DeJesus co-AL Player of the Week
Center fielder bats .500, drives in four to share honors
You want to talk about hot? Well, we could talk about the weather, certainly -- it is July after all -- or we could talk about Royals center fielder David DeJesus, who's been scorching at the plate since the All-Star break.
DeJesus' recent efforts, including a .500 (7-for-14) average over the last four games, were good enough to garner the 25-year-old American League Co-Player of the Week honors, along with Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield.
"I never thought that I'd get something like that," DeJesus said from Cleveland, where he homered in his first at-bat of Monday's game against the Indians. "But I had a good week."
Indeed, he did, as he sparked the Royals to a four-game split at Detroit to kick off the season's second half. Along with that gaudy .500 average, DeJesus scored four runs, drove in four runs and hit a leadoff homer. He also walked four times to drive his on-base percentage during the truncated week to an even .600.
If DeJesus seems a relative newbie to this awards business, it's because he is. The Player of the Week honor is his first since he made his Major League debut Sept. 2, 2003, and it's the first for any Royal since Carlos Beltran, now with the Mets, was named the AL Player of the Week on April 18, 2004.
Just don't expect any of this to go to DeJesus' head.
"It was definitely a good week and, definitely, I'm really honored to be named to that," he said. "That's awesome and we're just going to try to keep it going."
DeJesus' teammate Matt Stairs, who has served as the Royals' first baseman and designated hitter this season, was also nominated for the award. Stairs opened the second half Thursday with two homers, including a grand slam, and six RBIs off Tigers pitching.
Other candidates for the award included Devil Rays second baseman Jorge Cantu, who batted .412 (7-for-17) with four RBIs and a steal; A's starter Rich Harden, who twirled a two-hit shutout; and Yankees and Devil Rays closers Mariano Rivera and Danys Baez, who each saved three games.
Matt LaWell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.