Houston Astros designated hitter Chris Carter has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending August 17th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Carter batted .321 (9-for-28) with four homers, nine RBI and five runs scored in seven games to capture his first career weekly honor. He is the second Astro to get tabbed with a Player of the Week Award this season after teammate Dallas Keuchel won for the week ending May 25th. Chris led all Major League hitters in homers, and among A.L. batters he was first in RBI and total bases (21) and was fourth in slugging percentage (.750). The right-handed-hitting Carter notched four multi-hit games this week, tallying eight so far in the month of August. Since July 1st, he leads the Majors in homers (16), slugging percentage (.689) and OPS (1.047), and is tied for first with Boston's David Ortiz with 39 RBI. Carter has batted .311 (46-for-148) over that span.
After homering in a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Monday at Minute Maid Park, the 27-year-old kept on slugging on Tuesday against the Twins with a pair of home runs and a career-high-tying five RBI to lead Houston to a 10-4 win. The multi-homer effort was his sixth of the season and the ninth of his five-year career. Carter is tied with Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion as the only players in the Majors with six multi-homer efforts this season. In addition, those six occurrences tie a franchise record for a single season, joining former Astros slugger Lance Berkman (2006). On Wednesday, the California native went 2-for-4 with an RBI but Houston was tripped up by the Twins, 3-1. Of significance, it marked the seventh straight game in which Carter collected at least one RBI (dating back to 8/7), the longest string for Houston since an eight-game stretch by Berkman in 2006. On Friday, the 15th-round draft pick (by the Chicago White Sox) in 2005 collected a pair of base hits in a 5-3 triumph over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. It was Houston's first ever win at the historic ballpark after starting out 0-8 over their first one-plus seasons in the American League. It was the only stadium in which the Astros/Colt .45's had played in without registering a victory. In Saturday's tilt with the Sox, Carter homered among two hits, drove in two runs and scored twice but Houston could not overcome David Ortiz's two-homer effort as Boston dropped the Astros, 10-7.
Heading into play today, Carter is batting .233 with 19 doubles, 29 homers, 69 RBI and 55 runs scored in 109 games. His 29 blasts tie his career high set in 2013, and he is the first Astros player with at least 28 home runs in consecutive seasons since Carlos Lee (32 in 2007 and 28 in 2008). Chris is vying to become the first Astro to reach the 30-homer plateau since Berkman (34) and Lee in 2007.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Carter's Houston teammate Jose Altuve (.406, 13 H, 2 HR, 7 RBI); Seattle's Robinson Cano (.364, 2 HR, 8 R); Oakland's Nate Freiman (.300, 3 HR, 1.200 SLG); Boston's David Ortiz (.350, 2 HR, 7 RBI); Chicago's Chris Sale (8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 12 SO in no-decision at SFG on 8/12); Detroit's Max Scherzer (8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 14 SO in win vs. PIT on 8/14); and Kansas City's Jason Vargas (SHO, 3 H, 4 SO vs. OAK on 8/13).
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Chris Carter will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.