Los Angeles Dodgers rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig, who enjoyed a historic debut week, has been named National League Player of the Week for the period ending June 9th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
In his first week in the Major Leagues, Puig led baseball with 27 total bases and was tied for the Major League lead with four home runs. His .964 slugging percentage was second-best in the Majors and was the top mark among National Leaguers. The 22-year-old native of Cienfuegos, Cuba also ranked among league leaders with a .464 (13-for-28) batting average (2nd), 10 RBI (3rd), 13 hits (3rd), and a .483 on-base percentage (7th). Puig had multi-hit efforts in five of his seven games during the week.
Puig made his Major League debut on Monday, June 3rd, going 2-for-4 in the Dodgers leadoff slot while recording his first outfield assist in game-ending fashion, doubling-up San Diego's Chris Denorfia at first base with a throw from deep right field to preserve a 2-1 victory. Puig became the first Dodger to record a multi-hit performance in his first big league game since Russell Martin went 2-for-4 in his debut on May 5, 2006. On Tuesday, Puig went 3-for-4 with a double, two home runs and five RBI in his second Major League contest, leading the Dodgers to a 9-7 win over the visiting Padres. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Puig joined Dino Restelli as the only players in Major League history to have recorded a two-homer, five-RBI game within the first two games of his career. Restelli accomplished the feat on June 15, 1949 as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Thursday, Puig went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI on the way to a 5-0 victory in the first game of a four-game set with the N.L. East-leading Atlanta Braves. The young phenom clubbed his first career grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving the Dodger bullpen a five-run cushion as they closed out a 7.0-inning scoreless performance by starter Zack Greinke. In Friday's matchup between the two clubs, Puig's game-tying solo homer in the sixth inning was the only run the Dodgers scored off Braves starter Paul Maholm in an eventual 2-1 extra-inning victory for Los Angeles. With the homer, Puig became just the second player since 1900 to hit four home runs in his first five games, joining Mike Jacobs of the 2005 New York Mets (Elias Sports Bureau). The solo shot gave Puig 10 RBI through his first five career games, tying a Major League record (also: Washington's Danny Espinosa in 2010 and Pittsburgh's Jack Merson in 1951). With his first Player of the Week honor, Puig becomes the first rookie to win for his debut week since Baltimore's Manny Machado (A.L.) (August 6-12, 2012). In addition, he is the first Dodger rookie to win the award since Andre Ethier (July 3-9, 2006).
Other noteworthy performances last week included Carlos Beltran (.333, 2 HR, 8 RBI), Matt Carpenter (.455, 15 H, HR, 5 RBI, .526 OBP) and Matt Holliday (.407, 2 HR, 7 RBI, .778 SLG) of the St. Louis Cardinals; San Diego's Kyle Blanks (.407, 11 H, 3 HR, 7 RBI, .852 SLG) and Everth Cabrera (.485, 16 H, 8 SB, .514 OBP); Atlanta's Jason Heyward (.414, 12 H, HR, 5 R, .469 OBP) and Kris Medlen (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 12 SO, 13.2 IP, hit a home run on 6/8); and Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki (.429, 12 H, 4 HR, 8 RBI, .929 SLG).
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Yasiel Puig will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.