Offensive Players of the Week08/26/2013 1:00 PM ET
By John Parker / MiLB.com
Here's a look at the top offensive performers in each league for the week ending Aug. 25:
Ronnier Mustelier, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
(.565/.600/.696, 6 G, 13-for-23, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K)
After a tough July that saw him hit just .161/.217/.232, Mustelier has caught fire in August and is currently riding a 13-game hitting streak. The Cuban-born outfielder has multiple hits in seven of his last eight contests and is batting .322 in 23 August games. Mustelier's production this season has not matched that of 2012, when he hit .314 with 15 homers between Double-A Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but the 29-year-old is putting together a strong finish to the 2013 campaign.
Pacific Coast League
Brett Hayes, Omaha
(.381/.435/1.238, 6 G, 8-for-21, 0 2B, 6 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, 2 BB, 7 K)
Hayes spent parts of three seasons with the New Orleans Zephyrs and played 16 games for them last year. They saw far too much of him last week, as the 29-year-old catcher blasted his former club with six home runs in four games. Hayes has been hit or miss for the Storm Chasers this year -- he owns a .291 OBP -- but last week provided a lot of hitting. Unfortunately for Omaha, the bulk of Hayes' damage was done with the bases empty -- he "only" notched eight RBIs on the six longballs.
Eddie Rosario, New Britain
(.433/.419/.667, 7 G, 13-for-30, 4 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 SB)
Rosario is no doubt used to seeing slugger Miguel Sano, who has 33 homers on the season, get the bulk of the attention -- they've been teammates for four seasons. Though he lacks Sano's pure power, the 21-year-old Rosario is quite a hitter in his own right, with a .309 average that ranks fourth among Twins full-season prospects. Rosario collected multiple hits in four games last week, including a 5-for-5, four-RBI performance at Bowie on Friday that saw him fall a triple shy of the cycle.
Jabari Blash, Jackson
(.500/.692/.833, 9 G, 12-for-24, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, 14 BB, 4 K)
Players commonly have trouble adjusting to Double-A ball, particularly when they are hitters coming from the offense-minded Cal League. Not so with Blash, who is putting up stronger numbers since his promotion to Jackson early this month. After hitting .258/.358/.505 at High Desert -- the most-hitter friendly park in the Minors -- Blash has posted a .315/.457/.603 line with six homers in his first 22 Southern League games. The 24-year-old outfielder drew an astounding 14 walks to go along with 12 hits last week, including a four-walk outing Saturday. Unfortunately for the Generals, who have lost seven of eight, Blash only came around to score four runs despite reaching base 26 times.
Cheslor Cuthbert, Northwest Arkansas
(.421/.542/.737, 6 G, 8-for-19, 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R, 5 BB, 2 K)
Cuthbert's first two months of Double-A ball have brought mixed results -- he hit just .207 in his first 37 games and is still batting only .167 against left-handers. The 21-year-old third baseman has found success in August, however, delivering hits in each of his six games last week and driving in seven runs. In three games over the weekend, Cuthbert collected five hits and five walks to raise his on-base percentage to .366 in August.
Mac Williamson, San Jose
(.481/.533/1.037, 6 G, 13-for-27, 3 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 10 R, 2 BB, 5 K)
A third-round pick out of Wake Forest in 2012, Williamson has found his stride in the second half of his first full season. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound outfielder is batting .329/.402/.586 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs in 61 games since the All-Star break and has powered San Jose to nine straight wins. Williamson homered four times in six games last week, has an extra-base hit in eight straight games and multiple hits in five of seven contests. The surge has pushed Williamson into third place in the Cal League homer race with 24 blasts.
Mookie Betts, Salem
(.500/.545/.967, 7 G, 15-for-30, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 SB, 2 CS)
Not many Class A Minor Leaguers have inspired their own Twitter hashtags (#MookieMadness), but Betts is an understandable exception. At Class A Greenville earlier this season, Betts put together a 19-game hitting streak and reached base in 35 straight contests. He got off to a slow start after joining Salem in early July but is batting .391/.462/.641 with 26 RBIs in 24 August games. On Tuesday the 20-year-old second baseman went 3-for-5 with a homer and a triple. Two days later he torched Myrtle Beach for four hits in five at-bats, and Friday night he had the biggest game of his young career: 5-for-6, two homers, two doubles, four runs and seven RBIs.
