Offensive Players of the Week09/06/2011 3:30 PM ET
By John Parker / Special to MLB.com
Mauro Gomez, Gwinnett
.571/.607/.857, 7 G, 12-for-21, 3 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 3 R, 5 BB, 3 K
The highlight of Mauro Gomez's week actually officially took place on July 25. On Wednesday night the G-Braves finished off a suspended game against Norfolk that ultimately saw the 26-year-old first baseman homer twice and drive in a team-record (and career-high) eight runs. He hit the first dinger in the fourth inning back in July, then added a three-run double and grand slam when play resumed Aug. 31. In action that goes into this week's record books, Gomez had four multi-hit games and finished off the season with an 8-for-13 surge.
Pacific Coast League
Chris Carter, Sacramento
.421/.476/.789, 8 G, 16-for-38, 5 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 12 R, 4 BB, 8 K, 1 SB, 0 CS
It's been an up-and-down season for the 24-year-old slugger, who hit .173 for the River Cats in April and went 4-for-30 with 14 strikeouts in 10 Major League games. Carter is red-hot as the regular season comes to a close, however, going 14-for-28 with nine RBIs in his last five games and helping the River Cats win 10 of their final 11 games to finish with the PCL's best record. Carter and the Cats will look to keep rolling as they open their playoff schedule with a best-of-5 semifinal series against Reno on Wednesday.
Matt Rizzotti, Reading
.375/.444/.844, 8 G, 12-for-32, 4 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R, 4 BB, 5 K
Though Rizzotti's batting average was down to .295 this season after hitting .343 last year, he posted career-best numbers with 24 home runs (third-most in the Eastern League) and 84 RBIs (second-most). As the R-Phils closed out their regular season on an eight-game road trip with a playoff spot on the line, the 25-year-old first baseman was at his best, homering three times in a pair of games on Tuesday and Wednesday and driving in a run in six of his eight contests. Though Rizzotti's 125 strikeouts were a team high, his 79 walks were second-most in the Eastern League and he ranked fourth in the circuit with a .392 on-base percentage.
Brian Cavazos-Galvez, Chattanooga
.421/.500/1.000, 5 G, 8-for-19, 1 3B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 7 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 CS
With the Lookouts trying to hold off first-half champion Tennessee to capture the Southern League North Division title, Cavazos-Galvez went on a season-ending eight-game hitting streak that culminated in a two-homer, five-RBI performance against Montgomery on Sunday night. Behind the 24-year-old outfielder's surge -- he plated nine runs in his last three games -- Chattanooga won its final five contests and heads into the postseason on a serious roll.
Mario Lisson, Northwest Arkansas
.500/.560/1.000, 6 G, 11-for-22, 5 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, 3 K
Tim Smith, Northwest Arkansas
.467/.528/.767, 8 G, 14-for-30, 3 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R, 5 BB, 2 K
Lisson, a third baseman, and Smith, an outfielder, led the way with hits in all their games this week as Northwest Arkansas wrapped up the Texas League's North Division. The 27-year-old Lisson homered and doubled twice against Arkansas on Wednesday, then went 3-for-5 with a solo shot and a double on Saturday as the Naturals clinched the title with a 9-2 win at second-place Tulsa. Smith collected at least one RBI in seven of his eight games. The two will need to remain hot as Northwest Arkansas opens its Texas League championship defense against its archrivals from Little Rock on Wednesday.
Josh Rutledge, Modesto
.481/.548/.963, 7 G, 13-for-27, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Rutledge made waves earlier this season with his league-best 27-game hitting streak from July 4 and Aug. 3, but he didn't stop hitting when it was over. After batting .393 in 27 August games, the 22-year-old shortstop delivered a power surge in the final week of the regular season with three home runs giving him a total of nine for the year. Rutledge scored in six consecutive games and drove in a run in five straight this week, finishing the season second in the league with a .348 batting average.
Andy Wilkins, Winston-Salem
.391/.462/.870, 6 G, 9-for-23, 5 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, 2 K
A fifth-round pick out of Arkansas in the 2010 Draft, Wilkins ripped 23 home runs this year, good for second best in the league behind teammate (and league MVP) Ian Gac. The 22-year-old grew stronger as the season went along -- he hit .317 with 56 RBIs in the second half compared to .239 and 33 in the first -- and closed out the campaign with hits in each of his final eight contests, including three longballs. Wilkins' 89 RBIs were also second on the circuit behind Gac's 96.
