Offensive Players of the Week09/02/2008 2:05 PM ET
By Bryan Smith / MLB.com
Nick Green, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
.406 (13-32), 6 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, .656 SLG
This has not been a good season for Green, who entered the week batting just .217. He salvaged some of it with a 13-hit week, beginning with a 4-for-4 outing Aug. 25, to add a bit of respectability to his tough season. Yet there are positives to be gleaned from Green's rough year. The middle infielder is pretty fantastic against left-handed pitching, against whom he hit .352/.407/.552 in 2008. He hit .310 in April and a respectable .260 in the second half of the season. And while his numbers were dragged down by a .148 average during day games, play him at night and you have a decent option. There remains hope for Green's future.
Pacific Coast League
Delwyn Young, Las Vegas
.538 (14-26), 8 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SO, 0 SB, 1.000 SLG
The best way to prove you no longer belong in the Minor Leagues is to have a week like this. Delwyn Young had been a good pinch-hitting corner outfielder option off Joe Torre's bench in the first half of the season, but never quite found his groove. When the team traded for Manny Ramirez, there was no room left for Delwyn, who was relegated to Triple-A. After starting the assignment hitless in his first five games, spanning 14 at-bats, Young bounced back with five multi-hit games in his next eight. The real meat to his week was from Tuesday to Thursday, when Young had 10 hits, five runs scored, three home runs and eight RBIs. That makes a September callup decision easy.
Nolan Reimold, Bowie
.320 (8-25), 7 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, .960 SLG
Reimold had a really bad first three weeks of August. He was stuck on 19 home runs, having not hit one since Aug. 1. He was batting just .212 on the month to drop his season batting average below .280. But Reimold finished the schedule strong, with six home runs in his last nine games to set a new single-season career high. Reimold also got over the .500 slugging hump in the process, a feat he has accomplished in all but one Minor League season. 2008 was his most clutch season yet -- Reimold hit .300 with runners on base, .314 when they were in scoring position and a fabulous .378 when they were in scoring position with two outs. Nothing like a monster last nine days to re-enter the prospect lexicon.
Andrew Lambo, Jacksonville
.389 (14-36), 7 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 2 BB, 9 SO, 0 SB, .750 SLG
In baseball, September is the month synonymous with a cup of coffee. But for low-level Minor Leaguers, August can be the month when they receive a sample of high-level pitching. Such was the case for Andrew Lambo, who turned 20 on Aug. 11 and two weeks later received a promotion from the Midwest League to the Southern League. Lambo was a post-season All-Star in Great Lakes, but Jacksonville is a long way from there. It says something about Lambo's talent that his Double-A debut featured a fantastic eight games during which he grabbed a hit in every game. He even had a career-high six RBIs on Aug. 28 in just his fifth game with Jacksonville, boosted by a three-run homer and a well-timed double.
Cory Aldridge, Northwest Arkansas
.419 (13-31), 7 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 4 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, 1.000 SLG
Thanks to his last week, everything negative in Cory Aldridge's season may be forgotten. We might forget that he missed the first three months of the season, or that he entered his last week batting just .235 with an OPS in the low .700s. We'll forget he had just 22 RBIs in 41 games. Aldridge had his biggest week at the best time, propelling the Northwest Arkansas Naturals into the Texas League playoffs in their debut season. Aldridge had 18 RBIs, five home runs and 13 hits in eight games. With an end-of-season line at .269/.361/.497, everything else should be forgotten.
Kyle Blanks, San Antonio
.515 (17-33), 9 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 3 BB, 9 SO, 0 SB, .818 SLG
Blanks' regular season ended Sunday with a combined 0-for-5 showing in a doubleheader with Corpus Christi, but by then he'd already earned his Player of the Week recognition. Blanks, who has been San Antonio's best hitter all season, had already pushed his Missions into the playoffs. On Aug. 25, he had five hits, three for extra bases, and a career-high nine RBIs. Two days later, he went 4-for-4. Three days after that, he went 4-for-5, this time with two home runs, surpassing the 20-homer mark after crossing 100 RBIs a week prior. Blanks finished the season .325/.404/.514 and was a force behind San Antonio's playoff run.
Hank Conger, Rancho Cucamonga
.414 (12-29), 9 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 SB, 1.034 SLG
Conger was drafted as a catcher in the first round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. He played there admirably in 2007, but an injury limited his time behind the plate this season. For the overwhelming majority of the time, Conger was the Quakes' designated hitter, and it was a spot he warmed up to. Conger hit just .275 while catching this season, but .310 (with all 13 of his home runs) as a DH. Those numbers were boosted by a strong end-of-season run that included an 11-game hitting streak. He scored a run in the last nine games of the streak, though his six-game extra-base hit streak was snapped in the last game of the season. Still, Conger was able to push his batting average above .300 and his slugging percentage above .500 with his brilliant week.
