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08/04/08 4:43 PM ET
Newcomers Nady, Aviles split AL honor
Recent arrivals to Junior Circuit named co-Players of Week
By Thor Nystrom / MLB.com
One began this season in the Minor Leagues and did not make his big league debut until May 29. The other spent his entire career in the National League before a July 25 trade shipped him to the Junior Circuit. Mike Aviles and Xavier Nady may not possess long American League histories, but they have been named the American League co-Players of the Week, presented by Bank of America. Nady, in his first full week in the league after being dealt from the Pirates to the Yankees, proved a quick study to new surroundings. The outfielder hit .526 (10-for-19) last week with three doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs. He posted a 1.158 slugging percentage along with a .571 on-base percentage. "He understands what it's like to play here," Yankee manager Joe Girardi said of Nady. "It took him a couple of days to get used to his surroundings, but he had a great week for us. That's why we went and got him." Nady was especially dominant in the recent four-game series against the Angels. He went 7-for-11 with two home runs and seven RBIs in that series, saving the best for last. On Sunday, Nady drove in a career-high six runs while going 4-for-5 with a double and a home run in New York's 14-9 victory. "He's a big-time player," Johnny Damon said. "I might have been one of the happiest ones here when we got the trade, because I've seen him over the years just being a [pain] for all the teams that he hits against." Nady secures his second weekly award of the season; he also won during the first week of the season while in Pittsburgh. Aviles' honor continues a meteoric rise for a player who earlier this season did not appear in the short-term or long-term plans for Kansas City. But since securing the starting shortstop position in June, he has been dynamite, batting .340 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs. His continued prosperity at the plate was taken to new levels last week, when Aviles hit .577 (15-for-26) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and five RBIs. He also posted a 1.000 slugging percentage and .593 on-base percentage. Aviles' offensive exploits spurred the Royals to a 5-1 record while playing the A's and White Sox. During a three-game series at Oakland (July 28-30), he went 8-for-14 with a home run and two RBIs. He then went 7-for-12 with a home run and three RBIs against the White Sox (August 1-3). Aviles, a New York native, took home his first career weekly award. Other nominees included Nady's Yankees teammate, outfielder Bobby Abreu (.444 avg., 1.000 SLG., 3 2B, 4 HR and 9 RBI) and Indians catcher Kelly Shoppach (.440 avg., 1.120 SLG., 5 2B, 4 HR and 6 RBI). Nominated pitchers included two of Aviles' Kansas City teammates; right-hander Zack Greinke (2-0, 2.63 ERA, 13 2/3 innings, 17 K's) and closer Joakim Soria (four appearances, 4 2/3 innings, 4 SV). Toronto's A.J. Burnett (2-0, 2.84 ERA, 12 2/3 innings, 14 K's), Cleveland's Paul Byrd (2-0, 0.61 ERA, 14 2/3 innings) and Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 1.17 ERA, 1 CG, 15 1/3 innings) were also considered. Aviles and Nady will each be presented with luxury engraved Swiss Tourneau timepieces in recognition of their achievements as Players of the Week.
Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.