Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton has been named the National League Player of the Week for the week ending April 13, 2014. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Upton was Major League Baseball's top hitter last week, posting a .591 batting average (13-for-22), while also leading Baseball in slugging (1.227), on-base percentage (.654), hits and total bases (27). The 26-year-old's four homers were tied for the most in the Majors and his eight runs scored and eight RBI were tied for first and third in the N.L., respectively.
Upton's offensive punch helped the Braves complete a three-game sweep of division-rival Washington over the weekend, going a combined 8-for-10 with three walks, a pair of homers and five RBI in the series. In Sunday's series finale, the Virginia native clubbed a two-run shot to give the hometown Braves a 3-0 lead in an eventual 10-2 victory. Saturday's contest began in similar fashion, as Upton lined an RBI-double to deep left field in his first plate appearance of the evening, staking the Braves to a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first. The two-time All-Star finished the day with a pair of doubles and two runs scored while posting his third consecutive three-hit performance in the Braves 6-3 victory. On Friday night, Upton's late-inning heroics helped the Braves salvage a win after losing an early four-run lead. Behind 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth, Upton leveled the score with a solo shot before driving in the winning run with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th. Upton notched his seventh career multi-homer game in Thursday's outing against the Mets, going 3-for-4 with three RBI in the 6-4 loss. The first overall selection in the 2005 Draft had multi-hit efforts in five of his six games last week. This is the third career weekly award for the younger Upton, having won previously for the weeks of June 19 and July 24, 2011 - both as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Upton's Atlanta teammate Freddie Freeman (.458, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R, 11 H, .833 SLG, .481 OBP); Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (.417, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R, 10 H, .917 SLG, .423 OBP) and Kyle Lohse (2-0, 2.63 ERA, 13 SO, 13.2 IP); Adrian Gonzalez (.409, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R, 9 H, 1.045 SLG, .435 OBP) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Washington's Bryce Harper (.476 HR, 4 RBI, 10 H, .667 SLG, .560 OBP) and Stephen Strasburg (1-0, 1.35 ERA, 12 SO, 6.2 IP); Yadier Molina (.458, HR, 6 RBI, 5 R, 11 H, .708 SLG, .480 OBP) and Michael Wacha (2-0, 2.92 ERA, 11 SO, 12.1 IP) of the St. Louis Cardinals; and San Diego's Andrew Cashner (1-0, 0.00 ERA, CG, SHO, 11 SO, 9.0 IP);
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Justin Upton will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.