Offensive Players of the Week

For the week ending July 28

Birmingham infielder Marcus Semien has reached base in 26 straight games. (John Shadrick)

By John Parker / | July 29, 2013 1:15 PM

Here's a look at the top offensive performers in each league for the week ending July 28:

International League
Zach Walters, Syracuse
(.522/.541/1.174, 7 G, 12-for-23, 4 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 8 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 SB)
Walters was honored by the International League for the second time this season after collecting 12 hits -- eight of them for extra bases -- in seven games for the Chiefs. On Friday night the 23-year-old switch hitter went 4-for-4 with his 24th homer and third triple of the season against first-place Indianapolis. Walters is tied for third in the IL in home runs and is hitting .338/.354/.716 in July.

Pacific Coast League
Jordany Valdespin, Las Vegas
(.550/.654/.950, 6 G, 11-for-20, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R, 6 BB, 1 K, 1 CS)
It's been a difficult year for Valdespin, who was taken to task by both the Mets and the New York media for flipping his bat after a meaningless homer in a blowout. Worse than that, however, was that, despite his undeniable talent, he was hitting just .188/.250/.316 in 133 at-bats. Optioned to Las Vegas, Valdespin has bounced back and has nearly eclipsed his 2013 Major League hit total (25) in his first 11 PCL games (22). The 25-year-old outfielder reached base at least twice in each of his games last week, including a 4-for-4 effort Friday and a 3-for-3 outing Saturday in which he fell a home run shy of the cycle.

Eastern League
Alex Dickerson, Altoona
(.400/.419/.733, 7 G, 12-for-30, 4 2B, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 7 R, 0 BB, 4 K)
Dickerson had a record night Friday -- going 3-for-6 with a homer, two doubles and eight RBIs -- but that wasn't all he did last week. The 23-year-old outfielder went 4-for-4 on Saturday and added a pair of doubles on Sunday. After batting .222 through the end of May, Dickerson is hitting .360 over his last 50 games and leads the Curve with 14 homers, 59 RBIs and 53 runs scored.

Southern League
Marcus Semien, Birmingham
(.583/.722/1.292, 7 G, 14-for-24, 3 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 12 R, 12 BB, 3 K, 2 SB)
A sixth-round pick out of UC Berkeley in 2011, Semien is putting it all together in his second full season. The 22-year-old has reached base in 26 consecutive games -- tied for the longest such streak in the Southern League this season -- and ranks second in the Minor Leagues with 82 walks and 88 runs. After homering twice Monday, Semien collected four hits both Wednesday and Friday as the Barons won six of seven games. He's batting .341/.486/.681 over 36 games in the second half of the season and making a strong case for promotion.

Texas League
Brian Fletcher, NW Arkansas
(.481/.500/1.037, 6 G, 13-for-27, 3 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R, 1 BB, 5 K)
It took two days to complete, but Fletcher became the first Natural to hit three homers in a game Wednesday, delivering a walk-off blast in the 11th as Northwest Arkansas outlasted Arkansas, 10-8. The 24-year-old, who was also named the league's top hitter for the week of June 3-9, went 5-for-6 with five RBIs in that two-day tilt and fell a triple shy of the cycle at Springfield on Saturday. Fletcher, who began the season as the Royals' No. 17 prospect, is hitting .345/.381/.597 since the Texas League All-Star break.

California League
Zach Borenstein, Inland Empire
(.435/.515/1.000, 7 G, 10-for-23, 1 2B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 7 R, 5 BB, 4 K, 1 CS)
The Cal League is known as a hitters' paradise, but that doesn't quite explain the 150-point jump in Borenstein's slugging percentage this season. A 23rd-round pick out of Eastern Illinois in 2011, the outfielder has scored in eight straight games and driven in at least one run in seven of his last eight. Borenstein hit an impressive .315/.357/.613 in the first half of the season but has posted a .411/.486/.732 since the All-Star break, collecting 24 RBIs in 16 games. Four long balls last week gave Borenstein 21 for the season, one shy of league leader Scott Schebler of Rancho Cucamonga.