Florida State League
Aaron Altherr, Clearwater
(.429/.409/.810, 5 G, 9-for-21, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 SB)
Altherr began the season with a bang, hitting .348 in April, and after a lull in the middle, he's closing it out with a similar offensive surge. The 22-year-old outfielder has multiple hits in each of his last four games and fanned just three times last week (he ranks third in the Florida State League with 134 strikeouts). Though he excelled last week, when four of his five games were at home, Altherr has had curious difficulty at Clearwater's Bright House Field: he's hitting .321 on the road but just .223 in home games.
Matt Olson, Beloit
(.379/.379/1.069, 7 G, 11-for-29, 5 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 8 R, 0 BB, 8 K)
A first-round pick out of Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., in 2012, Olson's first full season as an Athletics farmhand has been a story of three true outcomes at the plate: he ranks second in the Midwest League in homers (22) and strikeouts (140) and fifth with 67 walks. Along with 31 doubles, more than half his hits have gone for extra bases. The 19-year-old first baseman went on a tear last week, clubbing five homers in five games between Monday and Friday before doubling in three straight games over the weekend.
South Atlantic League
Jacob May, Kannapolis
(.500/.531/.750, 7 G, 14-for-28, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 5 SB, 2 CS)
The son and grandson of Major Leaguers, May is picking up steam after being taken by the White Sox in the third round of the June Draft. The 21-year-old outfielder has hits in 13 straight games and 22 of his last 23 outings, and after a slow first month with the Intimidators, is batting .383/.429/.638 in August. May fell a triple shy of the cycle on Thursday and features a mix of power and speed that makes him a constant cycle threat.
New York-Penn League
David Washington, State College
(.385/.529/.808, 7 G, 10-for-26, 5 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R, 7 BB, 6 K, 1 SB, 1 CS)
It was quite a week for both Washington and the Spikes. State College has won 10 in a row to claim the NYPL's best record, and the 22-year-old Washington set franchise marks for home runs (10) and RBIs (47) in a single season. A 15th-round pick in 2009, the 6-foot-5 first baseman has driven in 10 runs in his last six games and is batting .348 overall with runners in scoring position. Seven of his 10 hits last week went for extra bases.
Austin Wilson, Everett
(.417/.462/.958, 6 G, 10-for-24, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K)
A second-round pick (49th overall) by the Mariners in this year's Draft, Wilson had just three hits in his first 27 pro at-bats back in June. The Stanford product's output has risen steadily ever since, with Wilson hitting .298 in August. Three of his five career home runs came last week, as the 21-year-old outfielder went deep in back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday, homered again on Saturday, and plated at least one run in all six games.
Isaiah Yates, Pulaski
(.409/.458/.955, 5 G, 9-for-22, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 11 K, 3 SB, 1 CS)
It was a roller-coaster ride of a week for Yates, who will turn 19 on Saturday. On Monday, the outfield prospect went 1-for-5 with four strikeouts. On Friday night he struck out in each of his five plate appearances. In the other three games, however, Yates was an offensive machine, pounding out nine hits -- seven for extra bases -- and driving in six runs. The week ended on a high note, with five extra-base hits in seven at-bats as the Mariners won a pair of home games.
Daniel Rockett, Idaho Falls
(.348/.400/.826, 6 G, 8-for-23, 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 SB)
The Chukars are two games behind first-place Orem in the second half of the Pioneer League campaign, and Rockett is a big reason why they remain in contention. The 22-year-old outfielder is hitting .347/.382/.639 with 19 RBIs in 20 August games. Three of Rockett's nine homers have come in the last four days: he delivered a solo shot at Great Falls on Sunday after going deep in back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday. Though he's been no slouch at night, Rockett has been particularly deadly at the plate in the afternoon -- he's hitting .548/.545/1.000 with four homers in just nine day games this season.