Kansas City Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending July 3rd. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Morales batted .577 (15-for-26) with six runs scored, three doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI over six games to claim his third career AL Player of the Week Award, last winning with the Los Angeles Angels on April 25, 2010. Kendrys paced the Majors in batting average, hits and total bases (30). Among AL leaders, the 10-year-veteran finished the period first in extra-base hits (7), tied for first in home runs and on-base percentage (.607), and tied for second in RBI. The last Royals player to earn weekly honors was Lorenzo Cain, who was named AL Co-Player of the Week on July 19, 2015 with Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros.
The switch-hitting designated hitter logged 16 hits over six games from June 25th-30th, becoming just the second Royals player in club history to do so. Mike Sweeney tallied 16 hits over a six-game stretch during his All-Star campaign in 2002, as well as 2004. During the Royals' interleague four-game home-and-home series with the St. Louis Cardinals from June 27th-30th, the 33-yearold slugger batted .750 (12-for-16) with three runs scored, three doubles, a homer and four RBI. The only Royal to record 12 hits in a four-game series is Hall of Famer George Brett, who reached 12 hits in a four-game set against the Angels in 1975. Following Thursday's three-hit output against the Cardinals, Morales recorded multiple hits in his sixth straight game, joining Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox, as well as J.D. Martinez of the Detroit Tigers for the longest stretch with two hits-or-more this season. In eight games from June 25th-July 2nd, the Cuban native delivered multi-hit efforts in seven contests, while delivering a home run in his only one-hit game on July 1st against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Morales, the 2015 Edgar Martinez Award-winner, hit .613 (19-for-31) with nine runs scored, three doubles, six homers and 13 RBI during his torrid stretch. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first player to hit .600-or-better with at least six home runs and 13 RBI during an eight-game span since Barry Bonds accomplished the feat for the San Francisco Giants in April 2004.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Morales' teammate Danny Duffy (2-0, 2.16 ERA, 16.2 IP, 15 SO); Josh Donaldson (.387, 11 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI) and Edwin Encarnacion (.375, 9 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI) of the Toronto Blue Jays; Seth Smith (.476, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 1.048 SLG) of the Seattle Mariners; Brian Dozier (.400, 8 R, 9 RBI, 1.000 SLG) of the Minnesota Twins; and C.J. Cron (.478, 6 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI) of the Angels. In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Kendrys Morales will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.