(Article & Photo Courtesy of MLB & Tampa Bay Rays)
Manny Machado’s Impressive Play Down the Line Earns the Play of the Week
Reigning National League Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves has been named the W.B. Mason National League Player of the Week, and Austin Meadows of the Tampa Bay Rays has been named the W.B. Mason American League Player of the Week. The announcements were made earlier today on MLB Network.
Acuña claimed his second career NL Player of the Week Award following his first honor for the week ending August 19, 2018. Meadows, who was dealt to the Rays last summer as part of the deal that sent Chris Archer to Pittsburgh, earned his first career AL Player of the Week Award, and the first by a Rays player since Steven Souza Jr. for the week of April 23, 2017.
- Posted a slash line of .545/.630/1.091 with seven runs scored, 12 hits, three home runs, a double, a triple, nine RBI, four walks and one stolen base across six games played.
- Among NL leaders, finished the period first in batting average, on-base percentage, hits and total bases (24); second in slugging percentage; tied for second in RBI; tied for third in runs scored; and tied for fourth in homers.
- The 21-year-old began his week with home runs in each of his first three games played and he recorded at least one RBI in each of his six games played during the week.
- In addition, had a career-best five consecutive multi-hit games to start the week, and after going 12-for-22 over the six games, he raised his batting average on the season from .129 to .302.
- On Thursday against the visiting New York Mets, the Venezuelan native went 3-for-4 with a triple, home run, two RBI and run scored. The 462-foot solo homer in the eighth was the longest of his career (see it here), and it bested his previous longest by 10 feet and fell just one foot short of the longest hit by a Braves player (Freddie Freeman in 2015) since Statcast began tracking the data.
- Batted .545 (12-for-22) with six runs scored, two doubles, four home runs, 12 RBI, a stolen base, a .630 on-base percentage and a 1.182 slugging percentage over six games.
- Among AL leaders, finished first in RBI; tied for first in hits; second in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and total bases (26); third in home runs; and tied for seventh in runs.
- From Tuesday through Thursday, compiled three consecutive games with at least three hits while also homering in each, including a two-homer game on Thursday at Toronto.
- Became one of six Rays ever to collect at least three hits in three straight games, joining Steve Cox, Randy Winn, Evan Longoria, Logan Forsythe and teammate Avisaíl García, who did so in the same three games as Meadows.
- Recorded at least one RBI in each of his six games played during the week, becoming the first Rays player to accomplish the feat since Wilson Ramos in September 2017.
- His six home runs through the first 15 games of the season were tied with Carlos Peña (2009) for the most in franchise history.
Other noteworthy NL performances last week included All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal (.500, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1 2B, 5 R, 1.000 SLG) of the Milwaukee Brewers; All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna (.368, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 2 2B, 5 R, 1.105 SLG) and shortstop Paul DeJong (.435, 5 2B, 1 3B, 9 R) of the St. Louis Cardinals; outfielder Jesse Winker (.389, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, 1.056 SLG) of the Cincinnati Reds; and closer Kirby Yates (0.00 ERA, 4 SV, 4.0 IP, 2 H, 8 SO) of the San Diego Padres.
Other noteworthy AL performances were 2017 AL MVP Jose Altuve (.400, 6 HR, 10 RBI, 1.120 SLG) of the Houston Astros, who homered in five consecutive contests this week; Meadows’ teammate Blake Snell (1-0, 0.75 ERA, 12.0 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 20 SO); catcher Mitch Garver (.667, 3 HR, 3 RBI, 2 2B, 6 R, 1.583 SLG) of the Minnesota Twins; and Khris Davis (.333, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 1 2B, 6 R, .926 SLG) of the Oakland Athletics.
PLAY OF THE WEEK
Backhanded Play & Throw Across Diamond by Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres
April 12th at ARI – Watch It Here
All-Star third baseman Manny Machado claimed last week’s Play of the Week honors. With the Padres leading 2-1 and nobody out in the top of the eighth inning, Machado made an incredible backhanded play followed by a seemingly effortless throw across the diamond to nab Carson Kelly and prevent the Diamondbacks from mounting a rally. Additional Play of the Week candidates included Byron Buxton of the Twins with an amazing catch on Sunday against the Tigers in Detroit; Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Boston Red Sox scaled the center field wall at Fenway to make an impressive leaping catch on Friday night against the Baltimore Orioles; Mike Trout of the Angels robbed fellow MVP Award winner Christian Yelich of a potential home run last Monday in Anaheim, resulting in a tip of the cap from Yelich; and Washington’s Anthony Rendon made a terrific diving stop at third base in the eighth inning of a tie game to get Starling Marte and save the go-ahead run from scoring on Sunday against the Pirates in D.C.