Catcher Russell Martin of the Pittsburgh Pirates has been named National League Player of the Week for the period ending April 28th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
In six games last week, Martin hit .375 (9-for-24) while leading the National League with four home runs, a .958 slugging percentage and 23 total bases. The Canadian-born backstop also ranked among league leaders in hits, runs-scored (5) and RBI (6) last week while helping the NL Central-leading Pirates to a 5-2 record. On Sunday, Martin's three-hit effort included two homers and a double, marking just the second time in the last 50 years that a Bucs catcher has recorded three extra-base hits with at least two home runs in a single game (Ryan Doumit accomplished the feat on June 10, 2008 vs. Washington). The multi-homer effort was the seventh of Martin's Major League career (first since May 10, 2012) and left him just two shy of his 100th career four-bagger. The offensive contribution helped power the Bucs to a 9-0 victory in the rubber-match of a three-game set at St. Louis. The 30-year-old slugger also played a key role in Saturday's showdown between the two clubs. Down 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning, Martin crushed the first pitch he saw to tie the game at 2-2. The clutch hit ignited a four-run inning for the Bucs on the way to an eventual 5-3 win over their division rivals. Martin, who is in his first season with the Pirates after signing as a free agent in the offseason, currently ranks second among N.L. catchers with 12 runs scored, and his five homers rank fourth. This is his first career weekly honor.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Martin's Pittsburgh teammates Pedro Alvarez (.360, 2 HR, 6 RBI, .600 SLG) and Jeff Locke (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 10 SO, 13.0 IP); Colorado's Dexter Fowler (.393, 11 H, 2 2B, 4 R, .500 OBP) and Eric Young, Jr. (.391, 9 H, 4 2B, .652 SLG); Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez (.450, 5 R, 3 2B, HR, .542 OBP); Philadelphia's Ryan Howard (.308, 2 HR, 10 RBI, .654 SLG), Michael Young (.409, 4 R, 9 H, .500 OBP) and Kyle Kendrick (1-0, 0.00 ERA, CG, SHO, 5 SO); Arizona's Gerardo Parra (.417, 10 H, 6 R, .500 OBP); Miami's Giancarlo Stanton (.364, 3 HR, 8 RBI, .818 SLG, .462 OBP); Cincinnati's Tony Cingrani (1-0, 1.38 ERA, 13.0 IP, 20 SO); Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 1.38 ERA, 13.0 IP, 17 SO) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; and Washington's Jordan Zimmermann (1-0, 0.00 ERA, CG, SHO).
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Russell Martin will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.