Carlos Rivero, Kinston
.429 (12-28), 3 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 1 BB, 7 SO, 0 SB, .750 SLG
You can't say Rivero doesn't know how to make an entrance or an exit. In his first seven games with Kinston back in April, Rivero went 15-for-34 (.441) with six doubles and seven RBIs. Added to last week's strong finish, one-quarter of his season RBIs came in the two seven-game streaks at the beginning and end of his season. So, too, did one-third of his doubles and nearly a quarter of his hits. Despite hitting just .255 in the middle of the season, Rivero's power is really starting to take a step forward -- seven of his eight home runs came after the All-Star break and five of them after Aug. 1.
Florida State League
Ty Wright, Daytona
.500 (13-26), 3 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 0 SO, 1 SB, .577 SLG
The Daytona Cubs finished their season 8-2 to slip past Jupiter into the Florida State League playoffs. Much of their success was due to the play of Ty Wright, who stepped up his game at the right time. His end-of-season dominance began Aug. 26, when Wright got three hits and drove in three runs in the team's 8-1 win over Vero Beach. Wright would get an RBI in five of the Cubs' next six games, with the team winning an identical five-of-six during that span. Wright saw some southpaws this week, which is always a positive for him -- he batted .345/.402/.454 against lefties this season. Wright's season ended Aug. 30 with a 3-for-5 outing, pushing his season average to an even .300.
Kody Kaiser, West Michigan
.423 (11-26), 2 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 5 SO, 3 SB, .846 SLG
This is the way you want to enter the playoffs. While Kaiser's big week featured a season-ending seven-game hit streak, it was the last two days that were most important. On Aug. 31, Kaiser hit his first home run in two weeks, giving him 10 for the season. He would hit another in the following game. Also on Sept. 1, Kaiser stole his sixth base of the month, giving him an even 30 for the season. He raised his season average to a respectable .260 after entering the week 11 points lower. With new-found power and speed (he hasn't been caught stealing since July 20), Kaiser promises to be a force in the upcoming Midwest League playoffs.
South Atlantic League
Mike Stanton, Greensboro
.400 (6-15), 8 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 8 BB, 6 SO, 0 SB, 1.200 SLG
What an encouraging last week for a pair of Greensboro's top prospects. For Stanton, the week was par for the course, with four more home runs. He ends his first professional season with 39 roundtrippers, a phenomenal total for a teenager that won't turn 19 until November. Stanton's patience lifted his season on-base percentage to .381 and his power pushed his slugging to .611. Stanton ended his second half with a .306/.425/.685 mark, giving teenagers in the South Atlantic League a mark that no one may meet again.
Matt Dominguez, Greensboro
.478 (11-23), 6 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 0 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, 1.087 SLG
Overshadowed a bit by the presence and dominance of Stanton this season, Dominguez' first full season in the Minors was also a success. While his week ended on a sour note with an 0-for-5 to drop his season average a hair below .300, there is much to celebrate. Dominguez had four home runs this week in two games, as the third baseman hit two homers on both Aug. 28 and Aug. 31. It gave him 16 home runs in the season's second half, compared to just two homers in the first half. Dominguez committed just 12 errors this season at third base, a fabulous mark for someone with his youth.
Anthony Delmonico, Ogden
.417 (10-24), 7 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, 1.000 SLG
Delmonico joined Ogden late in the season, not debuting with the Raptors until mid-July, but made his presence known quickly. During a solid college career at two universities, Delmonico hit 20 home runs in 179 games. He never hit more than nine in a season, despite using an aluminum bat. In his first summer as a professional, using a wood bat, Delmonico hit 10 home runs in 32 games. His .705 slugging is far from a personal norm, but it was accomplished by Delmonico hitting five home runs in his last seven games. In total, the middle infielder finishes with more RBIs and more runs scored than games played, a remarkable feat for a new professional.
New York-Penn League
Jake Smolinski, Vermont
.485 (14-29), 7 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 2 SO, 2 SB, .724 SLG
It's been a whirlwind season for Smolinski. In April, he was assigned to Hagerstown in the South Atlantic League, an aggressive assignment at which he shone. Smolinski hit .321 in May before sustaining an injury and remaining out of action until August. The team sent him to the Gulf Coast League for three games, which weren't good, then allowed him to finish his season with Vermont. For the year, Smolinski hit .276 in 272 at-bats with three different teams.
Jharmidy De Jesus
.476 (10-21), 5 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, 1.000 SLG
At first, De Jesus seemed overmatched by the Northwest League, which hadn't been the case in the Arizona League, where De Jesus hit .334 with 19 extra-base hits in 34 games. However, hitting in the Northwest League is no easy task for an 18-year-old, and De Jesus batted just .174 through his first 15 games. He blossomed in his last week, though, and compiled a .268 average and .778 OPS. Fittingly, De Jesus homered, his 10th of the season over the two levels, on Aug. 30, the day he turned 19. The infielder ends the season having grabbed two hits in five of his last eight games.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.