HOUSTON -- On an Astros team loaded with young talent, it was rookie first baseman Tyler White who was named the first 2016 American League Player of the Week on Monday, after his first week in the Majors.The 25-year-old White -- a 33rd-round Draft pick in 2013 and the Astros'
HOUSTON -- On an Astros team loaded with young talent, it was rookie first baseman Tyler White who was named the first 2016 American League Player of the Week on Monday, after his first week in the Majors.
The 25-year-old White -- a 33rd-round Draft pick in 2013 and the Astros' No. 13 prospect entering this season according to MLBPipeline.com -- raked his way to a .556 batting average, 1.167 slugging percentage and a 1.758 OPS through his first six big league games. All three of those marks led the Major Leagues entering play on Monday.
"It's a good reward, I guess, for the week," White said. "It's awesome. It's the first week, and I enjoyed the time. It was good to start out and start out well, and I'm enjoying it."
In a run that began with a pinch-hit single against the Yankees on Opening Day in his first career at-bat, White racked up 10 hits, three home runs and nine RBIs in his first five Major League games -- all Astros records for the first five games of a player's career. White's 10 hits and nine RBIs were both tied for the most in the AL through the season's first week of games.
"He's had a great kick-start to his season," manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's been a big spark for us. He's inched his way to the middle of the order. He's unflappable when it comes to his approach at the plate. He doesn't overcomplicate things, which is good for me to see from a young player."
Though never considered an elite prospect along the lines of fellow Astros like Carlos Correa or George Springer, White hit at every level of the Minor Leagues, and he won the Astros' first-base job out of Spring Training after hitting .353 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 51 spring at-bats.
White and fellow rookie Trevor Story of the Rockies -- the National League Player of the Week -- join the Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela and the White Sox Salome Barojas as the only rookie duo to be named Players of the Week for the first week of a season since the award's inception in 1974.
Valenzuela and Barojas took the honors for the week of April 6-12, 1981.
White said he met Story last year.
"He's a great player," he said. "He's off to a great start, as everybody in the world knows. He's hit almost 10 home runs already. That's unbelievable what he's doing. Great for him."
Story, 23, entered Monday hitting .333 with seven homers and 12 RBIs.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.