Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending May 27th. This is Paul’s sixth career weekly honor and his second of the season, previously winning the award on April 30th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Konerko batted .583 (14-for-24) with four doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI, two walks and 10 runs scored in six games. Among Major League leaders for the week, the 36-year-old finished tops in batting average, slugging percentage (1.125) and on-base percentage (.615), was tied for first in RBI, hits and total bases (27), was second in runs scored and tied for second in doubles and homers. On Tuesday, Konerko went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI as the Sox dropped the opening tilt of a three-game against the Minnesota Twins, 9-2, at U.S. Cellular Field. It was the first game action for the White Sox captain since being struck in the face with a pitch during the third inning of a May 18th game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. On Wednesday, the right-handed-hitting slugger went 3-for-4, launching a solo homer with three runs scored as the White Sox shut down the Twins, 6-0. In Thursday’s rubber match between the Clubs, Konerko provided a solo blast and an RBI-single in an 11-8 victory over Minnesota. With the White Sox coming off a 9-3 series-opening victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday, the 16-year veteran went 4-for-4 with a career-best three doubles, two RBI and three runs scored as the South Siders doubled up the visitors, 14-7, in Saturday’s slugfest. It was Konerko’s first four-hit game this season. In Sunday’s finale with Cleveland, the five-time All-Star went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, four RBI and two runs scored as Chicago rolled to a 12-6 win and a series sweep. Konerko’s homer was his 400th with the White Sox (407th overall) and the win helped Chicago close out a 5-1 homestand to pull within a half-game of the A.L. Central-leading Indians. Konerko currently has a 14-game hitting streak, batting .540 (27-or-50) with four doubles, five homers, 15 RBI and 15 runs scored over the stretch. Among Major League leaders heading into play today, Konerko is ranked first in batting average (.395), second in on-base percentage (.471) and slugging percentage (.671), tied for second in multi-hit games (22), and third in hits (66) and total bases (112). In addition, he is tied for seventh in the A.L. with 33 RBI and tied for eighth with 11 homers.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Konerko’s teammate Dayan Viciedo (.375, 3 HR, 9 RBI); Kansas City Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur (.440, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 1.000 SLG); New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (.435, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 1.000 SLG); and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim starting pitcher Dan Haren (four-hit shutout with 0 BB and 14 K at Seattle on May 24th).
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Paul Konerko will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.