistics, including batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, as well as the coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value. Managers and coaches were not allowed to vote for players on their own team.

Here's a position-by-position look at the candidates for NL Silver Slugger as provided by Louisville Slugger:

First basemen
Albert Pujols, Cardinals: .312/.414/.596, 115 R, 42 HR, 118 RBI, 14 SB
Prince Fielder, MIL: .261/.401/.471, 94 R, 32 HR, 83 RBI, 1 SB
Ryan Howard, PHI: .276/.353/.505 87 R, 31 HR, 108 RBI, 1 SB
Adrian Gonzalez, SD: .298/.393/.511, 87 R, 31 HR, 101 RBI, 0 SB
Joey Votto, CIN: .324/.424/.600, 106 R, 37 HR, 113 RBI, 16 SB
Adam Dunn, WAS: .260/.356/.536, 85 R, 38 HR, 103 RBI, 0 SB

Second basemen
Chase Utley, PHI: .275/.387/.445, 75 R, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 13 SB
Brandon Phillips, CIN: .275/.332/.430, 100 R, 18 HR, 59 RBI, 16 SB
Martin Prado, ATL: .307/.350/.459, 100 R, 15 HR, 66 RBI, 5 SB
Dan Uggla, FLA: .287/.369/.508, 100 R, 33 HR, 105 RBI, 4 SB

National League Silver Slugger Award candidates
First basemen BA/OBP/SLG Runs HRs RBIs SBs
*Albert Pujols, STL .312/.414/.596 115 42 118 14
Prince Fielder, MIL .261/.401/.471 94 32 83 1
Ryan Howard, PHI .276/.353/.505 87 31 108 1
Adrian Gonzalez, SD .298/.393/.511 87 31 101 0
Joey Votto, CIN .324/.424/.600 106 37 113 16
Adam Dunn, WAS .260/.356/.536 85 38 103 0
Second basemen BA/OBP/SLG Runs HRs RBIs SBs
*Chase Utley, PHI .275/.387/.445 75 16 65 13
Brandon Phillips, CIN .275/.332/.430 100 18 59 16
Martin Prado, ATL .307/.350/.459 100 15 66 5
Dan Uggla, FLA .287/.369/.508 100 33 105 4
Third basemen BA/OBP/SLG Runs HRs RBIs SBs
*Ryan Zimmerman, WAS .307/.388/.510 85 25 85 4
David Wright, NYM .283/.354/.503 87 29 103 19
Pablo Sandoval, SF .268/.323/.409 61 13 63 3
Placido Polanco, PHI .298/.339/.386 76 6 52 5
Scott Rolen, CIN .285/.358/.497 66 20 83 1
Casey McGehee, MIL .285/.337/.464 70 23 104 1
Shortstops BA/OBP/SLG Runs HRs RBIs SBs
*Hanley Ramirez, FLA .300/.378/.475 92 21 76 32
Troy Tulowitzki, COL .315/.381/.568 89 27 95 11
Jimmy Rollins, PHI .243/.320/.374 48 8 41 17
Jose Reyes, NYM .282/.321/.428 83 11 54 30
Catchers BA/OBP/SLG Runs HRs RBIs SBs
*Brian McCann, ATL .269/.375/.453 63 21 77 5
Yadier Molina, STL .262/.329/.342 34 6 62 8
Buster Posey, SF .305/.357/.505 58 18 67 0
Ramon Hernandez, CIN .297/.364/.428 30 7 48 0
Geovany Soto, CHC .280/.393/.497 47 17 53 0
Outfielders BA/OBP/SLG Runs HRs RBIs SBs
*Ryan Braun, MIL .304/.365/.501 101 25 103 14
*Matt Kemp, LAD .249/.310/.450 82 28 89 19
*Andre Ethier, LAD .292/.364/.493 71 23 82 2
Matt Holliday, STL .312/.390/.532 95 28 103 9
Shane Victorino, PHI .259/.327/.429 84 18 69 34
Carlos Lee, HOU .246/.291/.417 67 24 89 3
Justin Upton, ARI .273/.356/.442 73 17 69 18
Carlos Beltran, NYM .255/.341/.427 21 7 27 3
Jayson Werth, PHI .296/.388/.532 106 27 84 13
Carlos Gonzalez, COL .336/.376/.598 111 34 117 26
Marlon Byrd, CHC .293/.346/.429 84 12 66 5
Corey Hart, MIL .283/.340/.525 91 31 102 7
Pitchers BA/OBP/SLG Runs HRs RBIs SBs
Craig Stammen, WAS .237/.250/.316 2 0 6 0
Chris Narveson, MIL .327/.365/.347 3 0 7 0
Tim Hudson, ATL .195/.195/.247 4 0 4 0
Mike Leake, CIN .333/.407/.354 5 0 3 0
*-denotes last year's winner

