Nady nabs NL Player of Week Award
Outfielder enters Monday leading Majors in homers, RBIs
It didn't take long for Pittsburgh's Xavier Nady to duplicate his success from last year.
Following a season in which the Pirates right fielder set career highs in almost every major statistical category, Nady was named National League Player of the Week on Monday for his strong play during the opening week of the 2008 campaign.
The 29-year-old entered Monday leading the Major Leagues with nine RBIs. His three home runs were also tied for the most in baseball. In addition, Nady hit .385 (10-for-26) over the first six games, with six runs scored and an on-base percentage of .448.
After a winter in which he was the subject of various trade rumors, Nady's strong play of late may give the Pirates second thoughts about making a move. Over the first week of the season, it was the timing of Nady's hits that were of most importance to the team.
On Opening Day against the Braves, Nady blasted two home runs, the second of which was a three-run shot in the 12th inning that helped Pittsburgh defeat Atlanta, 12-11.
"I needed to find something that I could drive," said Nady, who was quick to praise his teammates last Monday. "I think it shows a lot of character of this team to stay in this game and to pull out the 'W.'"
Then on Thursday, Nady was the extra-innings hero again, as his 10th-inning single drove in the winning run for the Pirates, who beat the Braves to capture the rubber match in the series. Nady finished the series hitting .429 (6-for 14), with two home runs and seven RBIs.
Nady continued to swing a hot bat into Sunday, belting a two-run home run in a 9-2 win over Florida.
"I'm just trying to have good at-bats," Nady said after Sunday's game. "I'm just trying to relax and get a good pitch to hit. Whatever happens, happens."
Nady won the award over teammate Nate McLouth, who hit .429 with one home run and seven RBIs.
St. Louis' Rick Ankiel, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and Philadelphia's Pat Burrell were among other position players considered for the weekly honors. San Diego's Jake Peavy and Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto were among the pitchers considered. St. Louis' Rick Ankiel (.348, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs), Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (.321, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs) and Philadelphia's Pat Burrell (.421, 1 HRs, 6 RBIs) were among other position players considered for the weekly honors. San Diego's Jake Peavy (2-0, 0.56 ERA, 12 strikeouts) and Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto (1-0, 1.29 ERA, 10 strikeouts) were among the pitchers considered.
David Singh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.