Nationals SS Danny Espinosa named National League Player of the Week

Following a week in which he hit .423 with two doubles, five home runs, 17 RBI, one hit-by-pitch, four walks and eight runs scored, Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa was named the National League Player of the Week on Tuesday. Major League Baseball made the announcement on MLB Network.

This is the first Player of the Week award of Espinosa's career, coming after he turned in one of the most impressive series in Major League history, June 30-July 3 vs. Cincinnati.

Over the course of the Nationals' four-game series with the Reds, Espinosa clubbed five home runs and drove in 15, a franchise record (Nationals/Expos) for RBI in a single series. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only players in MLB history to match Espinosa's home run and RBI total in a series of no more than four games were NYY's Tony Lazzeri (at Philadelphia, 1936: 6 HR, 16 RBI in 4 G), STL's Chet Laabs (at Philadelphia, 1942: 5 HR, 15 RBI in 4 G), and SDP's Nate Colbert (at Atlanta, 1972: 6 HR, 15 RBI in 4 G).

For the week of June 27-July 3, Espinosa led all Major League players in home runs (T1st, 5) and RBI (17), while leading all National League players in slugging percentage (1.077), and OPS (1.593). He ranked second in the NL in runs (8) and hits (T2nd, 11).

But it wasn't just the totals that exemplified Espinosa's exceptional week. The Nationals' shortstop had two multi-homer games in a four-game span, included a grand slam in each of those contests, and in both games hit one home run from the left side of the plate and one home run from the right side.

He became just the fifth shortstop in MLB history to hit two grand slams in the same series, according toElias, joining Travis Jackson (1924, Giants at Philadelphia, 5 game series), Nomar Garciaparra (1999, Red Sox vs. Mariners, 3 game series), David Eckstein (2002, Angels vs. Blue Jays, 3 game series), and Hanley Ramirez (2009, Marlins vs. Orioles, 3 game series).

The first player in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game, twice in the same season, Espinosa also joined Detroit's Victor Martinez as the only players to accomplish that feat this season. According to STATS, Inc., Espinosa is the first National League player to do it since Carlos Beltran for St. Louis in 2013.

Espinosa joins outfielder Bryce Harper (April 11-17) as the Nationals' Player of the Week honorees this season. It is the 20th such honor for the Nationals organization.

In addition to Harper's from earlier this season, Espinosa adds to the haul brought in by Harper (May 4-10, May 11-17, & Sept. 14-20, 2015), Max Scherzer (June 15-21 & Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2015), Stephen Strasburg (Sept. 14-20, 2015 & June 7-13, 2010), Jordan Zimmermann (Sept. 22-28, 2014; June 2-8, 2014), Adam LaRoche (Sept. 1-7, 2014), Jayson Werth (June 30-July 6, 2014), Ryan Zimmerman (July 16-22, 2012; Aug. 15-21, 2011; July 30-Aug. 5, 2007), Josh Willingham (July 27-Aug. 2, 2009), Cristian Guzman (Aug. 25-31, 2008), and Nick Johnson (May 31-June 6, 2005) as honorees.