KODAK, Tenn. - Tennessee Smokies infielder Christian Villanueva was named by the Southern League as its "Hitter of the Week," for the week of Aug. 26-Sept 3. The award is Villanueva's first of the season and the first league award for any Smokies hitter.
Villanueva paced the Smokies offense last week with a .304 average (7-for-23), belting three home runs and driving in six. All three of his home run of the week came in the team's final five-game series with the Chattanooga Lookouts. Villanueva ended the week riding a seven-game hitting streak.
2013 is turning into a career season for Villanueva. The Southern League All-Star leads the league in many offensive categories including doubles (41), extra-base hits (62), total bases (230) and leads all active Smokies with 72 RBIs and ranks second with 19 home runs. This past week, Villanueva was named to the Southern League Postseason All-Star team as the league's top third baseman.
The Guadalajara, Mexico native originally signed with the Texas Rangers as a non-drafted free agent in 2008. He was then traded to the Cubs, along with RHP Kyle Hendricks, in 2012 for RHP Ryan Dempster.