Frank Catalanotto struggled to stay healthy in 2004, making three trips to the disabled list.
In 2005, the only struggles he had were with the bat -- and he wiped them out in the last week of the season, when he led the American League in four major categories. Catalanotto was named the Bank of America American League Player of the Week on Monday.
"The thing that I'm most satisfied by is being able to stay healthy all year. I felt great all year," Catalanotto said Sunday. "If you'd asked me a week ago, I would've said I was very disappointed. I didn't give up, I didn't give in and I was able to finish strong. I'm pretty proud of myself."
Catalanotto batted .500 (15-30) in seven games last week, raising his season average to .301. Manager John Gibbons removed him after his third at-bat on Sunday to preserve the mark. Catalanotto led the league with 15 hits, 15 RBIs, a .967 slugging percentage and 29 total bases. The left fielder also posted a .516 on-base percentage, scored four runs and tripled twice.
Catalanotto's week was highlighted by an array of clutch hits, driving in three runs in four consecutive games from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, several of them putting his team ahead. He went hitless only in the week's first game, the early half of a doubleheader with the Red Sox.
He tallied four hits in the second game, launching him on a week-long tear. The next day, Catalanotto hit a double, triple and home run in his first three at-bats, leaving him a single short of the cycle. He batted twice more, but grounded out each time.
"I was looking for a pitch to hit and [trying] not to put too much pressure on myself," said Catalanotto, the only player in Toronto history to have a six-hit night. "I wasn't able to hit a ball solidly and get it through."
This is Catalanotto's second AL Player of the Week Award this season. He also won the week of July 25.
This time, the Blue Jay's outfielder beat out Boston's Manny Ramirez (.409, four home runs and nine RBIs), Melvin Mora (.333, four home runs and nine RBIs) of the Baltimore Orioles, Angels right-hander John Lackey (2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings pitched) and Randy Johnson (2-0 with a 2.03 ERA and 10 strikeouts) of the New York Yankees.
Ben Couch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.