Huff named AL Player of the Week
Orioles slugger hit .345 with three jacks for week of July 6
Kevin Millar has a term to describe the Orioles' season thus far. He calls it "Orioles Magic," which is named after the song and is meant to sum up a team that has been in pretty much every game this season, and also sports a winning record in July, despite not having a true superstar.
Millar says that all throughout the season, the entire team has stepped up to keep Baltimore afloat in the highly competitive American League East.
Last week, it was obviously Aubrey Huff's turn.
The Orioles' designated hitter knocked in a run in six out of seven games and, on Monday, he was named the Bank of America AL Player of the Week.
Huff, in his second year with the Orioles, hit .345 (10-for-29), with three home runs, nine RBIs and three doubles to go along with a .333 on-base percentage and a .759 slugging percentage last week. In a four-game series against the Royals -- which Baltimore split -- the 31-year-old went 7-for-17 with three home runs, seven RBIs and four runs scored.
"I've had some hot streaks," Huff said after a two-homer game on Thursday against the Royals -- a game that ended in a 10-7 loss for his Orioles. "But, over the last month, it's probably the best I've felt in a while."
Over his last 11 games, Huff is hitting .372 (16-for-43) with five home runs and 15 RBIs. This was the second time that Huff has won the award and the first time since September 2005, when he sported a Rays uniform.
But 2008 didn't start off on the right foot for the nine-year veteran. In January, Huff underwent hernia surgery that sidelined him for the early part of Spring Training. And in the first few games of the season, Huff was booed at Camden Yards for some controversial comments that he made about the city of Baltimore on a radio show last winter.
It seems like Huff handled it well.
Fast-forward three months and Huff leads the team in power numbers with 17 home runs and 54 RBIs, while also sporting a .281 batting average. And, after a 3-4 week, his Orioles stand at 44-43 and 11 games back of the Rays for first place in the AL East.
For a while, Huff has said he's feeling as good as ever.
"It just seems like my timing feels good right now," Huff said two weeks ago. "I'm seeing the ball, even if it's an offspeed pitch, and I've been able to lay off the bad pitch.
"It's timing, man. It comes and goes. I'm just trying to ride it as long as I can. Tomorrow, it can go away just like that. That's how baseball is. You just never know. It can turn right around."
Also nominated were: Huff's teammate, outfielder Nick Markakis (.387 avg., .613 SLG, 4 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI), Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (.333 avg., .750 SLG, 1 2B, 3 HR and 7 RBI) and Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay (2-0, 1.13 ERA, 13 K's and one shutout in 16 innings).
Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.