Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending April 29th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Konerko batted .435 (10-for-23) with three doubles, three home runs, four RBI, two walks and three runs scored in six games. The 36-year-old finished tops in the A.L. during the week in slugging percentage (.957) and total bases (22), tied for first in batting average, home runs and hits, and finished tied for third in on-base percentage (.500). Among the early-season league leaders, Konerko is tied for second in doubles (9), is third in slugging percentage (.679), is tied for third in on-base percentage (.444), is fourth in batting average (.383) and hits (31), and is tied for ninth in homers (5).
On Monday, April 23rd, Konerko launched a fourth inning solo home run off Bartolo Colon to help drive the White Sox to a 4-0 shutout victory over the A’s at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. It was Chicago’s fourth straight win after sweeping three games from the Seattle Mariners over the previous weekend. In the rubber match between the Clubs two nights later, Konerko, the 13th pick in the first round of the 1994 First-Year Player Draft (by the Los Angeles Dodgers), led off the ninth inning in heroic fashion as he mashed the 400th round tripper of his career, knotting the score at 2-2 to help send the game into extra frames. The solo blast was part of a 3-for-5 effort from the 16-year-veteran in the 5-4, 14-inning loss. Konerko’s shot helped him become just the fourth player in franchise history to hit a milestone homer of 400-or-more while in a White Sox uniform, joining Frank Thomas (400th in 2003), Jim Thome (500th in 2007) and Andruw Jones (400th in 2010). The 36-year-old also joined Luke Appling, Nellie Fox, Thomas and Eddie Collins as the only White Sox players to amass 2,000 career hits with the South Siders. After a pair of two-hit nights against the Boston Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday and Friday, the five-time A.L. All-Star enjoyed his fourth consecutive multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk in a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox on Saturday. It was the right-handed hitting slugger’s 12th multi-hit game this season, tying him for tops in the Majors with New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. This is the fifth career Player of the Week honor for Paul (last 4/10/2011) as he joins Phil Humber as White Sox winners this season.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Konerko’s teammate Jake Peavy (1-1, 0.50 ERA, 12 K, 3 BB, 2 CG, shutout at Oakland on April 23rd); Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (.370, 10 H, 3 HR, 7 RBI); Baltimore Orioles infielder Chris Davis (.389, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI); and Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (.318, 1 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI).
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Paul Konerko will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.