05/30/2006 1:59 PM ET
Offensive Players of the Week
For the week ending May 28
By Benjamin Hill
Kevin Witt, Durham
.455 (10-22), 5 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, .909 SLG
The International League home run leader was red hot in Durham's series with Richmond last week. Although he didn't hit any longballs against the Braves, Witt led the Bulls to a 3-1 series win by going 9-for-16 with four runs scored, four doubles and six RBIs over the four-game span. The slugging first baseman leads second-place Durham in batting average (.314), home runs (12) and RBIs (33).
Pacific Coast League
Laynce Nix, Oklahoma
.381 (8-21), 7 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 0 BB, 6 SO, 0 SB, 1.143 SLG
Nix loves to hit with runners on base. The 25-year-old Texan is batting just .103 (3-for-29) when he leads off an inning, but a lusty .429 (18-for-42) when at least one of his fellow RedHawks is occupying a base. Nix collected 10 RBIs on the week -- more than a third of his season total. On Thursday, he had a spectacular performance with two home runs and five RBIs. Unfortunately, it was all for naught, as the RedHawks fell to Colorado Springs, 9-8. Jason Nix, Laynce's brother, scored a pair of Sky Sox runs in the ballgame.
Adam Lind, New Hampshire
.412 (14-34), 8 R, 6 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0 SB, .853 SLG
The Fisher Cats are batting just .239 as a team, and their anemic offense would be considerably worse without the prodigious output of the 22-year-old Lind. The Fisher Cats' left fielder has hit in 10 straight games, during which time his average has increased from .255 to .291. Lind had a career game on May 22, going 5-for-7 with a homer and two doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored in the Fisher Cats' 23-9 evisceration of the Connecticut Defenders. Four days later, he doubled and scored in the 10th inning as New Hampshire edged Harrisburg, 5-4.
Noochie Varner, Chattanooga
.409 (9-22), 4 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 2 BB, 5 SO, 0 SB, .818 SLG
The weather is heating up, and so is Varner. After batting a tepid .206 in April, the 25-year-old Alabaman has hit a robust .382 during May. Varner's week was highlighted by a pair of three-hit games. On Wednesday, he went 3-for-4 with a homer, five RBIs and two runs scored as Chattanooga defeated Tennessee, 7-4. On Sunday, the Lookouts' left fielder went 3-for-3 with a homer, a double and four RBIs as Chattanooga got by Mississippi, 5-3.
Joe Koshansky, Tulsa
.357 (10-28), 9 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 4 BB, 9 SO, 0 SB, .821 SLG
The Drillers are in the midst of a six-game winning streak, and the powerful Koshansky has certainly done his part. The burly Louisiana native was one of six Tulsa batters to go yard in Wednesday's 17-2 shellacking of San Antonio, and he followed that up with dingers on Thursday and Saturday, as well. Koshansky currently ranks second in the Texas League in both home runs (11) and RBIs (40), while his .551 slugging percentage is fifth-best in the circuit.
Michael Wilson, Inland Empire
.536 (15-28), 11 R, 6 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 4 SO, 1 SB, .964 SLG
Wilson's scorching bat has helped propel rampaging Inland Empire to nine straight victories. The 22-year-old switch-hitter has collected six straight multi-hit games, and his .344 average is second-best in the California League. On Wednesday, Wilson went 3-for-3 with four runs scored in the 66ers' 12-6 doubling of Lake Elsinore. Two days later, he went 4-for-6 with a homer and two doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored as Inland Empire took apart High Desert, 20-9.
Matt Young, Myrtle Beach
.474 (9-19), 5 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, .842 SLG
Two was a lucky number for Young on May 22, as the diminutive second baseman went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks as Myrtle Beach coasted to an 11-2 win over Winston-Salem. On Sunday, Young picked an opportune time to hit his first home run of the year, as his second-inning grand slam sent the Pelicans to a 5-4 win over Wilmington. When it rains, it pours and the 23-year-old has driven in 11 runs over his past 23 at-bats after knocking in just 12 in his first 130.
Florida State League
Victor Mendez, Lakeland
.480 (12-25), 6 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 SB, .800 SLG
Mendez went 3-for-3 on both Saturday and Sunday to raise his average to .275. But that was a mere postscript to what he had accomplished earlier in the week. The 25-year-old Dominican hit two grand slams and drove in 11 runs over a three-day span, from Wednesday through Friday. Mendez is now hitting .308 in the month of May after batting just .237 in April.
Jeff Baisley, Kane County
.455 (10-22), 11 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 4 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, .955 SLG
Kane County is hot, and Baisley is hotter. While the Cougars have won 11 of their past 12 ballgames, Baisley his hit safely in 18 of 19. The 23-year-old third baseman had a pair of spectacular games this week. On Thursday, Baisley went deep three times to move into a tie for the Midwest League lead in home runs. On Sunday, he drove in six runs over five separate plate appearances as Kane County pounded Wisconsin, 19-5.
South Atlantic League
Andrew Locke, Columbus
.519 (14-27), 10 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 1 SO, 2 SB, .963 SLG
Locke just keeps hitting. The 23-year-old left fielder has hit safely in 14 straight games, and his .353 average is the ninth-best in all of Minor League Baseball. Locke collected three hits in each of his first three games this week, all Columbus victories. His three-run homer on Friday lifted the Catfish to an 8-6 win over Charleston, while he also went yard on Sunday. Locke's 42 RBIs lead the league, while his .555 slugging percentage ranks fifth.
Benjamin Hill is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.