As one star continued his strong start in 2018, another had the type of productive week indicating he could be breaking out in the MVP fashion he's accustomed to. And for their efforts, Didi Gregorius and Joey Votto were named the American League and National League Players of the Week
As one star continued his strong start in 2018, another had the type of productive week indicating he could be breaking out in the MVP fashion he's accustomed to. And for their efforts, Didi Gregorius and Joey Votto were named the American League and National League Players of the Week presented by W.B. Mason.
Votto slashed .360/.543/.880 while drawing nine walks and striking out just five times. The Reds' first baseman saw a return to the trademark on-base prowess that he struggled with over much of April. Gregorius hit .357/.419/.821 with 10 RBIs. The Yankees' shortstop also scored seven runs. Both players hit four homers in that span, as two of six players to go deep that many times last week.
This is the first time Gregorius has been distinguished as AL Player of the Week, and it caps a red-hot April for the star shortstop, who has been the most critical cog so far in the Yankees' loaded lineup.
"To be honest, I think this is one of the best months I've ever had," Gregorius said. "Consistently, I'm trying to get there, trying to keep it there. I know this game is not easy, but I try to work on it and try to get better. You've got to stay ready to hit and play the game the right way."
Gregorius entered Monday leading the Majors in homers (10), RBIs (30), slugging percentage (.766) and wRC+ (207). He is just the fourth shortstop since 1908 to homer 10 times through his team's first 27 games.
"I appreciate getting that award, but it starts with all the guys in front of me, for me to get the RBIs," said Gregorius. "They put me almost every time in a good position to hit. You always stay ready. That's basically what it is."
Votto homered in four straight games -- a streak he'd never reached to that point in his career -- which snapped a homerless streak of 93 plate appearances to start the season. He's now reached base in 14 straight games, raising his on-base percentage 111 points to .397 after starting the season in an uncharacteristic funk.
For Votto, who finished runner-up for the NL MVP Award last year, this marks the fourth time he's been honored as NL Player of the Week, and first since the week of July 2 last year.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.