Offensive Players of the Week

For the week ending Sept. 3

(Joy R. Absalon)

By Evan Mohl / | September 4, 2007 12:28 PM

International League
Kevin Barker, Syracuse
.452 (14-31), 6 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 6 SO, 0 SB, 1.032 SLG
Kevin Barker hadn't pushed his batting average past .250 all season long until last week. The first baseman went on an absolute tear in the final week, including an eight-game hitting streak. Barker had multi-hit games in five of those contests, raising his average from .248 to .260. The left-handed hitter also slugged home runs in Syracuse's three final games to push his season total to 18, which ranked second on the Chiefs.

Pacific Coast League
Reggie Abercrombie, Albuquerque
.414 (12-29), 9 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 0 BB, 6 SO, 5 SB, .897 SLG
The Isotopes couldn't quite catch New Orleans in the playoff race, but it wasn't because of Reggie Abercrombie. Abercrombie led Albuquerque's charge by hitting safely in the club's final seven games. The outfielder also belted four of his 17 homers this week and scored a run in all but one contest. Abercrombie's best game came on Monday when he went 3-for-5 including two dingers, his first multi-homer effort of the year. Abercrombie also smashed a three-run homer on the last day of the season, to finish the 2007 campaign with 17 long balls, a .323 average and 55 RBIs.

Eastern League
Luis Antonio Jimenez, Bowie
.414 (12-29), 7 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 5 BB, 7 SO, 0 SB, .931 SLG
Luis Antonio Jimenez closed out his season with a bang. In the final week, Jimenez had multi-hit efforts in four of his final seven games including three consecutive games with a home run. The first baseman/designated hitter also had five multi-RBI games -- 14 total for the week -- to push his season total to 79. Jimenez really took off against Akron when he hit three homers and collected nine RBIs.

Southern League
A.J. Ellis, Jacksonville
.400 (12-30), 9 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 4 BB, 0 SB, 2 SO, .767 SLG
A.J. Ellis always seems to be at his best before a break. After earning his first POW honor the week before the All-Star Game, Ellis secured his second one in the final week of the season by belting four home runs and nine RBIs in seven games. On Monday, the Lexington native went 4-for-4 with a game-tying, two-run homer in the fifth inning. Two days later, Ellis went yard again with three-run homer in the 10th inning to power the Suns past the BayBears. Ellis clubbed seven long balls in his final 19 games after hitting just one in his previous 90 contests.

Texas League
Aaron Rifkin, Tulsa
.412 (14-34), 4 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 0 BB, 7 SO, 0 SB, .618 SLG
After slumping through much of July and some of August, Aaron Rifkin picked a great time to get hot. With a trip to the playoffs on the line in the final days of the season, Rifkin came through. On Saturday, the first baseman went 4-for-5 with a season-high five RBIs to go along with two doubles and two runs scored to help the Drillers clinch a postseason spot. In the last three days of the season, Rifkin had eight hits and seven RBIs.

California League
Jesus Guzman, High Desert
.480 (12-25), 6 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 SB, .920 SLG
Jesus Guzman wrapped up his stellar year with his first POW honor. The outfielder finished the season on an eight-game hitting streak and had multi-hit games in his last five contests to push his batting average over .300. The Venezuela native also slugged three home runs and delivered six RBIs. Guzman finished the season ranked second in homers (25) and RBIs (112), third in doubles (38), fourth in hits (156) and fifth in runs scored (102).

Steve Garrabrants, Lancaster
.464 (13-28), 10 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 8 SO, 0 SB, .786 SLG
Steve Garrabrants made sure Lancaster won the California League South Division this week. The utility man raised his batting average 51 points from .237 to .288 by collecting at least one hit in each of his final nine games. On Monday, Garrabrants went 2-for-5 with four RBIs, two homers and two runs scored. He also had multi-RBI games on Thursday, Sunday and Monday.

