Offensive Players of the Week

For the week ending July 31

Tucson's Anthony Rizzo drove in 17 runs in seven games this week. (Dave Nelson/

By John Parker / Special to | August 1, 2011 11:15 AM

International League
Jorge Vazquez, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
.300/.313/.733, 7 G, 9-for-30, 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R, 1 BB, 13 K
Yankees first baseman Jorge Vazquez is an all-or-nothing kind of hitter -- he leads the International League in both home runs (25) and strikeouts (135) in 89 games. The 29-year-old took both tendencies to an extreme this week, going deep in four of five games between Monday and Friday and driving in at least two runs in four of his seven games (he ranks third in the IL with 72 RBIs). Vazquez's performance at Buffalo on Tuesday was a statistician's dream -- he fanned four times and hit a two-run blast in the Yankees' 11-2 win.

Pacific Coast League
Anthony Rizzo, Tucson
.536/.531/1.250, 7 G, 15-for-28, 5 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Though Rizzo struggled to a .143/.282/.265 line in 35 Major League games earlier this season, he seems to have rediscovered his stroke in the PCL. The 21-year-old slugger collected multiple hits in six of his seven games this week, homered in five, and plated a run in all seven for a remarkable 17 total RBIs. In 62 Triple-A games, Rizzo is batting .395 against right-handers, .361 when behind in the count and .452 with runners in scoring position.

Eastern League
LJ Hoes, Bowie
.462/.545/.962, 8 G, 12-for-26, 2B, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 6 BB, 2 K, 2 SB
After batting just .241 for Class A Advanced Frederick during the first six weeks of the season, the 21-year-old Hoes was bumped up to Double-A, where he's raised his batting, on-base and slugging numbers by about 80 points each. A third-round pick out of nearby Washington, D.C., in 2008, Hoes had five multi-hit games this week and homered twice against both Harrisburg on Tuesday and at New Britain on Friday. Hoes reached base in each of his eight games this week and posted a .412 OBP in July.

Southern League
Jake Smolinski, Jacksonville
.389/.476/1.310, 6 G, 7-for-18, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
Jake Smolinski is evidently very comfortable at Five County Stadium, the home of the Carolina Mudcats. That's where five of his six games this week took place, as the 22-year-old outfielder wore out the Mudcats with two homers, six hits and six RBIs as the Suns won four of the five. A second-round pick in the 2007 Draft, Smolinski reached base in 20 of his 23 July games.

Texas League
Ryan Jackson, Springfield
.429/.500/.714, 7 G, 12-for-28, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, 4 BB, 5 K
After a slow start -- he was just 1-for-7 in Monday and Tuesday's games -- Jackson erupted with five consecutive multi-hit outings. The 23-year-old Miami native went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs against Arkansas on Wednesday, then homered, tripled and drove in four runs against first-place Northwest Arkansas on Friday. A Texas League All-Star, Jackson is batting .326 with 23 RBIs in 30 games since the circuit's Midsummer Classic.

California League
Alfredo Marte, Visalia
.480/.519/.760, 6 G, 12-for-25, 3 2B, 2 3B, 5 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, 2 K, SB
The 22-year-old Marte, now in his second season with the Rawhide, played small ball early in the week, collecting seven singles in three games between Monday and Thursday. He added some power to the mix over the weekend with a triple on Friday, two doubles and a triple on Saturday and another two-bagger Sunday. Along with the five extra-base hits, he drove in four runs and scored four times in his final three contests, all of which were Rawhide victories.

Carolina League
Daniel Butler, Salem
.409/.552/.727, 7 G, 9-for-22, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, 6 BB, 5 K, SB
Backstop Daniel Butler leads the Red Sox with 11 homers and 66 RBIs (the latter ranks third in the Carolina League). This week, he reached base in each of his seven games and had hits in six, capped by a Friday performance that saw him go 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs in Salem's 8-7 loss at Lynchburg. With Boston having traded Double-A Portland catcher Tim Federowicz to the Dodgers in the three-team deal that brought Erik Bedard to the Red Sox on Sunday, one wonders how long Butler will remain in the Carolina League.

