Designated hitter Nelson Cruz of the Minnesota Twins has been chosen the American League Player of the Week presented by Chevrolet and starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks of the Chicago Cubs has been named the National League Player of the Week presented by Chevrolet. The announcements were made earlier today on MLB Network.
Cruz earned his seventh career AL Player of the Week Award, most recently winning for the period ending July 28th of last year, and is the 23rd different American Leaguer to win at least seven times since the award was introduced in the AL in 1974. Hendricks claimed his second career weekly honor, previously accomplishing the feat during his outstanding 2016 campaign (August 7th). Kyle’s rotation-mate Jon Lester was the last Cubs pitcher outside of Hendricks to earn NL Player of the Week, also doing so during the Cubs’ 2016 World Series-winning campaign (June 12th).
- Batted .538 (7-for-23) with seven runs scored, two doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI, a walk, and a 1.385 slugging percentage over three games played.
- In a historic contest on Sunday, logged four runs scored, two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI to lead Minnesota to a rubber-match win against the White Sox.
- At 40 years, 25 days old, became the fourth-oldest player in Major League history to amass seven RBI in a single game, joining Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Reggie Jackson, as well as Jason Giambi. In addition, became the second-oldest player with four extra-base hits in a game since 1901, joining Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson.
- Became the first player in franchise history to record at least four runs, four extra-base hits and seven RBI in a single game. Was just the 30th such game in Baseball history, and the first since Matt Carpenter on July 20, 2018.
Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs
- Earned the victory on Opening Day after tossing a complete-game shutout with nine strikeouts and no walks while permitting just three baserunners.
- Became the first Cubs pitcher to toss a nine-inning shutout on Opening Day since Bill Bonham in 1974, and the first Major Leaguer since Clayton Kershaw in 2013.
- Joined Hall of Famer Bob Gibson (1967) and Chris Short (1968) as the only hurlers to register nine-or-more strikeouts and zero walks in a shutout on Opening Day since 1901.
- The outing was his 29th with the Cubs in which he tallied at least five strikeouts without allowing a fee pass, third-most in franchise history, trailing only Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins (50) and Greg Maddux (31).
- Other noteworthy AL performances last week included outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (.636, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 RBI) of the Boston Red Sox; All-Star starting pitcher Shane Bieber (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 14 SO, 1 BB) of the Cleveland Indians; outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (.444, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI) of the New York Yankees; shortstop José Iglesias (.538, 7 R, 3 2B, 2 RBI) of the Baltimore Orioles; starter Lance Lynn (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 9 SO) of the Texas Rangers; and first baseman Matt Olson (2 R, 2 H, 1 HR, 5 RBI) of the Oakland A’s, who clubbed a walk-off grand slam in extra innings on Friday night.
Other noteworthy NL performances for the week included first baseman Eric Hosmer (.667, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI) of the San Diego Padres; starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (6.1 IP, 1.42 ERA, 13 SO, 1 BB) of the Cincinnati Reds; infielder Miguel Rojas (.700, 7 H, 3 XBH, 5 RBI) of the Miami Marlins; starting pitcher Ross Stripling (1-0, 1.29 ERA, 7 SO, 0 BB) and third baseman Justin Turner (.467, 3 R, 4 2B, 4 RBI) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; and outfielder Marcell Ozuna (.333, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI) of the Atlanta Braves.
PLAY OF THE WEEK
Leaping catch at the wall by Albert Almora Jr. of the Chicago Cubs
July 26 vs. MIL – Watch It Here
Outfielder Albert Almora Jr. of the Chicago Cubs earned his first career Play of the Week honor and is the first Cubs player to accomplish the feat since the award was introduced in 2019. With no outs in the top of the ninth inning in yesterday’s tilt against the Milwaukee Brewers, Almora ranged back to deep right-center field before leaping into the ivy to rob Logan Morrison of an extra-base hit. Additional Play of the Week candidates included Anthony Santander’s home-run robbing catch; Francisco Lindor’s jump-throw from deep in the hole at shortstop; JaCoby Jones’ leaping catch against the centerfield wall; Austin Slater’s twisting snag on the warning track; and Garrett Hampson’s home-run robbing catch at the new Globe Life Field.