Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro's first opening week in the Major Leagues was more than anyone could have expected from a 21-year-old and, because of that, the youngster already is earning awards. Castro and St. Louis left-hander Jaime Garcia were named cowinners of the National League Player of the Week Award, the league announced on Monday. Through the first three games of the season, Castro led the Majors with a .615 (8-for-13) batting average and a .643 on-base percentage. He also led the NL with a 1.000 slugging percentage and 13 total bases.
In Sunday's series finale against the Pirates, Castro went 3-for-4 with two triples, marking his third multi-hit performance in as many games. Garcia, who finished third in the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year voting, tossed a four-hitter against the Padres on April 3 to earn a 2-0 win at Busch Stadium. The 24-year-old lefty faced just four batters over the minimum, throwing 102 pitches while striking out nine. This marks the first career NL Player of the Week Award for both Castro and Garcia. Castro and Garcia weren't the only players in MLB's Central divisions to be honored this week, as White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin was named the American League winner. Quentin was the power bat behind Chicago's 2-1 start, as the 28-year-old outfielder hit .545 (6-for-11) while notching three doubles and seven RBIs, both Major League bests. He also hit a home run and scored three runs, while posting a 1.091 slugging percentage and a .583 on-base percentage. Quentin delivered immediately on Opening Day, hitting a two-run home run in the third inning and finishing with three hits and five RBIs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Quentin's five RBIs tied Sammy Sosa (1991) for the second-most by a White Sox player on Opening Day, trailing Minnie Minoso's six RBIs in 1951. Since arriving to the AL prior to the 2008 season, Quentin has hit 84 home runs, including 77 as an outfielder, which is tied with Curtis Granderson of the New York Yankees for the most home runs in the AL by an outfielder. This is Quentin's second career weekly award, the first of which came on June 27, 2010.