Third basemen
Ryan Zimmerman, WAS: .307/.388/.510, 85 R, 25 HR, 85 RBI, 4 SB
David Wright, NYM: .283/.354/.503 87 R, 29 HR, 103 RBI, 19 SB
Pablo Sandoval, SF: .268/.323/.409 61 R, 13 HR, 63 RBI, 3 SB
Placido Polanco, PHI: .298/.339/.386 76 R, 6 HR, 52 RBI, 5 SB
Scott Rolen, CIN: .285/.358/.497 66 R, 20 HR, 83 RBI, 1 SB
Casey McGehee, MIL: .285/.337/.464 70 R, 23 HR, 104 RBI, 1 SB

Shortstops
Hanley Ramirez, FLA: .300/.378/.475 92 R, 21 HR, 76 RBI, 32 SB
Troy Tulowitzki, COL: .315/.381/.568 89 R, 27 HR, 95 RBI, 11 SB
Jimmy Rollins, PHI: .243/.320/.374 48 R, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 17 SB
Jose Reyes, NYM: .282/.321/.428 83 R, 11 HR, 54 RBI, 30 SB

Catchers
Brian McCann, ATL: .269/.375/.453 63 R, 21 HR, 77 RBI, 5 SB
Yadier Molina, STL: .262/.329/.342 34 R, 6 HR, 62 RBI, 8 SB
Buster Posey, SF: .305/.357/.505 58 R, 18 HR, 67 RBI, 0 SB
Ramon Hernandez, CIN: .297/.364/.428 30 R, 7 HR, 48 RBI, 0 SB
Geovany Soto, CHC: .280/.393/.497 47 R, 17 HR, 53 RBI, 0 SB

Outfielders
Ryan Braun, MIL: .304/.365/.501 101 R, 25 HR, 103 RBI, 14 SB
Matt Kemp, LAD: .249/.310/.450 82 R, 28 HR, 89 RBI, 19 SB
Andre Ethier, LAD: .292/.364/.493 71 R, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 2 SB
Matt Holliday, STL: .312/.390/.532 95 R, 28 HR, 103 RBI, 9 SB
Shane Victorino, PHI: .259/.327/.429 84 R, 18 HR, 69 RBI, 34 SB
Carlos Lee, HOU: .246/.291/.417 67 R, 24 HR, 89 RBI, 3 SB
Justin Upton, ARI: .273/.356/.442 73 R, 17 HR, 69 RBI, 18 SB
Carlos Beltran, NYM: .255/.341/.427 21 R, 7 HR, 27 RBI, 3 SB
Jayson Werth, PHI: .296/.388/.532 106 R, 27 HR, 84 RBI, 13 SB
Carlos Gonzalez, COL: .336/.376/.598 111 R, 34 HR, 117 RBI, 26 SB
Marlon Byrd, CHC: .293/.346/.429 84 R, 12 HR, 66 RBI, 5 SB
Corey Hart, MIL: .283/.340/.525 91 R, 31 HR, 102 RBI, 7 SB

Pitchers
Craig Stammen, WAS: .237/.250/.316 2 R, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB
Chris Narveson, MIL: .327/.365/.347 3 R, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 0 SB
Tim Hudson, ATL: .195/.195/.247 4 R, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB
Mike Leake, CIN: .333/.407/.354 5 R, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB

There's no shortage of big names to choose from, so who gets your votes? Is it possible to separate Pujols and Votto at first base? Did the rookie in San Francisco, Posey, do enough at the plate to seize the award at catcher from a veteran winner in McCann? The outfield is stacked with big names and big numbers, but what three players stand above the others on offense? You tell us.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.