Offensive Players of the Week05/02/2011 1:40 PM ET
By Josh Jackson / Special to MLB.com
Andy Dirks, Toledo
.433/.469/.633, 7 G, 13-for-30, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 8 RS, 2 BB, 3 K, 4 SB, 0 CS
Tigers prospect Andy Dirks entered the week hitting .290 with a .359 on-base percentage and finished it hitting .340 with a .400 OBP. He hit safely in each of his seven games, notching multiple hits in four tilts. In a Wednesday doubleheader, he was 3-for-7 with a double, a stolen base and two runs scored. Dirks doubled twice the next day and homered and stole another base in a 3-for-5 performance in the game after that. His 10 stolen bases on the season tie him for the IL lead, and his batting average is the seventh best in the circuit.
Pacific Coast League
Collin Cowgill, Reno
.640/.700/1.040, 6 G, 16-for-25, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 8 RS, 5 BB, 0 K, 2 SB, 1 CS
In five of his six games this week, D-backs prospect Collin Cowgill had more than one hit, and he singled, walked twice, stole a base and had two RBIs in the outlier. Cowgill bashed two solo homers, stole a base and scored four runs while going 4-for-7 in Thursday's 12-inning win over Tacoma. He didn't take it any easier on the Rainiers over the weekend, totaling eight hits -- including a double and a triple -- three runs and two RBIs from Friday through Sunday. Coming into the new week, he's walked 11 times compared to 10 strikeouts this season.
Yangervis Solarte, New Britain
.448/.448/.828, 7 G, 13-for-29, 5 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 9 RS, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS
Not walking, ordinarily one of the cardinal sins of the modern game, becomes forgivable when you're getting a hit in almost half your plate appearances. When most of your hits fall for doubles or more, there's not even anything to from which to ask for absolution. Yangervis Solarte, a Twins prospect, was swinging at the right pitches this week. He had three doubles in three separate games and also drove in two or more runs three times. Between Saturday and Sunday, he stroked six hits, including three doubles, collected two RBIs and scored four runs.
Cody Puckett, Carolina
.345/.387/.724, 7 G, 10-for-29, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 5 RS, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 SB, 0 CS
Cody Puckett gave the Mudcats what they needed this week, consistently delivering with runners on the bases. He kicked off the week with two homers in Monday's game and drove in a pair with a couple of singles the next day. After an 0-for-5, two-strikeout Thursday, the Reds prospect came back with a vengeance for the weekend. He doubled Friday and drove in six runs while missing the cycle by a triple Saturday. He singled and scored another run to close out the week.
Brandon Wikoff, Corpus Christi
.600/.613/.733, 7 G, 18-for-30, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 6 RS, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB, 0 CS
Brandon Wikoff collected four hits in a single game Monday, and he apparently enjoyed the experience so much that he did it again Wednesday. He doubled in the former contest and homered and stole a base in the latter, and sandwiched between these remarkable games was a two-hit Tuesday. Starting Wednesday, he knocked in a run in each of three straight games, and that streak culminated with a 3-for-4 day in which he also scored a run. An 0-for-3 outing on Saturday only bothered him until he cracked out three more hits on Sunday. Wikoff, an Astros prospect taking his first crack at Double-A ball, is batting .500 on the season.
Matt Long, Inland Empire
.406/.457/.875, 7 G, 13-for-32, 2 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 8 RS, 2 BB, 6 K, 3 SB, 1 CS
Angels Minor Leaguer Matt Long made sense of his name Thursday, sending two balls far, far away in the first mult-homer game of his career. The pair of roundtrippers accounted for just half of his hits that day, as he was just a single shy of the cycle and scored four runs. The next day, he had singles to spare, notching three, and he stole three bases, knocked in a run and scored one. He singled, triple and walked Saturday but chilled out with an 0-for-4 Sunday.
Ryan Strausborger, Myrtle Beach
.414/.469/.897, 7 G, 12-for-29, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 7 RS, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB, 1 CS
Texas' 16th-round pick in last year's Draft, Ryan Strausborger played like a seasoned pro this week. After starting off gangbusters, everything fell to pieces with an 0-for-5 Thursday, but Strausborger didn't mope. He responded by singling and doubling with a stolen base and a run scored on Friday, and he had three doubles, three runs scored, two RBIs and four hits Saturday, and he banged out two more hits Sunday. Before all of this was the three-homer, six-RBI show he put on during Wednesday's doubleheader. Even when he was cold, he was putting wood on the ball; neither of the two times he struck out came on his hitless day.
Florida State League
Matt Den Dekker, St. Lucie
.469/.471/.813, 8 G, 15-for-32, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 9 RS, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 SB, 1 CS
Mets prospect Matt Den Dekker becomes the season's first consecutive Player of the Week Award winner, having hit safely at least once in every game from Saturday, April 16 through Friday, April 29. He started this week by doubling, singling twice, scoring, plating a run and stealing a base over the course of a Monday twinbill. On Tuesday, he put up his first four-hit game of the season, doubling twice, scoring twice and adding another RBI. A double and a homer helped him knock in four runs Wednesday, and he singled, doubled twice more, tripled and stole another base over the action Thursday and Friday. A three-strikeout, 0-for-4 Saturday was put aside when he singled, walked and scored a run Sunday.
Oswaldo Arcia, Beloit
.480/.500/1.080, 6 G, 12-for-25, 3 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 9 RS, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 SB, 0 CS
Twins prospect Oswaldo Arcia came close to a Triple Crown in the Rookie-level Appalachian League last season, and he's off to a terrific start in his first full-length campaign. He hit the seven-day disabled list Sunday, but he hit just about everything else during his shenanigans over the six prior days. Arcia was in a 1-for-14 skid before hitting safely in each game this week. He had two homers during a 4-for-4 Tuesday and went yard again Wednesday. On Saturday, he homered once more -- his fifth in 20 games -- and doubled.
South Atlantic League
Manny Machado, Delmarva
.480/.594/1.160, 7 G, 12-for-25, 2 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 7 RS, 7 BB, 3 K, 2 SB
Highly touted Orioles prospect Manny Machado has already had some fine weeks on the ballfield since being picked third overall in last year's Draft, but this was probably his best. He homered in three straight games at the start of the week, and after settling for a double, two singles and a pair of walks over his next two games, homered on Saturday and again on Sunday, putting up five RBIs on the weekend. He also stole a base in each of his last two games. Machado's Shorebirds ride a 10-game winning streak into the new week, and his hitting has undeniably been a factor in that run.