Let the baseball awards season begin.
The Marlins' Hanley Ramirez won the Silver Slugger Award for the second consecutive year as the National League's "top offensive producer" at the shortstop position -- hardly a surprise considering Ramirez won the NL batting title with a .342 average and led all league shortstops with 106 RBI.
Ramirez is the Marlins' third repeat winner for one of the shiny bats, joining outfielder Gary Sheffield (1993 and 1996) and Miguel Cabrera (in 2005 as an outfielder and in 2006 as a third baseman). Third baseman Mike Lowell also won the award as a Marlin in 2003.
The winners were decided by a vote of Major League managers and coaches.
Through his agent, Ramirez issued the following statement: "I'm very happy about my award. I'm thankful to God and my family for their support, the Marlins organization, and my great teammates for their help in my getting this award. It's all a result of hard work and dedication, and I always strive to get better and to do what I can to help my team succeed."
Here's the complete list of 2009 Silver Slugger winners:
NL: 1B -- Albert Pujols, St. Louis; 2B -- Chase Utley, Philadelphia; SS -- Hanley Ramirez, Florida; 3B -- Ryan Zimmerman, Washington; OF -- Ryan Braun, Milwaukee; OF -- Andre Ethier, Los Angeles; OF -- Matt Kemp, Los Angeles; C -- Brian McCann, Atlanta; P -- Carlos Zambrano, Chicago.
AL: 1B -- Mark Teixeira, New York; 2B -- Aaron Hill, Toronto; SS -- Derek Jeter, New York; 3B -- Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay; OF -- Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle; OF -- Jason Bay, Boston; OF -- Torii Hunter, Los Angeles; C -- Joe Mauer, Minnesota; DH -- Adam Lind, Toronto.
Coming up next week: the Baseball Writers' Association of America annual awards (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year). The Marlins' Chris Coghlan is a leading contender for ROY while Ramirez should receive plenty of runner-up support for MVP, an award Albert Pujols is heavily favored to win.