Two corner outfielders -- one an up-and-comer who showed he's starting to figure out the Major Leagues and the other an established veteran proving he can still do it -- captured Player of the Week honors on Monday, as the Angels' Bobby Abreu claimed the award -- presented by Bank of America -- in the American League and the Marlins' Mike Stanton won it in the National League.
Stanton is yet another stud rookie who's blossoming this season. Last week, he went on a rampage.
The 20-year-old right fielder led the Majors last week with a .583 batting average (14-for-24), five doubles, 14 hits, a 1.292 slugging percentage, a .630 on-base percentage and 31 total bases. He also added four homers (tied for first in the Majors), eight RBIs, (second in the NL) and scored five runs, catapulting into the discussion for the highly competitive NL Rookie of the Year Award.
The Marlins' second-round Draft pick in 2007 also tied a club record with five hits against the Nationals on Wednesday -- while also adding four RBIs in that game -- and hit safely in every game last week to capture his first Player of the Week Award.
Stanton is now batting .275 with 14 homers and 39 RBIs in the first 56 games of his Major League career.
"As a fan, you don't want to miss one at-bat for that guy," said Marlins interim manager Edwin Rodriguez, who recently moved Stanton up to the No. 5 spot in the batting order. "Maybe his last at-bat is the one when he's going to make history. He's something special."
While hitting safely in each of his six games last week, Abreu posted an AL-best .524 batting average (11-for-21) while adding two homers and five RBIs. The two-time All-Star also led the league with a .615 on-base percentage, was tied for first with 11 hits, ranked second with a .952 on-base percentage and was tied for second with three doubles.
On Monday, the 36-year-old -- now spending most of his time in left field with the Angels -- went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs in a 6-4 win over the Royals. Then, on Wednesday, Abreu notched his fourth career walk-off homer on a solo shot in the bottom of the 10th, lifting his club to a 2-1 win and a three-game sweep of Kansas City.
Abreu is now batting .394 since assuming the leadoff role for the Angels, and the club has gone 6-3 in that span. And even though he's still batting an uncharacteristic .266 with 14 homers in 115 games this season, he doesn't believe the bat is slowing down just yet.
"My swing is good," said Abreu, who previously won three NL Player of the Week Awards and has now claimed his first for the Junior Circuit. "I still hit the ball all over the place. I will say this was a tough year for me. But we've got this month, and I've got next month, too. I think I can have a little time to recover."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Gonzo and 'The Show'. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.