Outfielder Juan Lagares of the New York Mets has been named National League Player of the Week for the period ending July 21st. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
In three games since returning from the 2013 All-Star break, Lagares led the Majors with a .700 (7-for-10) batting average while tying for the Major League lead in hits. The rookie slugger ranked second among National Leaguers in slugging percentage (1.200), third in total bases (12) and tied for third in RBI (5) while clubbing two doubles and one home run. The 24-year-old Lagares, who was hitting just .234 (33-for-141) in 52 contests prior to the All-Star break, saw his average improve to .265 after the hot start to the second half. In Friday's series-opener against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field, Lagares went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored in a 13-8 loss. It was the youngster's 10th multi-hit performance on the season. On Saturday, Lagares tied a career high (also: June 5th and June 21st) with a three-hit effort in a 5-4 victory over the Phils. The Constanza, Dominican Republic native went 3-for-4 in the outing with a double and an RBI. His first-inning single off Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels plated David Wright to give the Mets an early 2-1 lead. In Sunday's rubber-match between the two division rivals, Lagares logged his third consecutive multi-hit effort, going 2-for-3 with a home run and a career-high-tying three RBI (also: July 5th) as the Mets handed Philadelphia a 5-0 defeat. Juan's three-run shot in the fourth inning gave the Mets and National League All-Star starter Matt Harvey a 5-0 lead that they would not relinquish. The home run was Lagares' second of the season and gave him 16 RBI this year. With his weekend performance, the young speedster continued a torrid month of July in which he has hit .412 (14-for-34) with nine RBI. This is his first career weekly award.
Other noteworthy performances over the weekend included Harvey (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 10 SO, 7.0 IP); San Diego's Yonder Alonso (.429, 6 H, 2 RBI); Mark Ellis (.545, 6 H, .636 SLG, .583 OBP) and Hanley Ramirez (.462, 6 H, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1.000 SLG) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Philadelphia's Delmon Young (.538, 7 H, 2 2B, .692 SLG); Washington's Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 11 SO, 6.0 IP); and Milwaukee's Wily Peralta (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 SO, 8.0 IP).
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Juan Lagares will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.