Results tagged ‘ American League Player of the Week ’
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez became the first rookie in major league history to win the Player of the Week Award in consecutive weeks Monday as he was named American League Player of the Week again for the period ending Aug. 28.
Sanchez batted .522 with seven runs, three doubles, five home runs and nine RBI over six games and 23 at-bats to claim his second straight weekly honor. He was the first player to win the award in successive weeks since the White Sox’ Albert Belle in 1998 (July 6-12 and July 13-19). Sanchez is the fourth Yankees player to win consecutive awards. The others were Don Mattingly in 1987 (July 6-12 and July 13-19), Dave Winfield in 1983 (Aug. 1-7 and Aug. 8-14) and Graig Nettles in 1974 (April 8-14 and April 15-21). Sanchez has already won the award as often as the only other Yankees catcher honored, Thurman Munson, another two-time winner.
Sanchez finished the period first in extra-base hits (eight), slugging percentage (1.304) and total bases (30); tied for first in home runs; second in batting average, on-base percentage (.607) and RBI; tied for third in runs; tied for fourth in hits and tied for sixth in doubles and walks (five).
Sanchez began his award-winning week last Monday night with a two-homer game against the Mariners at Seattle’s Safeco Field, his second career two-homer game after also hitting two jacks Aug. 16 against the Blue Jays. The Dominican Republic native became the first player in franchise history with two multi-homer games within his first 19 career games.
Saturday against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium, Sanchez hit his third home run in three days and the 11th of his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the right-handed-swinging, 23-year-old Triple A call-up became the first Yankees player since Tino Martinez (April 5-15, 2005) to club nine home runs in a 10-game span, dating back to Aug. 16.
In his 23rd career game, Sanchez became the quickest player in major league history to hit his first 11 home runs. Additionally, his 11-homer month extended his Yankees rookie record for home runs in a calendar month. The Brewers’ Ryan Braun was the previous bug-league rookie to launch 11 homers in a calendar month, in July of his 2007 National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award-winning season.
Sanchez was the AL Player of the Week for Aug. 8-15 when he had a slash line of .524/.600/1.190 with four runs, two doubles, four homers, six RBI, four walks and one stolen base in 25 plate appearances.
Teammate Starlin Castro (.370, 6 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI) was also in contention for last week’s award, along with Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (.391, 9 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI); Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 13 IP, 11 K), Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (.394, 13 H, 3 HR, 7 RBI); Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (.600, .643 OBP, 15 H, 2 SB); Red Sox pitcher David Price (2-0, 1.29 ERA, 14 IP, 15 K); Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (.435, .739 SLG, 10 H, 4 2B) and Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (.462, 5 R, 12 H, 2 HR).
A former teammate of Sanchez was also honored Monday. Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s Jonathan Holder was named International League Pitcher of the Week for Aug. 22-28 after posting two saves and striking out 16-of-20 batters over three scoreless appearances in which the righthander allowed two hits in six innings. In Sunday’s victory over Rochester that clinched a postseason berth for the RailRiders, Holder struck out 12-of-13 batters in four scoreless innings, including 11 K’s in a row. In 12 appearances at Triple-A, Holder is 2-0 with six saves and a 0.89 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings.
The day he was notified that he was the American League Player of the Week for the games that ended Sunday night Gary Sanchez went out and campaigned for winning the award again this week. The rookie catcher continued the impressive start to his major league career Monday night, although his performance was not sufficient to prevent the Yankees from dropping a 7-5 decision to the Mariners in a game in which all the runs were the result of home runs, an unusual sight in spacious Safeco Field.
Sanchez cranked two home runs, which made him the first player in club history to total eight dingers in his first 19 major-league games. He connected for a solo home run off Seattle starter Cody Martin with two out in the first inning. Then after Kyle Seager put the Mariners ahead, 3-2, with a three-run home run off Michael Pineda in the fourth inning, Sanchez regained the lead for the Yanks with a two-run bomb over the center field wall in the sixth.
Two batters after Sanchez’s two home runs were a couple of solo shots by Starlin Castro, which marked the first time two Yankees teammates homered twice in the same game since Oct. 3, 2012 by Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson.
Cano now plays second base for the Mariners and had three hits Monday night. He nearly had a 4-for-4 game, but Jacoby Ellsbury robbed Cano of a potential extra-base hit with a dazzling, running catch in right-center in the eighth inning. The next batter, Nelson Cruz, homered to left off Kirby Yates for the seventh round-tripper of the night. On his 32nd home run of the season, Cruz broke his bat and the Yankees’ backs.
They threatened in the ninth against a shaky Edwin Diaz, who walked Brian McCann on four pitches to start the inning, gave up a one-out single to Chase Headley and then balked the potential tying runs into scoring position before recovering to retire pinch hitter Mark Teixeira on a fly ball and Brett Gardner on a grounder.
The key blow came in the bottom of the sixth when Yankees manager Joe Girardi made a quick hook of Pineda after he walked Seager with two out. Pineda had thrown only 82 pitches to that point, but Girardi called on lefthander Tommy Layne to face lefty-swinging Adam Lind, who popped up for the second out.
