Chicago White Sox rookie first baseman Jose Abreu and Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager have been named the American League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending April 27th. This is the first career weekly honor for both players. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Abreu batted .310 (9-for-29) with one double, five homers, 14 RBI and eight runs scored in seven games to become the first White Sox rookie to win A.L. Player of the Week since infielder Josh Fields on September 24, 2007. Among Major League leaders, Jose finished first in RBI and total bases (25) and tied Seager for tops overall in home runs. The Cuban slugger also matched Seager for the A.L. lead in runs scored and was second in the Junior Circuit in slugging percentage (.862). On Tuesday, the right-handed-hitting Abreu went 2-for-3 with a solo homer in the opening frame, but his efforts were not enough as the Tigers topped the White Sox, 8-6, in the Motor City. The next day, the 27-year-old once again opened the scoring as Abreu launched a two-run homer in the first to propel the South Siders to an eventual 6-4 triumph. Returning home on Friday, Jose continued his offensive tear with a 3-for-5 showing, saving his biggest highlight for the ninth inning when he launched a two-out, walk-off grand slam, his second homer of the game, to give the Sox a dramatic 9-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. The slam was Abreu's first, and it gave him a Major League-rookie-record nine homers in the month of April to surpass the previous mark of eight set by Kent Hrbek (1982), Carlos Delgado (1994) and Albert Pujols (2001). The multi-homer outing was his third of the month, making Jose the first player in Major League history to record three such instances in his first 24 career games. On Sunday, Abreu extended his April home run mark to 10 with a two-run shot as the White Sox downed Tampa Bay, 9-2. Jose drove in four on the day to establish a rookie record for the most RBI in April with 31.
Seager batted .409 (9-for-22) during his award-winning week, launching five homers with 11 RBI over six games. Among Major League hitters, Kyle was first in slugging percentage (1.091), second in total bases (24) and third overall in RBI. On Wednesday, Seager accounted for all five Mariners runs as the lefty-swinging North Carolina native launched a two-run homer in the seventh and a three-run, walk-off shot with one out in the ninth as the Mariners defeated the Houston Astros, 5-3. His five RBI established a new career high. On Sunday, the 26-year-old University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill product enjoyed his second two-homer game of the week and his fourth straight multi-hit game as the Mariners topped the visiting Texas Rangers, 6-5. With his team trailing 5-3 in the eighth, the 2009 third-round draft pick belted a three-run blast, part of a four-RBI day, to give the Mariners the late lead in the victory.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Nelson Cruz (.296, 4 HR, 13 RBI) of the Baltimore Orioles; Erick Aybar (.480, 12 H, 4 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; and Collin McHugh (2-0, 0.59 ERA, 15.1 IP, 19 SO) of the Houston Astros.
In recognition of their American League Co-Player of the Week Awards, Jose Abreu and Kyle Seager will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.