Carlos Quentin's hot start earned him the first American League Player of the Week Award for 2011, Major League Baseball announced Monday. Quentin, a 28-year-old outfielder, was a key reason for the White Sox getting out to a 2-1 start, hitting .545 (6-for-11) with Major League-bests in doubles (three) and RBIs (seven). 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 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.
This is Quentin's second Player of the Week Award, the first coming on June 27, 2010. Since he was traded from Arizona to the American League 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 that span by an AL outfielder. Quentin was joined by two winners from the National League Central: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro and Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia. Through the season's first three days, the 21-year-old 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 was third in the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year voting, tossed a four-hit shutout on April 3 against the Padres at Busch Stadium. The 24-year-old lefty faced only four batters over the minimum, throwing 102 pitches while striking out nine in a 2-0 win. This marks the first career NL Player of the Week Awards for both Castro and Garcia.