Crede, Bradley share Player of Week
Hard-hitting Chicago third baseman, Texas DH recognized
While hardly the faces of their respective franchises, Chicago's Joe Crede and Texas' Milton Bradley have been tattooing American League pitchers at a torrid pace.
Crede -- currently batting in the No. 8 hole -- went 8-for-12 with seven runs scored, four home runs and 10 RBIs in a three-game set vs. Minnesota. And although Bradley inhabits the No. 4 slot for the Rangers and hit five home runs with nine RBIs this week, he is often overshadowed by back-to-back AL Player of the Month teammate Josh Hamilton.
But if last week's performances are any indication, the duo won't be able to fly under the radar much longer. Crede and Bradley were named the AL Co-Players of the Week, presented by Bank of America, for the period ending June 8.
"I'm feeling good at the plate and it's just a matter of riding it out as long as you can," Crede said. "I think the biggest thing to my approach at the plate is that I'm not trying to hit the ball into one certain spot or pulling it or hitting it the other way. It's just me and [hitting coach Greg] Walker working in the cage, working on the path of the ball. You just kind of react to where the pitch is."
Seemingly every pitch Crede hit last week turned to offensive gold, as his six RBIs on Saturday were the most by a White Sox hitter since Tadahito Iguchi's seven on June 25, 2006. The veteran third baseman also became the first White Sox player to hit two home runs in back-to-back games since Greg Norton did it May 27-28, 1999.
"Whatever we're doing is not working," Twins catcher Mike Redmond said of facing Crede. "It's the same way we've pitched him in the past. This year, he seems really locked on and locked in. ... It seems like everything he hits right now is a home run, a big hit or hit hard."
Over the last week, Crede hit .611 with two doubles, four home runs and 12 RBIs. The 30-year-old infielder compiled 28 total bases, along with an American League-high 1.556 slugging percentage and nine runs scored.
Bradley has been equally impressive, as the California native went 11-for-23 (.478), compiling 29 total bases and a 1.261 slugging percentage.
The Rangers outfielder -- who has struggled with early-season soreness -- has been more of a sore spot for opposing teams. In addition to a power-hitting surge, Bradley walked nine times, stole four bases and posted a .647 on-base percentage, making him one of the league's deepest threats.
After surrendering a home run to Bradley on June 7, Rays pitcher Trever Miller said the Rangers middle-of-the-lineup men "might be the hottest lineup in baseball," dubbing statistics like Bradley's .340 average and 43 RBIs "mind-boggling".
"He's one of my best friends in the world, and it was fun facing him," added Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia. "[Bradley] had two hits [off me]. One of them he didn't hit all that hard, and I'm going to give him grief about it. But he's a good hitter."
The rest of the Indians staff might not be quite as light-hearted when describing the 29-year-old hitter. In a four-game set vs. Cleveland, Bradley went 7-for-13 with seven RBIs and four homers -- including a multi-homer game on June 3.
"The biggest thing was I was terrible [on Monday] night," said Bradley, who went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the Rangers' 13-9 loss. "I didn't like myself. I came out [on Tuesday] intent on having a better night."
Or a better week, as Bradley earned the first weekly honors of his career. It is the third time Crede has received the accolade, and the first time this season.
In recognition of their achievements as AL Co-Players of the Week, Tourneau, the world's largest watch store, will present both Bradley and Crede with engraved luxury Swiss Tourneau timepieces.
Others considered for the honor were Boston Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew, New York Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon and Los Angeles Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez.
Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.