08/18/2008 1:42 PM ET
Offensive Players of the Week
For the week ending Aug. 17
By Bryan Smith / MLB.com
Matt Macri, Rochester
.421 (8-19), 5 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, 1.105 SLG
Macri nearly got his big break earlier this season when he was called up to the Major Leagues in June, where he hit .333 with the Twins in 12 games. The third baseman hit lefties at a .409 clip through 22 at-bats at the big league level, even hitting his first home run on June 12 off Cleveland lefty Aaron Laffey. However, his spot was soon filled and Macri was sent down to work on playing other infield positions. In fact, Macri has played more shortstop and second base than any other position in Rochester. Of late, he seems to not be letting his utility nature effect his offense with four home runs in his last five games. On Aug. 13, Macri cranked two homers for the first time since Sept. 3, 2007, in his last game of last season.
Pacific Coast League
Joe Koshansky, Colorado Springs
.611 (12-18), 12 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 6 BB, 1 SO, 0 SB, 1.556 SLG
Perennially blocked by Todd Helton at the Major League level, Koshansky is proving to be even better in his second tour with the Sky Sox this season. The first baseman has yet to have a bad season in the Minor Leagues, but thanks to a recent 12-game hitting streak, Koshansky raised his average over .300. If he keeps it there, it would be the first time the Shreveport, La. native passed that milestone in his five-season Minor League career. Koshansky is also closing in on another milestone, the 30 home run plateau, thanks to four home runs in his last five games. The first baseman has already done that in two of his previous four seasons, and during this recent hitting streak, Koshansky notched his 100th RBI for the third time in the Rockies organization.
Lars Anderson, Portland
.476 (10-21), 9 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 5 SO, 0 SB, .857 SLG
When Anderson was first promoted to Portland in mid-July, the first baseman looked over-matched at the level. He had just two extra-base hits, both doubles, in his first 11 games after moving up from the California League. His first two multi-hit games didn't come until the last two games of the month. However, in August, Anderson has looked completely assimilated with seven multi-hit games in 16 outings. His best game came on Aug. 15, when he reached base in all five plate appearances, including a walk, a double and three singles. Surely, it's Anderson's newfound patience that has helped, with 12 walks in 16 games this month.
Angel Salome, Huntsville
.684 (13-19), 5 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 0 SO, 1 SB, 1.056 SLG
While Salome's 5-foot-7 stature could be cause for concern, no one has ever questioned that the catcher can hit. The Dominican catcher has hit .322 during his 350-game Minor League career, with his .364 average at Huntsville this season the pinnacle of his numbers. Surely five games at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville helped in Salome totaling so many hits on the week, as the catcher has hit .427 at home this season. From Friday to Sunday, Salome recorded 10 hits with home runs in back-to-back games to finish his week. It marks the first time Salome has gone deep in successive games since May 24 and 25 in 2007 as part of his six-homer campaign at Brevard County.
Jon Zeringue, Midland
.350 (7-20), 6 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, .850 SLG
Zeringue hasn't been great in the month of August, with a .208 batting average in 15 games. It is already, however, the month during which he has the most RBIs thanks to some fantastic situational hitting. On Wednesday, Zeringue registered four of his 19 RBIs on the month with a grand slam to lead Midland to a 13-7 win over Northwest Arkansas. On Saturday, Zeringue would plate six runs thanks to a three-run homer, his 22nd double of the season and a second blast. The outfielder is now just 16 RBIs from his first 100-RBI campaign in the Minor Leagues.
Chris Gradoville, Bakersfield
.538 (14-26), 5 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, .885 SLG
After starting the season playing sparingly, and often injured, Gradoville has found a spot in the everyday Blaze lineup as he continues to improve. On June 1, the catcher had played just 16 games with Bakersfield and was hitting a mere .193. Since then, Gradoville has hit .390 thanks to a recent streak during which he has at least one hit in 22 of his last 23 games played. Gradoville's average is up 72 points in the meantime, now at .338. He was helped this week by facing a few southpaws, against whom he is batting .468 this season.
Jhon Florentino, Salem
.516 (16-31), 9 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1 SB, .806 SLG
Florentino's .392 slugging percentage for the season would tell you that he's not much of a power hitter. His 20 errors would tell you that there's much work to be done at third base. His 41 RBIs would tell you he's not much of a run producer. However, Florentino has been a much-improved version of his previous self in August, especially this week when he clubbed six extra-base hits. They were his first extra-base hits in 16 games this August and eight RBIs on the week represent all but one of what he's produced for the month. Most encouraging might be the fact that Florentino has committed one error at third base in the last month. With power, defense and production on the upswing, Florentino is a player to watch going forward.
