© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
07/20/09 6:37 PM ET
Braves' Escobar named NL Player of the Week
Shortstop garners first career weekly honor with .500 average
By Adam Rosenberg / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar has wielded a hot bat since the All-Star break. Since the break, Escobar torched the Mets in a four-game series at Turner Field by going 7-for-14 with three doubles, two home runs and a slugging percentage of 1.143. The baseball world has taken notice, as he was named the National League Player of the Week presented by Bank of America. It is the first weekly award for Escobar, who leads the Braves with 52 RBIs on the season. "I never expected it," Escobar said with Braves bench coach Chino Cadahia serving as his translator. "I have just been relaxed at the plate and in the field." After spending most of the first half of the season in the second spot in the batting order, Escobar has been moved to the fifth and sixth spots after the emergence of Martin Prado batting second. The result is more RBI opportunities for Escobar. "I feel just about the same up there," Escobar said. "I just have more RBI chances now." Escobar capped his outstanding week with a 3-for-4 performance against the Mets on Sunday, in which he hit a homer and a double and drove in four runs. Other nominees for the abbreviated post-All-Star week were fellow Brave Garret Anderson (.538 batting average); Arizona's Miguel Montero (.583 average, two homers); the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano (two homers, five RBIs); Cincinnati's Edwin Encarnacion (.583 average, two homers, six RBIs); Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson (.538 average); Milwaukee's Jason Kendall (.500 average); Washington's Nyjer Morgan (.529 average, four steals); Philadelphia's Ryan Howard (.444 average); and four starting pitchers who threw shutout ball -- Houston's Roy Oswalt (shutout of the Dodgers), Mets southpaw Johan Santana (1-0, 0.00 ERA), Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton (1-0, 0.00 ERA) and St. Louis' Chris Carpenter (1-0, 0.00 ERA).
Adam Rosenberg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.