Florida State League
Jordan Lennerton, Lakeland
.467/.500/.833, 9 G, 14-for-30, 5 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 3 K
Jordan Lennerton played a lot of baseball this week and collected a lot of hits doing it. In his first doubleheader of the week Tuesday, the 25-year-old first baseman went 5-for-6 with a homer, two doubles and four RBIs as the Flying Tigers swept visiting Dunedin. Lennerton was back at it the next day with a longball and a single and plated at least one run in his final eight games of the season. After hitting just .156 in 28 July games, Lennerton batted .406 in August and with 92 free passes -- second-most in the league -- he finished the year with a .397 on-base percentage.
Donald Lutz, Dayton
.448/.484/.828, 7 G, 13-for-29, 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 8 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
Lutz closed out a remarkable season -- he became the first Dragon to hit for the cycle on July 21 -- with a flourish, collecting 13 hits in his final six games as Dayton won a franchise-best 83 games. The left-handed slugger hit .340 in the second half of the season and leads the Dragons, who were the Midwest League's top team by record, batting average and ERA, into the playoffs starting Wednesday.
South Atlantic League
Christian Vazquez, Greenville
.381/.480/.905, 6 G, 8-for-21, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 4 BB, 3 K
Vazquez's bat came to life in the second half of the season, as he collected 12 of his 18 longballs following the All-Star break. As the calendar turned to September, the 21-year-old catcher went truly power-mad, delivering three home runs in four games capped by a 4-for-6 performance on Sunday that saw him go deep, double twice and drive in a pair of runs. Unfortunately for the young backstop, his Drive club finished out of the playoff picture despite compiling the second-best overall record in the Southern Division.
New York-Penn League
Justin Miller, Auburn
.500/.586/.750, 7 G, 12-for-24, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Miller, a 22-year-old Middle Tennessee State product, went on a tear during the middle of the week, going 8-for-9 with a homer, double and four RBIs over a three-game stretch from Tuesday to Thursday. After three more hits and a pair of RBIs in his next two outings, his six-game hitting streak was snapped by an 0-for-4 day Sunday. Miller and the Doubledays, who captured the Pinckney Division title, open the playoffs at Vermont on Tuesday night.
Reggie Golden, Boise
.421/.450/.947, 5 G, 8-for-19, 1 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB, 3 K
The Cubs' second-round pick in the 2010 Draft, Golden started the Northwest League campaign red-hot, suffered through a sub-Mendoza Line July, then rebounded to close out the regular season with four home runs (of his seven all year) in his final six games. Like the entire Hawks club -- which went 26-12 at home and 10-28 on the road -- the 19-year-old Golden's numbers were vastly better at Boise's Memorial Stadium. He batted .287 at home and .193 on the road. Golden and the Hawks snuck into the playoffs despite their losing record but will have to overcome their homesickness to survive the first round.
Miguel Sano, Elizabethton
.444/.444/1.333, 2 G, 4-for-9, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 K
This year's Appy League home run race was a see-saw affair between Sano and teammate Eddie Rosario (who won this award the previous two weeks and was named league co-MVP). Despite Sano's season-ending surge -- he homered four times and drove in 14 runs in his final five games -- he finished the campaign with 20 longballs, one shy of Rosario's 21. The 18-year-old Sano and 19-year-old Rosario will no doubt renew their friendly competition in the Midwest League next season.
Mark Haddow, Great Falls
.433/.455/1.000, 7 G, 13-for-30, 2 2B, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 10 R, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 SB
Haddow started his week with a pair of homers Tuesday night, added solo shots on both Wednesday and Thursday, then went 8-for-13 with another longball and a pair of doubles in three games from Friday through Sunday. An 0-for-5 outing Monday broke the string, but he still drove in a run in the Voyagers' 7-4 win over Helena. Haddow's production has helped Great Falls win eight straight games and open up a two-game lead over Billings for the second-half North Division title with three games left.