Offensive Players of the Week06/14/2010 1:08 PM ET
By Josh Jackson
Desmond Jennings, Durham
.538/.581/.923, 14-for-26, 4 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 9 R, 4 BB, 2 K, 2 SB
Going back to Sunday, June 6, Rays prospect Desmond Jennings has knocked in at least one run in every game he's played in since, and in all but one of those affairs, he's also scored at least once. Of course, this isn't surprising considering he's hit safely in more than half of his at-bats and has reached base one way or another in nearly six out of every 10 trips to the dish over this week. Jennings, who was the Southern League MVP in 2009 and had a shot for a job in Tampa Bay before a Spring Training wrist sprain, broke out of mini-slump, driving the ball consistently from Monday to Sunday. Over the first two games of the week, he slapped out six hits, including a triple and a double, collected four RBIs, stealing two bases on Monday. On Friday in Buffalo, he added another triple and doubled twice, scoring three runs and knocking in two. There was still plenty in the tank for the weekend -- over Saturday and Sunday, Jennings tripled again and singled three times to plate four runs and score four times himself against Gwinnett.
Pacific Coast League
Mike Baxter, Portland
.455/.556/1.045, 10-for-22, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R, 5 BB, 2 K, 0 SB
Mike Baxter's impressive week was highlighted by a six-RBI outing in which he hit for the cycle on Tuesday. Baxter, playing in his fifth season in the Padres system, came close to missing out on his cycle when he was tagged out trying to stretch his sixth-inning triple into an inside the park home run. Baxter followed that madcap performance with another homer on Thursday, and he was intentionally walked, scored and still managed to collect a hit Friday. He concluded the week with a double on Sunday, hitting in his 10th consecutive game.
Quintin Berry, Reading
.500/.625/.750, 8-for-16, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R, 6 BB, 4 K, 4 SB
Not only was Quintin Berry hard to keep off the bases this week, he was also very tough to keep in one place once he was aboard. The Phillies prospect is repeating the Eastern League after hitting .266 and stealing 48 bases last year, and he's struggled into the middle part of 2010. Entering the week, Berry was weighed down by a .187 average. He had three hits and four walks over two games between Tuesday and Thursday, and he stole three bases during a two-RBI, two-runs scored game on Friday. He belted his first homer of the season on Saturday, and he doubled, singled, knocked in a run, scored twice and added another stolen base on Sunday. The hot streak was enough to get Berry's batting average up to a drastically less ugly .220 mark.
Alex Liddi, West Tenn
.391/.483/.826, 9-for-23, 4 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 8 R, 4 BB, 4 K, 0 SB
Reigning California League MVP Alex Liddi has clearly adjusted to the jump up to Double-A. Although he bookended the week with hitless games, Liddi sandwiched plenty of punch between those 0-fors. On Tuesday, he doubled twice, scored twice and earned two RBIs. He homered and doubled to knock in three runs Thursday, and he homered again and drove in four Saturday. The Mariners prospect enters the new week tied for the active league lead with 47 RBIs (Marlins phenom Mike Stanton had 52 when he was promoted to the Fish on Tuesday).
Matt Clark, San Antonio
.381/.435/.587, 8-for-21, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 SB
Padres prospect Matt Clark, who's among the top players in the Texas League in homers (12), RBIs (41) and total bases (105), was not afraid to put some force behind his swing this week. He homered and drove in three on Wednesday, which apparently only whet his appetite. Clark busted out of the yard twice -- once with a first-inning grand slam -- and collected eight RBIs on Thursday, and he put together a two-hit game Friday. Saturday's 0-for-5, three-strikeout stinker didn't stop him from slapping the one-out double that sparked San Antonio's eighth-inning, four-run rally Sunday.
Michael Bianucci, Bakersfield
.407/.467/.926, 11-for-27, 2 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 7 K, 0 SB
Michael Bianucci, the Rangers' eighth-round pick from the 2008 Draft, is clearly prone to power outbursts. Last year, on April 17, he shook up the Sally League by going yard twice and compiling seven RBIs in a single game. Later in the summer, he swatted six home runs and tallied 15 RBIs over a seven-game stretch in the Cal League. Though his bat hasn't been exactly quiet this year -- he had nine multiple-hit games under his belt coming into Monday, and he strung together a nine-game hitting streak in early May -- he turned up the juice this week. He homered on Monday and Wednesday and left the park twice on Saturday, doubling his season longball total over the course of six days. Opposing pitchers might want to watch out -- Bianucci's in a mood.
Mitch Dening, Salem
.379/.457/.655, 11-for-29, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 10 R, 5 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Salem, which is in the midst of a first-half pennant race, can't ask for much more out of Mitch Dening. The team was 4-3 on the week, and Dening was a key part of every win and a spark that didn't catch in the losses. He scored in Salem's one-run victory on Monday, slapped out three hits and scored in Tuesday's win and scored his teams only two runs in Wednesday's loss. The Red Sox prospect wrapped up the week with three doubles, a homer and a pair of singles in a four-game split in Frederick, scoring six runs from Friday to Sunday.
Florida State League
John Tolisano, Dunedin
.429/.529/.929, 6-for-14, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 SB
John Tolisano, whom the Blue Jays nabbed in the second round of the 2007 Draft, is working on his finest pro season at the plate. He's never hit above .250, even going back to his Gulf Coast League campaign the year he was drafted, but his performance this week puts his season average at .309, up from .262 on June 1. He singled, walked and scored a run Monday, and he was 3-for-4 with a homer and two runs scored on Wednesday. In the last game before the All-Star break, on Thursday, Tolisano went yard again and chipped in a double.
Angel Morales, Beloit
.550/.667/1.050, 11-for-20, 3 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R, 7 BB, 4 K, 2 SB
Twins prospect Angel Morales, who's in his second full season as a pro and second season in the Midwest League, may hit his way up to the next level in the second half if he stays consistent. His 10-game hitting streak dates back to June 3, but he's been especially hot since Wednesday, when he homered and doubled against visiting Dayton. He singled in a run on Thursday and welcomed Bowling Green to town with three RBIs and a stolen base during a 3-for-5 outing on Friday. He doubled and tripled in each of the weekend games, knocking in four and scoring two runs Saturday and scoring again Sunday.
South Atlantic League
Jose Altuve, Lexington
.368/.429/1.000, 7-for-19, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 SB
Jose Altuve, who's in his first full professional season and his third in the States, put together a heck of a week in just four games. The Legends were off on Wednesday and Sunday, and Altuve sat out of Friday's tilt against Delmarva after Thursday's 12-inning bout with the Shorebirds. The Venezuela-born Astros prospect tripled and scored Monday, homered, stole a base and scored three times Tuesday, doubled in a run and scored Thursday, and homered twice during a four-hit, four-RBI hitting clinic Saturday.