Carolina League
Billy Hart, Salem
.520 (13-25), 5 R, 6 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SO, 1 SB, .760 SLG
Billy Hart has been steadily improving all year, and this week he helped Salem secure a playoff spot. Hart had 13 hits in the final seven days, six of which went for extra bases. The outfielder also had a five-hit effort on Thursday with two runs scored. Hart finished with a .305 average on the season, which put him tied for first in the Carolina League.

Joshua Rodriguez, Kinston
.364 (8-22), 7 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 8 BB, 3 SO, 1 SB, .727 SLG
Kinston had the best offense in the Carolina League, and a majority of that came from shortstop Josh Rodriguez. Although you mostly expect great defense from a shortstop, Rodriguez has been a key run producer all season for the Indians. This week, he earned his second POW award in as many months. Rodriguez helped Kinston clinch the division title by getting eight hits in six games. He also clubbed a homer and collected five RBIs in that same time span. On the season, Rodriguez finished tied for third in the Carolina League in homers (20) and fourth in RBIs (82).

Florida State League
Brian Burgamy, Clearwater
.419 (13-31), 10 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 8 BB, 4 SO, 0 SB, 1.000 SLG
Brian Burgamy finished the year with an exclamation point. On the last day of the season, the center fielder went 4-for-5 with three runs scored, three RBIs and one long ball. Over the last week, Burgamy raised his average over 20 points from .240 to .262. He also hammered half of his homers (five of his 10 total) in Clearwater's final games.

Midwest League
Alex Valdez, Kane County
.441 (15-34), 5 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 4 SO, 1 SB, .710 SLG
Alex Valdez is probably hoping the momentum he started last week will carry over into next season. On Sunday, the infielder was perfect at the dish going 4-for-4. He also belted two home runs, scored three runs and collected three RBIs. Not a bad day at the office. Valdez also had other solid performances throughout the week including a three-hit effort and two two-hit games.

South Atlantic League
Jonel Pacheco, Hickory
.480 (12-25), 11 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 8 SO, 2 SB, 1.000 SLG
Although Hickory had a comfortable lead over Lakewood heading into the final week of the season, Jonel Pacheco made sure it stayed that way. Pacheco was absolutely on fire. He had five straight multi-hit efforts and crossed the plate 11 times in one week. The outfielder also had a string of five games in which he had an RBI, and at one point went yard in three straight contests. On the season, Pacheco ranked in the top 10 in just about every offensive category in the South Atlantic League including: seventh in batting average (.315), second in homers (27), first in RBIs (99) and second in slugging percentage (.566)

New York-Penn League
Austin Krum, Staten Island
.519 (14-27), 4 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 4 SO, 3 SB, .778 SLG
Austin Krum's batting average was below the Mendoza line heading into last week. But the outfielder put together a seven-game hitting streak, including four straight contests with three hits. Krum also slugged his only home run this week and collected seven of his 18 RBIs. Krum has been a key cog in Staten Island's offensive rejuvenation as the Yanks hope to defend their back-to-back NYPL championships.

Northwest League
Lars Davis, Tri-City
.455 (10-22), 6 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 4 SO, 2 SB, .864 SLG
With Tri-City and Boise neck and neck, the Dust Devils needed a lift. They got one from an unexpected source in Lars Davis. Before last week, Davis' batting average had hovered around .200, but he went on a tear. The catcher tripled his home run total by smashing two dingers. Davis also hit safely in six of his last seven games.

Pioneer League
Brandon Waring, Billings
.414 (12-29), 11 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 1 BB, 10 SO, 0 SB, 1.034 SLG
Make it two POW awards in a row for Brandon Waring, and the third baseman was better this week than last week. The slugger bashed six home runs this week and knocked in 14 runs. Waring also had five multi-hit efforts. Waring now leads the league in homers (20) and is tied for second in RBIs (61). His 20 homers are a franchise record for Billings.

Evan Mohl is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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