04/21/2008 2:45 PM ET
Offensive Players of the Week
For the week ending April 20
By Bryan Smith / MLB.com
Russ Adams, Syracuse
.417 (10-24), 8 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 BB, 3 SO, .833 SLG
A first-round pick in 2002, Adams is enjoying his fourth stint in Syracuse, showcasing newfound power to complement his fantastic plate discipline. After hitting just .194 over the first 10 games of the season, Adams' seven-game resurgence has been fantastic, lifting his OPS over 300 points on the week. He collected half of his six extra-base hits last week in Friday's game, doubling twice and belting a home run in the Chiefs' 8-4 victory over Buffalo. Adams is now hitting .314/.442/.571 against right-handed pitching.
Pacific Coast League
John Gall, Albuquerque
.458 (11-24), 7 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 SB, 1.042 SLG
Another league veteran, Gall appears to have found his stroke early in his fifth PCL campaign. He began the week with a four-game stretch that included four multi-hit games and five extra-base hits. The peak clearly came in Wednesday's 6-4 victory over Gall's old ballclub, the Memphis Redbirds. He went 3-for-4 in the win, hitting two home runs and a double off John Wasdin. With four runs combined on Saturday and Sunday, Gall has scored in five straight games, and his big week helped yield seven straight wins for the Isotopes.
James Boone, Altoona
.524 (11-21), 8 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 6 SO, 1.190 SLG
Boone earns the distinction with a five-game stretch that has lifted his OPS from .639 on April 14 to 1.086 after Sunday's game. It got there thanks to four straight multi-hit games and six extra-base hits from the Oklahoman. Boone's biggest game came Wednesday as he scored three times from the leadoff spot, hitting one solo homer and a pair of doubles in Altoona's 8-7 win over Trenton. Boone has been the Minor League's best rally starter, hitting .381/.500/.714 in 42 at-bats this season with the bases empty.
Matt LaPorta, Huntsville
.400 (10-25), 5 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, .760 SLG
The No. 7 overall selection in last June's First-Year Player Draft on the strength of his bat, LaPorta has not disappointed. The Stars have gone 4-1 in their last five games and LaPorta has hit in all of them, including two hits in each of the last three games. He homered in both games over the weekend against Mississippi. LaPorta has been a revelation as a run producer, collecting eight RBIs on the week while hitting .412 with runners in scoring position for the season.
Bryan Anderson, Springfield
.444 (12-27), 6 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 0 BB, 5 SO, 0 SB, .777 SLG
Back in Springfield after hitting .298 last season, the Cardinals' prized catching prospect is one of several players who picked last week to turn around a bad start to the season. Springfield went 4-1 on the week in games with Anderson in the lineup, mostly thanks to his fabulous job in the No. 2 spot. Anderson bagged his first home run of the season as one of three hits Monday, and belted another as part of four-hit effort Thursday. After slugging just .322 against southpaws last season, the left-handed hitter is 7-for-17 against them this year.
Chris Carter, Stockton
.375 (9-24), 9 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 6 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB, 1.042 SLG
That Carter is hitting just .226 for the season is a reflection of how bad his first 12 games were, as few Minor League hitters have been better over their last five. Carter had just five hits (no homers) in his first 45 at-bats this season, despite expectations that the offseason acquisition would be a slugger. That all changed during Stockton's four-game home sweep of Rancho Cucamonga, as he hit five long balls in four games, including three on Saturday. Carter reached base and scored five times in the Ports' lopsided 21-7 win Saturday. With nine hits, including six for extra bases in five games, Carter has raised his OPS an astounding 491 points.
Kurt Mertins, Wilmington
.500 (9-18), 4 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 3 SO, 1 SB, .722 SLG
Mertins had put together a seven-game hitting streak while playing three different infield positions for the Blue Rocks. On the week, he had four multi-hit games, raising his on-base percentage to .421. The height of Mertins' success came in a pair of Wilmington victories Tuesday and Wednesday as he scored four times and reached base a total of seven. Mertins, who likely will have to juggle positions all season, appears to like the hot corner as he's batting .450 when manning third base. He also has been a prolific run producer, collecting six hits and five RBIs in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Florida State League
Matthew Fields, Vero Beach
.462 (12-26), 5 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SO, 0 SB, 1.038 SLG
Fields has turned around a slow start with a five-game hitting streak that has seen his average jump 150 points. His double on Monday was his first extra-base hit since Opening Day, but it began a stretch in which Fields would collect eight two-baggers in seven games. His dynamic week culminated in the Devil Rays' trio of victories over the weekend as Fields went 8-for-11 with three walks and four extra-base hits. He scored three times after reaching base on five occasions Sunday, and he ripped his fourth home run of the season. After striking out 12 times in nine games to start the year, Fields whiffed just three times on the week.
Ian Gac, Clinton
.462 (12-26), 6 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, .808 SLG
Unlike many hitters in this week's list, Gac was a monster for the second consecutive span, with an .808 slugging percentage in six games actually bringing his season rate down. However, Gac has been especially locked in of late, collecting at least two hits in each of his last five games. He combined for five hits (including two home runs) and seven RBIs in the LumberKings' two weekend games, helping Clinton improve to 11-3 with a pair of victories. Gac's numbers are consistently good in every split, but perhaps most impressive is that five of his seven homers have come with runners on base.
South Atlantic League
Michael Jones, Greenville
.567 (17-30), 9 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, .800 SLG
Jones went 0-for-5 on April 7, collecting a lone RBI in Greenville's win. Since then, however, he has hit in 12 straight games, and had at least two in every game last week. Jones also scored nine runs, including three on Friday as he doubled and hit his second home run of the season. He has an astounding 1.218 OPS against right-handed pitchers on the season and has been a tough out in clutch situations, collecting 10 hits in 19 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Bryan Smith is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.