Detroit Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending June 22nd. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Martinez batted .444 (12-for-27) with three doubles, four homers, 11 RBI and six runs scored in seven games to grab his first career weekly honor and the first for Detroit this season. Teammates Miguel Cabrera and Austin Jackson were the last Tigers to win A.L. Player of the Week when the pair shared co-honors for the period ending August 11, 2013. J.D. led all Major League hitters in RBI and slugging percentage (1.000), and tied for first overall in home runs, extra-base hits (7) and total bases (27). Among American Leaguers, the right-handed-hitting Martinez was second in hits, tied for third in runs scored, was fifth in batting average and was tied for eighth in on-base percentage (.464).
Trailing the Kansas City Royals 11-4 with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning on Monday, the 26-year-old launched his second career grand slam to close the gap to three, but Detroit dropped an 11-8 decision to the resurgent Royals in the Motor City. Martinez's last slam came as a member of the Houston Astros against the San Francisco Giants on June 14, 2012. His four RBI tied a career best for the fourth time, with the last occurrence also coming on June 14, 2012 at AT&T Park. On Tuesday, the Miami native set a season high with three hits, including a double and a run scored, but the Tigers lost, 11-4, at Comerica Park. On Wednesday, the Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) product went 2-for-4 with a solo homer in a 2-1 loss to the Royals. The back-to-back multi-hit games were a first for J.D. this season. On Thursday, Martinez blasted a fourth-inning solo homer to put Detroit up 2-1 in what proved to be the difference in the game as the Tigers triumphed over the Royals to win the final tilt of the four-game series. Moving on to Cleveland, the 20th round pick in the 2009 Draft (by Houston) went 3-for-4 with a double and a three-run homer to lead Detroit to a 6-4 win over their A.L. Central rivals at Progressive Field. His eighth-inning round tripper was his seventh of the season, coming in his 36th game to tie his 2013 mark in 50 fewer games (7 HR in 86 G last season). Martinez also set a new career high by homering in three consecutive games. He joins teammate Torii Hunter as the only Tigers to do so this season. On Sunday, the four-year veteran notched a two-run double and scored a run as the Tigers topped the Tribe, 10-4, to sweep the three-game weekend series. The double extended a career-long hitting streak to 12 games, in which Martinez has batted .404 (19-for-47) with six doubles, four homers, 13 RBI and seven runs scored over the string.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Jose Altuve (.542, 13 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, .593 OBP) of the Houston Astros; Edwin Encarnacion (.304, 4 HR, 9 RBI) of the Toronto Blue Jays; Brad Miller (.458, 2 HR, 3 RBI) and Roenis Elias (2-0, 1.32 ERA, 13.2 IP, 2 BB, 11 SO) of the Seattle Mariners; Rubby De La Rosa (1-0, 0.64 ERA, 10 SO) of the Boston Red Sox; and Matt Shoemaker (2-0, 1.72 ERA, 15.2 IP, 3 BB, 16 SO) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, J.D. Martinez will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.