Third baseman Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates has been named National League Player of the Week for the period ending June 23rd. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
In seven games last week, Alvarez ranked among league leaders in multiple offensive categories. The second overall pick in the 2008 Draft paced the N.L. with 10 RBI while hitting four home runs (T-2nd), collecting 27 total bases (3rd), and slugging .931 (4th). Alvarez hit .414 (12-for-29) for the week, the Senior Circuit's fifth-best mark, while his five runs scored were tied for seventh and his .452 on-base percentage ranked ninth. He collected at least a hit in each of his seven games, helping the Pirates to a 5-2 record for the week.
On Tuesday at Cincinnati, Alvarez's two-run single in the top of the first inning gave the Bucs an early 3-0 lead and helped Pittsburgh right-hander Charlie Morton earn his first win of the season. The Vanderbilt University product's five-RBI performance in Thursday's series finale was the difference in a 5-3 Pirates victory that earned them a split in the four-game set with their N.L. Central rivals. Alvarez kept the Pirates on pace with the Reds throughout the day, clubbing an RBI single in the top of the third and a solo homer in the sixth, before giving his club a 5-2 lead in the seventh with a clutch three-run double. The left-handed-hitting slugger continued his torrid road trip as the Pirates traveled to the West Coast to take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In the first of the three-game set at Angel Stadium, Alvarez went 2-for-3 with a walk and crushed his 17th homer of the year as Pittsburgh took a 5-2 decision. On Saturday, the 26-year-old went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run on the way to a 6-1 Pirates victory. Alvarez clubbed his 19th home run of the season in the first inning of Sunday's series finale to give the Bucs an early 1-0 lead. His leadoff double in the 10th inning of the game sparked a four-run Pirates rally in an eventual 10-9 win. It was the New York City native's fourth straight multi-hit effort and his fourth consecutive game with a home run, marking a career- best streak. His 19 homers this year are tied for second in the N.L. while his 51 RBI are tied for sixth. This is his third career weekly award, having won previously for September 19-26, 2010 and July 28-September 3, 2012.
Other noteworthy performances last week included San Francisco's Gregor Blanco (.500, 14 H, 4 R, 2 SB, .517 OBP); Cincinnati's Jay Bruce (.276, 6 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R) and Joey Votto (.407, 11 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI, .467 OBP); Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt (.364, 5 R, 4 HR, 6 RBI, .909 SLG); Philadelphia's Ryan Howard (.476, 10 H, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 1.095 SLG, .538 OBP); Hanley Ramirez (.500, 6 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 1.000 SLG, .542 OBP) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; David Wright (.361, 13 H, 3 HR, 5 RBI) and Matt Harvey (2-0, 2.08 ERA, 19 SO, 13.0 IP) of the New York Mets; and Jeff Samardzija (2-0, 2.93 ERA, 11 SO, 15.1 IP) of the Chicago Cubs.
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Pedro Alvarez will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.