HOUSTON -- A year ago, the Astros signed Carlos Lee with hopes that he'd provide big-time power in the middle of the lineup.
Judging from Lee's final numbers, he clearly lived up to all expectations at the plate. As Houston's cleanup hitter in 2007, Lee batted .303, and on Friday he was awarded a Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award.
This is Lee's second Silver Slugger Award. He won his first with Milwaukee in 2005.
Lee, 31, was the only Astro to appear in all 162 games in 2007. He reached a career high with 190 hits, and he tied his career high with 32 home runs. His 119 RBIs were the sixth-most by a Houston outfielder in a single season.
Lee became the first NL player to reach 100 RBIs when he hit two homers and recorded five RBIs on Aug. 23, and he joined Moises Alou (1998) as the only player to drive in 100 runs in his first season with the Astros.
Silver Slugger Award winners were determined by a vote of Major League Baseball coaches and managers, who vote for the players they felt were the best offensive producers at each position in both the American and National Leagues in 2007.
Selections are 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 are not allowed to vote for players on their own team.
The specially designed Silver Slugger Award will be presented to each player by a representative of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., makers of Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, in a ceremony early in the 2008 season. The trophy is three feet tall and bears the engraved name of the winner and his Silver Slugger teammates in his respective league.
The Silver Slugger Award was instituted by H&B in 1980 as a natural extension of the Silver Bat Award, which is, as its name indicates, a silver-plated bat presented by Louisville Slugger to the batting champions in the AL and NL. This year's Silver Bat Award winners are Colorado's Matt Holliday and Detroit's Magglio Ordonez. Holliday hit .340 to win the NL batting title. Ordonez led the Major Leagues in batting with a .363 average and claimed the AL honor. Both will receive their awards in on-field presentations early in the 2008 season.
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.