Yankees' Gary Sanchez named American League Player of the Week

New York Yankees rookie catcher Gary Sanchez has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending August 21st. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.

Sanchez batted .524 (11-for-21) with four runs scored, two doubles, four home runs, six RBI and a stolen base over six games to claim his first career AL Player of the Week Award, the first for a Yankee catcher since Thurman Munson on July 25, 1976. No other catcher in the Yankees' storied history has achieved the honor. Among AL leaders, Sanchez finished the period first in batting average, slugging percentage (1.190) and on-base percentage (.600), tied for second in total bases (25) and extra-base hits (6), and tied for third in home runs and hits. Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals also delivered a strong week, batting .391 (9-for-23) with 10 runs scored, five home runs and eight RBI. The second overall selection in the 2005 MLB Draft logged a season-high 11-game hitting streak from August 9th-20th, with the Royals going 9-2 during his torrid stretch.

On Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, Sanchez went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, two home runs and four RBI. The rookie slugger became the seventh Yankee since 1913 to record a multi-homer game within his first 14 career games, and the first since Greg Bird accomplished the feat in his fifth game against the Minnesota Twins on August 19, 2015. At 23 years, 258 days, the Dominican Republic native became the second-youngest catcher in Yankees history to hit multiple round-trippers in a game. Hall of Famer Bill Dickey (22 years, 50 days) hit two home runs against the St. Louis Browns on July 26, 1929. Setting a career-high with four RBI, Gary became the youngest Yankee to record at least three hits and four RBI in a game since Jesus Montero (21 years, 300 days) did so against the Boston Red Sox on September 24, 2011. Additionally, Sanchez became the 10th player in franchise history to collect at least 10 RBI in his first 14 career games. Of those 10 players, only three had as many as Sanchez's 16 hits: Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio (25), Dick Kryhoski (19) and Hideki Matsui (17). Sanchez, who was signed by the Yankees in 2009, logged four straight multi-hit games during his award-winning week from August 15th-19th, hitting .714 (10-for-14) with three runs scored, three home runs and five RBI. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sanchez became the first rookie in club history with at least four consecutive multi-hit games since Robinson Cano had two five-game streaks in 2005. With a homer in Saturday's win over the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium, Sanchez joined Shelley Duncan (2007) as the only players in club history to hit six home runs in their first 17 Major League games.

Other noteworthy performances last week included the aforementioned Gordon and his Royals teammates Danny Duffy (2-0, 1.26 ERA, 14.1 IP, 9 SO) and Ian Kennedy (2-0, 0.61 ERA, 14.2 IP, 11 SO); David Ortiz (.500, 6 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI) of the Red Sox; Russell Martin (.375, .917 SLG, 4 HR, 7 RBI) of the Blue Jays; Jose Altuve (.407, 11 H, 4 2B, 9 RBI) and Alex Bregman (.393, 11 H, 3 HR, 9 RBI) of the Houston Astros; and J.D. Martinez (.500, 13 H, 3 HR, 6 RBI) of the Detroit Tigers.

In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Gary Sanchez will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.