David Ortiz swatted three home runs last week. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON -- The left-handed masher has been a constant terror in the No. 3 spot for the Red Sox all season. While he has been a big factor for the Sox for months, David Ortiz got some individual glory on Monday, being selected as the American League Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
All he did over the last week was carry the Boston offense.
Ortiz hit safely in all six games, posting a whopping slugging percentage of 1.040 while accumulating 26 total bases. It seemed as if every time Ortiz swung, a line drive boomed off his bat. For the week, he was 11-for-25 (.440) with three doubles, three homers, nine RBIs and eight runs scored.
Though he's not on the All-Star ballot (there's no DH in this year's game), Ortiz has put together an overwhelming case for being selected in some fashion to his first All-Star Game.
He is hitting .304 with 29 doubles, 19 homers and an American League-leading 72 RBIs. In June, he is hitting at a .365 clip with eight homers and 28 RBIs.
While last season was certainly a career year (31 HRs, 101 RBIs in 448 at-bats) for Ortiz, as he finished fifth in the American League MVP voting, he seems primed to make 2004 another career year.
David Ortiz / DH
Weight: 230 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L
Told that he was looking good at the plate lately, Ortiz chuckled.
"I look good? I just keep working, working on my thing and trying to keep it the same way in the game," said Ortiz.
He is in the proverbial zone.
"It feels pretty good, real good," said Ortiz. "Especially when you help the ballclub."
While he has made life miserable for opposing pitchers, Ortiz has earned respect all around his clubhouse.
"I had a chance to watch David from afar and the numbers that he put up in the short amount of time that he played were pretty phenomenal," said Red Sox right-hander Curt Schilling. "But on a daily basis, he is possibly a much better hitter than I thought he was. He's cut down, from a pitcher's standpoint, I have noticed that he's cut down his strikeouts in the last three, four weeks. He's putting the ball in play more ... a lot of good things happen."
"The first half that he's had has been amazing," said Sox first baseman Kevin Millar. "He's really made a name for himself."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.