Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending July 31st. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Moreland batted .455 (10-for-22) with six runs scored, five home runs and nine RBI over seven games to claim his first career AL Player of the Week Award. Mitch paced the Majors in home runs, slugging percentage (1.136) and total bases (25). Among AL leaders, he also finished the period tied for first in RBI, second in batting average, tied for second in runs scored, tied for third in extrabase hits (5), tied for fourth in hits and seventh in on-base percentage (.478).
In Thursday night's series opener against the Kansas City Royals at Globe Life Park in Arlington, the Mississippi native went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs, including the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning that propelled the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the defending champions. It marked his second multi-homer game of the 2016 campaign (also June 10th) and 10th of his career. On Saturday against the Royals, the left-handed slugger delivered a game-ending home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the club's fourth walk-off win in 2016. The Rangers' three walk-off homers this season are tied for third-most in Major League Baseball, trailing the Seattle Mariners (6) and San Diego Padres (4). Saturday night was the Mississippi State University product's second career walk-off home run, last accomplishing the feat on June 21, 2011 vs. Houston Astros. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Moreland is just the third first baseman in franchise history with multiple walk-off homers, joining Pete O'Brien (3) and Rafael Palmeiro (2). With a round-tripper in Sunday's series finale with Kansas City, Moreland logged his fourth homer in as many days, while driving in a run for his career-high sixth consecutive game. Since 2014, no Rangers player has recorded a longer streak. This week's five-homer output gives the seven-year veteran seven home runs since the Midsummer Classic in San Diego, matching Khris Davis of the Oakland Athletics for most in the AL. With a 5-2 record during Moreland's award-winning week, the Rangers now lead the AL West by six games with a 62-44 record.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Miguel Cabrera (.429, 7 R, 4 HR, 9 RBI) and Justin Verlander (2-0, 1.80 ERA, 1 CG, 16 SO) of the Detroit Tigers; Brian Dozier (.385, 7 R, 4 2B, 20 TB) of the Minnesota Twins; Brad Miller (.381, 5 R, 3 2B, .905 SLG) of the Tampa Bay Rays; Adam Jones (.321, 5 R, 3 HR, 8 RBI) of the Baltimore Orioles; and Tyler Skaggs (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 12.1 IP, 13 SO) of the Los Angeles Angels, following his first two starts after returning from Tommy John Surgery.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Mitch Moreland will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.