Wainwright wins first Silver Slugger Award

Right-hander batted .462 with RISP in 2017

Wainwright wins first Silver Slugger Award

ST. LOUIS -- Amid all the accolades and recognition Adam Wainwright has garnered in his career for his work from the mound, the 36-year-old righty never stopped boasting about his bat. Winning a National League Silver Slugger Award, he has said for years, was something he had long coveted.

Now, the honor is finally his.

Seemingly snubbed from the list of winners a year ago, Wainwright was named by Louisville Slugger on Thursday as the top hitting pitcher in the NL for 2017. The annual award is given to the top offensive player at each position in each league, with winners selected through voting done by Major League managers and coaches.

Wainwright joins Bob Forsch (1980, '87) and Jason Marquis (2005) as the only Cardinals pitchers to win a Silver Slugger Award, which has been presented since '80.

Even though elbow discomfort interrupted and shortened his season, Wainwright provided enough offensive punch over 50 plate appearances to distinguish himself. He led all pitchers with 11 RBIs and seven runs scored. Wainwright's slugging percentage (.452) and OPS (.731) were tops among pitchers with at least 40 plate appearances.

All-time NL Silver Slugger Award winners

Wainwright was also among the league leaders in extra-base hits (four), home runs (two), doubles (two) and hits (11). His .462 batting average with runners in scoring position reflected the timeliness of that production, too.

Wainwright highlighted his offensive season with a four-RBI performance in a win over the Brewers on April 21. He tallied two hits in that game, including a go-ahead, two-run homer into the second deck of Miller Park. It was the 19th two-hit game of Wainwright's career, a total that ranks ninth all-time among Cardinals pitchers.

With the performance, Wainwright joined Bob Gibson as the only pitchers in franchise history to win a game and drive in at least four runs at least two times in his career.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.