Braun, McCutchen share NL Player of the Week
Two of the National League's prime sluggers have tied as the face of the league. Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen were named the NL's Co-Players of the Week on Tuesday in recognition of a powerful week for both outfielders.
Braun, a five-time All-Star, led all Major League hitters with 11 RBIs and tied for the NL lead with three home runs last week. He also posted the league's second-best marks in slugging (.952) and on-base percentage (.481), and tied for the second-most total bases (20). Braun hit .381 (8-for-21) last week.
"He's swung the bat incredibly well," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said before Tuesday's game against the Giants. "He's talked about seeing the ball longer, seeing the ball better, letting the ball get deeper. The big thing it's resulted in for me is there's less chase out of the zone. With his swing, when he's in the strike zone, he's going to produce with that swing."
McCutchen, meanwhile, led all Major League hitters in on-base percentage (.542) and bested Braun -- and everybody else -- with a 1.000 slugging mark. McCutchen, a four-time All-Star, batted .450 (9-for-20) last week and tied Braun with 20 total bases. McCutchen scored five times and drove in five runs.
Braun has won the NL Player of the Week Award four times in his career, but this was his first designation since 2011. McCutchen has won the honor five times, including once last July.
Other noteworthy players include Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison, who batted .455, and Chicago's Chris Coghlan, who hit three home runs. Ryan Howard hit .385 for Philadelphia, and A.J. Pollock hit .400 for Arizona. Pitchers Cole Hamels of the Phillies, Michael Wacha of the Cardinals and Drew Storen of the Nationals also received consideration.