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Nats' Gutierrez named AFL Player of the Week

MLB.com

MESA, Ariz. -- The Washington Nationals' excitement surrounding Kelvin Gutierrez continues to grow after his explosive week at the plate in the Arizona Fall League.

Gutierrez was named AFL Player of the Week on Tuesday after batting .600 with a home run, four RBIs, three walks and five runs. He also had two multi-hit games.

MESA, Ariz. -- The Washington Nationals' excitement surrounding Kelvin Gutierrez continues to grow after his explosive week at the plate in the Arizona Fall League.

Gutierrez was named AFL Player of the Week on Tuesday after batting .600 with a home run, four RBIs, three walks and five runs. He also had two multi-hit games.

"I did the same things I always do. I put the balls in play, and thanks to God, everything came out the way it did," Gutierrez said.

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The Nationals' No. 12 prospect was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013. Gutierrez hit .278/.340/.408 with three doubles, seven triples, two home runs and 17 RBIs across 68 games with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nats and Class A Advanced Potomac in 2017, but he was sidelined for three months due to a sprained ankle.

"The biggest thing is, I want to get as many at-bats as I can here because of missing time during the season with an injury. So, getting as much as I can, and as much experience as I can here," Gutierrez said.

In his debut for the Mesa Solar Sox on Oct. 10, Gutierrez went 0-4. On Oct. 12, he left the game in the top of the first inning after having his hand spiked.

Gutierrez returned to the lineup on Oct. 30 with a triple as his first hit of the AFL season. He showed with his performance throughout the week that he can live up to those high expectations the organization has for him.

"It's a great honor, thanks to God. It shows that all the hard work I've put in has paid off," Gutierrez said.

"The biggest thing is just coming here and work hard, show I can do everything. Just continue working hard and get ready for years to come."

Brittany Bowyer is a graduate journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.