Carolina League
Tyler Naquin, Carolina
(.364/.440/.636, 6 G, 8-for-22, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB)
The 15th overall pick in last year's Draft, Naquin has faded somewhat in the second half of his first full season. The 22-year-old Texas A&M product batted .311 with six homers in the first half of the season but just .239 with two blasts in 32 second-half games. Naquin surged last week, though, going deep on back-to-back days Tuesday and Wednesday and closing out the stretch on a seven-game hitting streak. One weak spot for the slugger is left-handed pitching: he's batting .308 against righties but just .202 against southpaws.

Florida State League
Byron Buxton, Fort Myers
(.333/.444/.833, 7 G, 10-for-30, 3 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, 6 BB, 10 K, 2 SB, 1 CS)
Thirteen picks before Naquin, the Twins made Buxton the second overall selection in the 2012 Draft. After tearing up the Midwest League (.341/.431/.559 with 32 stolen bases in 68 games), the 19-year-old outfielder needed some time to adjust to the FSL. It didn't take long. Buxton collected multiple hits in five games last week, smacking three homers and three triples as the Miracle won five of seven contests.

Midwest League
Nick Rickles, Beloit
(.500/.500/.909, 5 G, 11-for-22, 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 K)
Rickles fell a triple shy of the cycle on Monday, going 3-for-5 with five RBIs in Beloit's 9-7 win at Bowling Green, then did it again Saturday night with a 5-for-5 effort as the Snappers outlasted Quad Cities, 8-6. The A's prospect is hitting .405/.416/.622 in July after batting just .187 over his first 42 games.

South Atlantic League
Art Charles, Lakewood
(.364/.364/.864, 5 G, 8-for-22, 4 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 4 R, 0 BB, 7 K)
Art Charles is a 6-foot-6, 220-pound first baseman with two triples this season. They both came this weekend in back-to-back games against Greenville as Charles closed out a productive week with 10 RBIs in his five games. Charles leads the BlueClaws with 10 home runs, 56 RBIs, 25 doubles and 55 runs scored; outfielders Larry Greene and Zach Taylor are on notice as Charles trails them by just one triple.

New York-Penn League
Brett Harrison, Connecticut
(.529/.619/1.000, 7 G, 9-for-17, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 7 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 CS)
Harrison collected multiple hits in six of his first 31 games this season, then did it three times in his most recent five contests, including a 3-for-3 effort at Tri-City on Sunday. After hitting just .156/.182/.234 in 19 games for Connecticut last year, the 21-year-old third baseman has lifted his OPS nearly 300 points in 2013. Getting on base remains an issue, however -- Harrison drew two of his three walks this season last week, to go along with 40 strikeouts in 36 games for a .289 OBP.

Northwest League
Hunter Renfroe, Eugene
(.414/.433/.828, 7 G, 12-for-29, 6 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 SB)
Renfroe, the 13th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, hasn't needed much time to adjust to the pro game after coming out of Mississippi State. The 21-year-old outfielder has the tools to succeed and collected multiple hits in four of his last five games last week, capped by a 3-for-5 performance Sunday in which he homered, doubled twice and drove in three runs. After going 13-25 in the first half of the season, the Emeralds are 4-2 in the second half behind Renfroe's strong hitting.

Appalachian League
Sam Bates, Burlington
(.381/.500/.952, 7 G, 8-for-21, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 7 R, 5 BB, 3 K)
The stat that immediately pops out on Bates' player page is his slugging percentage -- at .559, it's 31 points higher than anyone else in the Appy League. It's no wonder, as seven of the 23-year-old infielder's eight hits last week went for extra bases. Bates also leads the circuit in OPS (.950) and ranks second in runs (23) and fourth in RBIs (22).

Pioneer League
Phil Ervin, Billings
(.440/.500/1.000, 6 G, 11-for-25, 2 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 3 SB)
Like Renfroe, Ervin is another 2013 first-round pick looking very comfortable indeed after six weeks in the pro ranks. The Samford (Ala.) product, who turned 21 on July 17, went deep four times in four games last week, including a 4-for-4, two-homer performance at Helena on Thursday. Ervin is batting .317/.407/.571 after 33 games and with seven long balls is one shy of the league lead. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, Ervin hasn't had much help -- despite his strong play, Billings has the league's worst record at 13-24 and is in the league basement in batting, reaching base and scoring runs.

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

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