The season may have been an abject failure from a team perspective. But for a couple of the future cornerstones of the Toronto Blue Jays, it was an unqualified success.
Second baseman Aaron Hill and outfielder Adam Lind were yesterday honoured with Silver Slugger Awards.
The prizes go to major leaguers voted the best offensive players at each position in both the American and National leagues, as selected by coaches and managers
For Hill, 27, it was the third honour that has come his way this season after being selected to play in the 2009 all-star game and then getting selected as the AL's comeback player of the year.
He posted career highs with 36 home runs, 108 runs batted in, 195 hits, 103 runs scored and 682 at-bats. He also led major-league second basemen in home runs and RBIs.
Hill said last night it was a blast to enjoy such a breakout season along with Lind.
And despite all the turmoil that has surrounded the team since the season's end, including the firing of general manager J.P. Ricciardi and a revamping of the coaching staff, Hill thinks the future is bright for the club.
"I'm excited about our team," he said. "We believe in what we have and each year you just have to keep going and do the best with what you've got."
Lind, 26, set career highs in most offensive categories, including leading the club in batting average (.305), RBIs (114) and slugging (.562). Lind also belted 35 home runs.
This marks just the third time in franchise history that two Blue Jays have won Sliver Sluggers in the same season. Shawn Green and Carlos Delgado did it first in 1999. Delgado and Vernon Wells combined to win the award in 2003.