LOS ANGELES -- Outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are the most likely Dodgers candidates to win Silver Slugger Awards, but Kemp and Orlando Hudson kicked off the awards season by earning recognition for their defense.
Kemp won his first career Gold Glove in his first full season as the Dodgers center fielder. His 14 outfield assists ranked second in the league. The veteran Hudson, who recently filed for free agency, picked up his fourth honor for his stellar defense.
Kemp and Ethier will be in the running for Silver Slugger Awards, along with outfielders Ryan Braun of Milwaukee and Jayson Werth of Philadelphia. Kemp already has been named to The Sporting News' postseason National League All-Star team.
Both players had breakthrough seasons.
Kemp established career highs with 26 homers, 101 RBIs. 97 runs scored, 52 walks and 34 steals, third in the league. He is the first Dodgers player with at least 25 homers, 100 RBIs and 30 steals in the same season and the first to have 20 homers and 20 steals in the same season since Shawn Green in 2001. He slugged three grand slams and homered in four consecutive games.
Ethier established career highs with 31 homers, 106 RBIs (tied for sixth in the league), 42 doubles (tied for fifth in the league), 72 walks and 92 runs. He became only the fourth Dodgers player in history to have at least 30 homers and 40 doubles in the same season, joining Babe Herman, Raul Mondesi and Eric Karros. He led the Major Leagues with six walk-off hits, four of them homers to tie a single-season Major League record shared with Jimmie Foxx in 1940 and Roy Sievers in 1957. He became the first Dodgers left-handed hitter to slug at least 20 homers at Dodger Stadium.
Another outside candidate for offseason honors would be Joe Torre for the Manager of the Year Award after guiding the club to a league-high 95 wins, but that award is expected to go to former Dodgers skipper Jim Tracy because of the turnaround the Rockies performed under him.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.