Girardi then brought in righthander Anthony Swarzak to face righty-swinging Mike Zunino. This did not turn out as well. The Mariners catcher drove a 3-2 slider into the right field seats that as it turned out put Seattle ahead for good.
The Yankees tried to get Sanchez an at-bat in the ninth, but the rally ended two batters before his next turn. He had another solid night back of the plate as well as Sanchez threw out another base runner to end the seventh inning.
Rookie catcher Gary Sanchez may have plenty of awards come his way during a promising career. The first one arrived Monday when he was named American League Player of the Week for Aug. 15-21.
Sanchez had a slash line of .524/.600/1.190 (11-for-21) with four runs, two doubles, four home runs, six RBI, four walks and a stolen bases in 25 plate appearances. During that span, he led the AL in batting, on-base percentage, slugging and on-base plus slugging (OPS) and ranked among the league leaders in total bases (tied for second with 25), hits (tied for third) and home runs (tied for third). Sanchez had multiple hits in four straight games (Aug. 15-19) and extra-base hits in four straight games (Aug. 16-20).
It marked the first time a Yankees player won the award this season. Their previous AL Player of the Week Award winner was Brett Gardner from June 22-28 last year. Sanchez is only the second catcher in Yankees history to win the award. Thurman Munson was a two-time winner for the weeks ending May 4, 1975 and July 25, 1976. Surprisingly, Jorge Posada never won the award. Sanchez is the first Yankees rookie to win since Robinson Cano for the week ending Sept. 19, 2005 and the first catcher since the Angels’ Chris Iannetta for the week ending Sept. 15, 2013.
In 10 games behind the plate this season, Sanchez has thrown out four of six attempted base stealers and picked off one runner.
Ichiro Suzuki was named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending Sept. 23. It marked Ichiro’s fourth career weekly honor and his first with the Yankees. The previous time he won the award was for the period ending Sept. 26, 2010 with the Mariners.
Suzuki batted .600 with three doubles, two home runs, five RBI, seven runs and six stolen bases in six games and 25 at-bats. For the week, he led all players in batting average, hits, steals and on-base percentage (.630), was tied for second in total bases (24) and ranked third in slugging percentage (.960) and tied for fourth in runs.
The center piece of the week for Ichiro was Wednesday’s split-admission doubleheader sweep of the Blue Jays. In the day game, Suzuki had a double among three hits and scored two runs as the Yanks beat Toronto. In the night game, Ichiro had 4-for-4 at the plate and on the base paths. His double in the eighth inning knocked in the deciding run of a 2-1 victory.
It was the second time in his career in which Suzuki collected at least four hits and four stolen bases in a single game (previously accomplished July 20, 2004 against Boston). Ichiro was the first player in the majors to do it since the Rangers’ Julio Borbon Aug. 15, 2009 and the first Yankees player since Rickey Henderson had five hits and four steals April 11, 1988.
It marked the first time that Ichiro recorded at least three hits in each game of a doubleheader and he became just the seventh Yankees player to do so since 1969 (last by Derek Jeter in 2008). After going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBI and two runs in a 10-7 victory over the Jays Thursday to complete a three-game sweep, Ichiro helped lead the Yankees to their seventh straight victory Saturday, going 3-for-5 with two walks, a homer and three runs in the 10-9, 14-inning triumph over the Athletics.
Other noteworthy performances last week included the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera (.346, 4 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI), the Rays’ Jeff Keppinger (.440, 11 H, 1 HR, 3 RBI), the Indians’ Carlos Santana (.308, 3 HR, 8 RBI) and the Tigers’ Doug Fister (shutout over the White Sox Sept. 22).
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending Sept. 5. The award is sponsored by Bank of America. Tex received a watch courtesy of Game Time.
Teixeira reached base in each of his seven games last week, six of them Yankees victories. He led the league with a .476 batting average, a .633 slugging percentage and eight RBI and tied for the league lead with three doubles, 19 total bases and a .905 slugging percentage in 21 at-bats.
The switch hitter also ranked among the AL leaders in hits (tied for second with 10), walks (third with seven), and home runs (tied for fourth with two). He had two three-hit games, going 3-for-3 with a home run and three runs scored Aug. 30 in an 11-5 victory over Oakland and 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI Sept. 1 in a 4-3 victory over the Athletics. On Aug. 31, also against the A’s, Teixeira hit his 30th home run this year, marking the seventh straight season that he has reached that plateau.
Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson (.308, 3 HR, 7 RBI) was also considered for the award as well as Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 17 strikeouts), Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill (.333, 3 HR, 7 RBI), Mariners relief pitcher David Aardsma (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 saves) and Angels pitcher Ervin Santana (2-0, 2.63 ERA).
This is the fifth career weekly award for Teixeira, whose last previous victory was Aug. 20-26, 2007 with the Braves. It marks the 10th consecutive season that at least two different Yankees players have won the award, the longest such streak in the AL. The other Yankees winner was second baseman Robinson Cano, who was honored twice for the weeks of May 24-30 and Aug. 16-22 (a tie with Rays third baseman Evan Longoria).