Florida State League
Greg Rohan, Daytona
.480/.567/.920, 7 G, 12-for-25, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K, SB
Rohan began the season with Class A Peoria, where he hit .314 with 52 RBIs in 76 games while being named to the Midwest League All-Star team. Since his promotion to Daytona on July 18, the 25-year-old first baseman has been even better, batting .412/.483/.686 in 14 FSL games. He kicked off the week with back-to-back three-hit games against South Division first-half champion St. Lucie. His three hits in Tuesday's game were a home run and a pair of doubles. The Kent State (Ohio) product went deep again Wednesday, then took a day off before homering against Jupiter on Friday. He drove in at least one run in six of his seven games this week.

Midwest League
A.J. Kirby-Jones, Burlington
.364/.462/.955, 6 G, 8-for-22, 2B, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 6 R, 4 BB, 7 K
Kirby-Jones, a ninth-round pick out of Tennessee Tech in 2010, was twice named the Northwest League's Player of the Week last summer. He got off to a rough start this spring, however, batting .173 in April and May before warming up to a .366 mark in June. This week he had hits in each of his six games and homers in four of them, capped by a weekend performance at Wisconsin that saw him go deep twice, double and drive in eight runs in two games on Saturday and Sunday. The power surge lifted him into second place on the Bees' season longball list with 12.

South Atlantic League
Xander Bogaerts, Greenville
.348/.400/.826, 6 G, 8-for-23, 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R, 1 BB, 7 K
Bogaerts, whose twin brother Jair is a catcher for the Red Sox's Dominican Summer League affiliate, has been up and down in his first season stateside. The Aruban-born shortstop entered the week having gone 1-for-32 with 11 strikeouts in his previous seven games, and after going 0-for-4 at Hagerstown on Monday his batting average dipped to .206. He bounced back with three hits on Tuesday, however, missing the cycle by a triple, then collected five hits and four more RBIs in his next three games, capped by Saturday's two-homer performance. Just 18 years old and 175 pounds, the 6-foot-3 Bogaerts has nine longballs in 40 games.

New York-Penn League
Travis Taijeron, Brooklyn
.435/.536/.913, 7 G, 10-for-23, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K
The Mets' 18th-round pick out of Cal Poly Pomona in June, Taijeron seems to have become very comfortable with his new wooden bat. After lifting a solo shot against State College last Sunday, he went 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and four RBIs in Monday's 9-5 win over the Spikes. He had at least one hit in his remaining six games, including solo blasts against Connecticut on Thursday and Vermont on Sunday. The 22-year-old outfielder is tied for third in the league with seven homers and is sixth with 28 RBIs.

Northwest League
Ruben Sierra, Spokane
.429/.500/.857, 6 G, 9-for-21, 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 3 BB, 7 K, SB, 3 CS
The son of slugger Ruben Sierra, who hit 306 big league home runs, doesn't appear to have fallen far from the tree. He had hits in each of his six games this week, highlighted by a two-homer, six-RBI performance against Eugene on Thursday. Trailing 7-5 in the eighth, Sierra's two-run blast tied the score. He delivered a two-out walk-off grand slam in the ninth that not only won the game for the Indians, but won a Spokane fan a brand new truck.

Appalachian League
Drew Vettleson, Princeton
.615/.645/1.000, 7 G, 16-for-26, 5 2B, 3B, HR, 9 RBI, 5 R, 4 BB, 5 K, 2 SB, CS
Vettleson fell into an 0-for-11 slump after turning 20 years old on July 17. Since then, the Rays' 2010 first-rounder has rattled off an 11-game hitting streak that included four games this week with three or more hits. Vettleson went 6-for-8 with a homer, two doubles and three RBIs against Pulaski on Wednesday and Thursday, then 7-for-9 with three doubles and four RBIs at Greeneville over the weekend.

Pioneer League
Sean Buckley, Billings
.375/.483/.958, 6 G, 9-for-24, 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R, 4 BB, 9 K, CS
Buckley, the Reds' sixth-round pick in the June Draft, used a monster week to take over the Pioneer League home run lead. The 21-year-old infielder went 3-for-6 with two longballs and five RBIs against first-place Ogden on Monday, added a solo shot Tuesday and went deep again against visiting Helena on Saturday. Buckley not only had a hit in each of his six games this week but also scored in each contest.

John Parker is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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