New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has repeated as the American League Player of the Week for the period ending August 28th, becoming the first rookie in Major League history to win consecutive Player of the Week awards. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Sanchez batted .522 (12-for-23) with seven runs scored, three doubles, five home runs and nine RBI over six games to claim his second consecutive AL Player of the Week Award. Sanchez, the first Yankee catcher to win the award since Thurman Munson on July 25, 1976, is the first AL player to win consecutive weekly honors since Albert Belle accomplished the feat for the Chicago White Sox in July 1998. Among his AL counterparts, Sanchez finished the period first in extra-base hits (8), slugging percentage (1.304) and total bases (30); tied for first in home runs; second in batting average, on-base percentage (.607) and RBI; tied for third in runs scored; tied for fourth in hits; and tied for sixth in doubles and walks (5). Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays also delivered an impressive week, batting .391 (9-for-23) with nine runs scored, five home runs and 10 RBI. In Sunday's contest against the Minnesota Twins, the 2015 AL Most Valuable Player recorded the first three-homer game of his sixth-year Major League career.
Sanchez began his award-winning week on Monday with a two-homer night against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field, his second career multi-home run game after also belting two round-trippers on August 16th against the Blue Jays. The Dominican Republic native became the first player in franchise history with two multi-homer games within his first 19 career games. On Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium, Sanchez recorded his third home run in as many days and the 11thof his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the right-handed 23-year-old became the first Yankee since Tino Martinez (April 5-15, 2005) to club nine home runs in a 10-game span, dating back to August 16th. In his 23rd career game, New York's slugging catcher became the quickest player in Major League history to hit his first 11 home runs. Additionally, his 11-homer month extended his Yankees rookie record for home runs in a calendar month. Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers was the last Major League rookie to launch 11 round-trippers in a month, doing so in July of his 2007 National League Rookie of the Year-winning season.
Other noteworthy performances last week included the aforementioned Donaldson; Gary's teammate Starlin Castro (.370, 6 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI); Kevin Gausman (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 13.0 IP, 11 SO) and Manny Machado (.394, 13 H, 3 HR, 7 RBI) of the Orioles; Dustin Pedroia (.600, .643 OBP, 15 H, 2 SB) and David Price (2-0, 1.29 ERA, 14.0 IP, 15 SO) of the Boston Red Sox; Miguel Cabrera (.435, .739 SLG, 10 H, 4 2B) of the Detroit Tigers; and Robinson Cano (.462, 5 R, 12 H, 2 HR) of the Mariners.
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.