04/21/08 4:45 PM ET
Jackson named NL Player of Week
D-backs first baseman's 12-for-25 week recognized
By Scott McNeish / MLB.com
And at the center of that high-octane offense is first baseman Conor Jackson, who had himself quite a week.
For his efforts, Jackson earned his first career National League Player of the Week Award. Bank of America, the official bank of Major League Baseball, is the presenting sponsor of the National League and American League Player of the Week Awards, which reflect Bank of America's long-standing tradition of promoting and recognizing higher standards of accomplishment. Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez and Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera shared this week's AL award.
Over the week of April 14-20, the 25-year-old Jackson hit .480 (12-for-25), with two doubles, three home runs and had NL-highs with 10 RBIs and 10 runs scored. In addition, he had a 1.080 slugging percentage and a .519 on-base percentage. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder led the D-backs to a 4-2 week that kept them atop the NL West.
"I'm not really messing with anything," Jackson said on Friday night. "I think last year, the first couple of months, I was tinkering with things to get comfortable in the box. This year, it's not like that. I've got the same approach every pitch."
Jackson, who employed a stricter diet and workout regimen over the offseason, posted multiple hits in four of the six games last week. That includes consecutive two-hit, three-RBI efforts against the Giants.
But it was Jackson's performance on Friday that highlighted the week, though Sunday (3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored) wasn't too shabby, either.
In the D-backs' 9-0 win over the Padres, Jackson started the night with a triple, a long home run, then a single, leaving him a double shy of the cycle. His sixth-inning liner to center zipped past Padres outfielder Jim Edmonds and rolled to the wall. Instead of stopping at second, though, Jackson motored into third for his second triple of the night.
"Yeah, I thought about it," Jackson said of halting at second to complete the cycle. "I'm not going to lie -- of course it crossed my mind. But having one out and a runner on third is pretty appealing."
Jackson ranks first in the Majors in runs scored (18), fourth in batting average (.377) and slugging percentage (.717) and sixth in on-base percentage (.469).
"He's always been a good hitter," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said on Friday. "He's in superb condition right now. He's focused every game. He's a pretty happy-go-lucky guy, but now there's a focus to him every game where it's all business."
Tourneau, the world's largest watch store, will award Jackson with a luxury Swiss Timepiece, suitably engraved, in recognition of his accomplishments as Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week.
Other nominees this past week included Jackson's Arizona teammate Dan Haren; Atlanta's Chipper Jones; Philadelphia's Chase Utley; Chicago's Derrek Lee, Mark DeRosa, Reed Johnson, Geovany Soto and Ryan Theriot; Cincinnati's Joey Votto and Jose Reyes; New York's David Wright; Florida's Jorge Cantu, Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen; Colorado's Garrett Atkins and Kip Wells; San Diego's Randy Wolf; San Francisco's Aaron Rowand and Tim Lincecum; St. Louis' Skip Schumaker and Washington's Nick Johnson.
Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.