Florida State League
Michael Bertram, Lakeland
.400 (10-25), 7 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SO, 0 SB, .960 SLG
Lakeland is known to be a difficult environment for hitters, so when the Flying Tigers go on the road it often becomes the hitters' time to produce. Bertram is no exception, hitting .260 at home this season. On the road, however, the third baseman is hitting .313 with far more power, like he showed during a series in Fort Myers this weekend. Bertram opened the series by hitting two home runs, his first since hitting two on July 24. The next day, he went yard again, a three-run shot in the first inning, giving Lakeland a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Most encouraging is the fact that when Lakeland returned home on Sunday, Bertram continued to show power, hitting his fourth roundtripper on the week in Sunday's loss to Tampa.
Mitchell Moreland, Clinton
.393 (11-28), 6 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, 1.036 SLG
The LumberKings will get some help for their playoff push this week, as the Rangers' first-round pick from the recent Draft, Justin Smoak, is set to make his professional debut with Clinton. Smoak is likely to relegate Moreland back to the outfield, where he hasn't played consistently since Ian Gac was promoted to the California League in early June. It's hard to imagine Smoak will be able to give Clinton much of an improvement at first base, however, as Moreland has been fantastic of late. The big first baseman has five homers in his last five games, aided by two blasts in the team's 8-5 win over Peoria on Sunday. It marked the seventh time in 15 games this August in which Moreland has registered at least two RBIs in a game.
South Atlantic League
Matt Dominguez, Greensboro
.367 (11-30), 9 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 3 BB, 9 SO, 0 SB, .767 SLG
The Marlins' first-round pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft has had a solid season in the South Atlantic League, his full-season debut, but up to now, he's never been explosive. Since turning the calendar to August Dominguez has been a different player, registering a hit in all but three games in the month and notching multiple hits eight times. Of late, he's really found his home run swing, with five of his 13 blasts on the season coming in the last 10 games. Perhaps most impressive is that Dominguez had his fantastic week playing six games on the road, where he's been far worse this season, hitting just .259. He has hit .346 this season at NewBridge Bank Pank in Greensboro.
Angel Morales, Elizabethton
.381 (8-21), 7 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 7 SO, 1 SB, 1.095 SLG
The Puerto Rican center fielder started his week in lackluster fashion going 0-for-7 in the first two games of the week. However, in his next four games, Morales would be dynamic as he has so often been with Elizabethon this season. Morales would club an extra-base hit in each of the team's final four games on the week and at least one homer in the final three games. His best outing came on Sunday, during which Morales hit a pair of shots giving him seven runs scored for the week. The outfielder has done an admirable job crossing the plate with the Twins, especially in August, during which he has scored in all but one game.
Luis Jimenez, Orem
.440 (11-25), 7 R, 5 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SO, 1 SB, .880 SLG
It had to be an Owlz player to win the award this week, considering the team won its franchse-record 14th straight game on Sunday. It was certainly close between Jimenez and teammate Roberto Lopez, but the third baseman's 14 RBIs -- five higher than anyone in the league on the week -- pushed him over the top. Jimenez hit .440 this week at designated hitter six times, the first time this season he had played the position. It went well, as Jimenez had at least three RBIs for the third time in six games. On Aug. 12, Jimenez had five RBIs as he doubled and homered in three at-bats. In fact, in August, the Dominican slugger has 13 extra-base hits in 13 games raising his season slugging percentage to .625.
New York-Penn League
Luis Sumoza, Lowell
.565 (13-23), 8 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 6 SO, 2 SB, 1.130 SLG
On July 27, Sumoza was hitting .304 and the Venezuelan outfielder had gotten a hit in 19 of his previous 20 games. Then Sumoza went into a nasty slump with just one hit in his next 26 at-bats. In the process, his batting average would drop 50 points and his first .300 season seemed out of reach. However, Sumoza is quickly becoming one of the Minor Leagues' streakiest players with 15 hits in his last eight games, nine of them going for extra bases. On Sunday, Sumoza had three extra-base hits, including two home runs for the first time in the Minor Leagues.
Anthony Smith, Yakima
.318 (7-22), 3 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, .546 SLG
Out of Spring Training, the Diamondbacks had full-season aspirations for Smith, initially sending him to South Bend in the Midwest League. The assignment proved too aggressive for Smith, who struggled, hitting .212 in 10 games. The Diamondbacks then pulled Smith back to extended Spring Training, preparing him for an assignment to Yakima. The first baseman is far better suited for this level and while the summer hasn't been without its disappointments, Smith is clearly where he belongs. The first baseman now has at least two RBIs in five of his last eight games, during which time Smith has cranked two of his five homers on the season. Smith now has 16 RBIs in 13 games this August.
Bryan Smithis 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.