Offensive Players of the Week

For the week ending June 20

The Senators' Danny Espinosa homered his way out of a slump. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

By Josh Jackson / Special to MLB.com | June 21, 2010 9:55 AM

International League
Jeff Larish, Toledo
.421/.542/.947, 8-for-19, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 4 R, 5 BB, 2 K, 0 SB
Considering the groove Tigers farmhand Jeff Larish worked his way into last week, opposing pitchers are lucky the International League had no games scheduled Wednesday -- Larish homered on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Though he didn't take one out of the park on Saturday, he did go 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a walk. Larish is with Toledo for his third consecutive season, and this campaign builds upon the strong 2009 he put together in Triple-A after a feckless start to that year with Detroit. He's homering once every 16.36 at-bats -- good four fourth among active IL players. He leads the Mud Hens in walks and only one teammate (Jeff Frazier) has more than Larish's 11 homers or 35 RBIs.

Pacific Coast League
John Bowker, Fresno
.360/.429/.960, 9-for-25, 3 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 0 SB
John Bowker, who spent April and May with San Francisco, has made the PCL look like a playground. After going 0-for-4 on his first game back at the Triple-A level, Bowker has hit safely in every contest, and in eight of those 13 games, he's had multiple hits. Coming off a game in which he homered on Sunday, June 13, he started this week by going yard again on Monday. He wasn't done, though. Bowker homered again on Tuesday and again on Wednesday, totaling seven RBIs over his first three games of the week. He singled, doubled and scored on Thursday, doubled and scored on Friday and singled and scored on Sunday following a day off on Saturday.

Eastern League
Danny Espinosa, Harrisburg
.448/.515/.996, 13-for-29, 3 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 7 R, 4 BB, 8 K, 1 SB
Danny Espinosa, a third-round pick by the Nats out of the 2008 Draft, busted out of a 3-for-47 slump dating back to June 1 this week, and he hasn't looked over his shoulder since. He started Tuesday's game with a flyout, a strikeout and a groundout, but his seventh-inning grand slam awoke a sleeping monster. He homered again in the first game of a Wednesday doubleheader, falling a triple short of the cycle and stealing a base for good measure. Unsatisfied, he went yard again in the nightcap. He managed to score a run in Thursday's 0-for-3 outing, and he refused to fall back into bad habits. From Friday to Sunday, he collected another homer, two doubles, four singles and three runs scored, and he knock a run in each of those three games.

Southern League
Chuck Caufield, Huntsville
.455/.538/.955, 10-for-22, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 7 R, 4 BB, 3 K, 0 SB
They're probably not very fond of Chuck Caufield in Montgomery. With five games left to play in the first half and the Biscuits clinging to a narrow lead in the Southern League's South Division, Caufield powered Huntsville to a 4-1 week over the visiting Biscuits, opening the door for a Jacksonville Suns title. The Brewers prospect homered and scored three times on Thursday, and on Friday, he homered and doubled during a six-RBI, 4-for-4 performance. He missed the cycle by a homer on Saturday, driving in three runs and crossing the plate once himself.

Texas League
Aaron Luna, Springfield
.414/.500/.931, 12-for-29, 3 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
Cards prospect Aaron Luna, who worked his way up to spend August in the Texas League in his first full pro season last year, is showing more confidence at the plate this year. In 29 Double-A games last year, he hit .232 with three homers and eight RBIs. By contrast, over seven Double-A games this week, he hit .414 with four homers and 11 RBIs. The impressive stretch is emblematic of a larger trend -- he leads the league with a .425 on-base percentage and is fifth with 11 home runs. Luna entered Saturday with a six-game RBI streak, and though he didn't plate any runs over the weekend, he did come away with a single, a double and two runs scored. The highlight of his RBI-happy stretch came with a two-homer performance on Thursday, and he left the park again on Friday.

California League
Brandon Belt, San Jose
.480/.546/1.000, 12-for-25, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 SB
Brandon Belt's ludicrous .392 average, which leads active Cal Leaguers by nearly 30 points, only reveals a part of how good he's been for the Little Giants. Sure, he also leads the league with 93 hits and 53 walks in 69 games -- nobody's gotten on base as often as he has -- but the 2009 fifth-rounder also has pop. He tops the circuit with 38 extra-base hits, is third with a .641 slugging percentage, second with 58 RBIs and is tied for his team's lead with nine home runs. The week he's coming off provides some padding for the lead he holds in a total of seven offensive categories. He was 4-for-5 with two homers, six RBIs and three runs scored on Tuesday alone, and by week's end, he'd stretched out an 11-game hitting streak, over which he's collected 19 hits, 12 RBIs and 16 runs scored.

Carolina League
Jamie Romak, Wilmington
.391/.462/.783, 9-for-23, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 SB
Jamie Romak, who was named Player of the Week for his strong finish to the month of May, may soon hit the DL with a case of deja vu. Like the week that earned him honors earlier in the year, the Royals farmhand scattered a series of doubles across three days, spicing things up with the occasional home run. Romak's week started with a three-RBI game on Tuesday, one of which came on an eighth-inning two bagger with his Blue Rocks trailing. He homered on Wednesday, doubled on Thursday and homered and doubled on Friday. He chipped in a pair of singles and an RBI on Saturday, and it's doubtful Sunday's 0-for-5, three strikeout blemish will keep him down for long.

Florida State League
Brett Jackson, Daytona
.429/.484/.893, 12-for-28, 6 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, 8 K, 2 SB
Brett Jackson, the Cubs' first choice in last year's Draft, looks to be the kind of hitter the team hoped they were getting. He leads the league in runs scored and is near the top in walks, on-base percentage and triples. Jackson caught on fire about 14 days ago after a lackluster start to the month, and this week saw him boost his average from .280 to .298. The biggest jump came on Monday, when he hit for the cycle and drove in four runs. Jackson doubled twice on Wednesday, and he doubled and tripled, scoring three runs and knocking one in, on Friday. The Florida State League was off on Sunday, so Jackson used Saturday to close out his week with two more doubles, another RBI and another run scored.

Midwest League
Tyler Bortnick, Bowling Green
.429/.571/.857, 9-for-21, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R, 5 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Rays prospect Tyler Bortnick is adjusting well to his first long season. He's been relatively consistent at the plate since Opening Day, and this week's performance pumped his average up to .295. After banging out four singles and walking four times over the first four games of the week, Bortnick turned green, ripped through his shirt and started driving the ball hard over the weekend. He homered and doubled on Friday and swatted another homer on Saturday -- his fifth all season but second in as many days -- and ripped two more doubles on Sunday.

South Atlantic League
Justin Bloxom, Hagerstown
.548/.545/1.097, 17-for-31, 3 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 11 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 SB
Justin Bloxom, a 2009 draftee for the Nationals, homered in his first three games of the week, making for a four-game streak going back to the previous Sunday. When the balls stopped clearing the fences on Thursday, Bloxom still had the magic. He had an RBI double and came around to score that day, and he went 4-for-6 with a triple, three RBIs and three runs scored on Friday. He plated three runs again on Saturday, and then again on Sunday, going yard once more in his final outing of the week.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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