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Braves' McCann wins second Silver Slugger

Brian McCann's young pro baseball career, already filled with honors, got another one on Thursday.

The Atlanta Braves star catcher received his second Silver Slugger Award, beating out Chicago Cubs rookie Geovany Soto as the National League's top-hitting catcher in voting among major league managers and coaches.

"Any time you're recognized for an award it's special," said McCann, already a three-time all-star at the age of 24. "You don't play the game for awards, but it's sure nice to knwo that you finished the season strong and people recognized what you did."

McCann led all NL catchers with a .301 batting average, a .523 slugging percentage and an .896 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage). He tied Soto with 23 homers for the lead among NL catchers.

The Duluth grad also won a Silver Slugger in 2006, when he hit .333 with 24 home runs. He didn't win the honor last year when he hit .270 with 18 homers and 92 RBIs.

His career batting average is an impressive .297.

"There's not a better catcher in the game," Braves manager Bobby Cox told the Daily Post after the season.

The Silver Slugger has been presented each year since 1980 by Hillerich and Bradsby, makers of Louisville Slugger, Major League Baseball's official bat. Winners of the award receive a three-foot tall trophy engraved with all the Silver Slugger winners from the league.

SideBar: 2008 Silver Slugger Team

(Career awards in parentheses)

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1B - Justin Morneau (1), Minnesota

2B - Dustin Pedroia (1), Boston

3B - Alex Rodriguez (10), New York

SS - Derek Jeter (3), New York

OF - Josh Hamilton (1), Texas

OF - Carlos Quentin (1), Chicago

OF - Grady Sizemore (1), Cleveland

C - Joe Mauer (2), Minnesota

DH - Aubrey Huff (1), Baltimore

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1B - Albert Pujols (4), St. Louis

2B - Chase Utley (3), Philadelphia

3B - David Wright (2), New York

SS - Hanley Ramirez (1), Florida

OF - Matt Holliday (3), Colorado

OF - Ryan Ludwick (1), St. Louis

OF - Ryan Braun (1), Milwaukee

C - Brian McCann (2), Atlanta

P - Carlos Zambrano (2), Chicago