A perennial All-Star broke out of a prolonged slump and reignited a D-backs team that saw only fog in an 8-19 month of May. A 5-foot-10, 185-pound power hitter brought consistency to a Twins team marred by injuries and searching for creative ways to win.
Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt and Minnesota's Eduardo Escobar were recognized as National League and American League Players of the Week, presented by W.B. Mason. It is Escobar's first honor and Goldschmidt's second, his first since May 2015.
• Past winners:NL | AL
Less than a month ago, Goldschmidt was hitting under .200. He went 29 games without a home run from mid-April to mid-May -- the longest span of his career. And after beginning his 2018 campaign with one of his slowest starts to a season, Goldschmidt is having an incredible June, and an even better past week of baseball.
The three-time Silver Slugger hit .640/.690/1.440 with four home runs, 11 RBIs and a 2.130 OPS in his past six games. Goldschmidt set a new mark for the longest opposite-field home run hit by a right-handed batter after clobbering a Chad Bettis pitch projected at 450 feet into the seats at Coors Field. The D-backs swept the Rockies behind Goldy's output, as he put 12 balls in play -- including nine hard-hit balls with an exit velocity of 95 mph or above. And he's just getting started.
"My confidence is always the same," Goldschmidt said. "I was just able to come through ... There was a while where I wasn't. It wasn't like I lost confidence. Just wasn't executing, and that's part of the game. There's a lot of failure in this game. I've said it for a few days, that just because I had a few good days, it doesn't mean it's going to continue. Just try to keep putting the work in and go out there and play well."
In the final year of his contract with the Twins, Escobar had one job after Jorge Polanco was sidelined with an 80-game suspension: Fill in at shortstop. But the 29-year-old went even further, maintaining a forward path for a team that made a series of boosts to its roster coming into the 2018 season.
Escobar hit .462/.500/1.000 with two homers, six doubles, a triple and eight RBIs in over seven games in the past week. His unrelenting presence at the plate helped the Twins erupt for a four-run rally after being limited to just one hit through seven innings against the White Sox on Tuesday. The go-ahead jack, Escobar's 11th homer of the year, came on a 97.3-mph fastball. That's the fastest pitch for a homer by Minnesota this year, and the fastest offering he has hit for a homer in his career. The feat resulted in a curtain call at Target Field.
"I was so happy," Escobar said after about the curtain call. "I love the moment for me, but the most important thing is winning the game."