All of the candidates for InsidethePark.com's Players of the Week reflect both the stats sheet stuffers and the impact players that handed victories to their teams. We do not discriminate, however, between an overpowering offensive showing and dominant pitching performances. We love them both just the same.
Position Player of the Week Finalists
5. Dustin Delucchi, OF, San Antonio Missions
Delucchi punched out eleven hits in 31 at-bats (.355), hitting in seven of eight games played. The 26-year-old scored six runs and smacked three doubles while hitting in his customary lead off spot. Delucchi posted an even .400 on base percentage for the week, thanks to five walks to go with the barrage of base hits, and is fourth in the Texas League in hitting at .362.
4. Greg Jacobs, OF, San Antonio Missions
Jacobs ended the week as the Texas League leader in hitting at .390. Unfortunately for the 27-year-old, going 8-23 (.348) for the week doesn't raise your average. Jacobs made up for the points lost on his batting average by adding a home run and seven RBI, while hitting safely in all six games. Jacobs now has four homers and a team-leading 18 RBI.
3. Bucky Jacobsen, DH, Tacoma Rainiers
Jacobsen went 7-19 (.368) with a home run and five RBI for the week. The 31-year-old DH also scored five times and his 22 RBI ties him for the team lead with 1B AJ Zapp. Jacobsen hit safely in five of six games played and is now hitting .282 with five home runs.
2. Shin-soo Choo, OF, San Antonio Missions
The M's top outfield prospect is having a solid season and this past week was another sign that the 21-year-old is progressing ahead of schedule. Choo went 10-26 (.385) with a home run and five RBI. The Korean-born right fielder scored six runs and had a hit in six of seven games. Choo is hitting .270 with five homers and 16 RBI on the season.
InsidethePark.com Position Player of the Week
1. Justin Leone, 3B/LF, Tacoma Rainiers
Leone is the first repeat winner of the weekly award and needed every last hit to come out ahead. The 27-year-old went 6-17 with three home runs and four RBI for the week to raise his team-leading home run total to eight. The St. Martin's College product is now hitting .275 for the season with 15 RBI.
Leone ranks fourth in the PCL in home runs (8) and tenth in slugging percentage (.621). The 6-foot, 1-inch, 200 pounder was the M's top 3B prospect coming into the season but is now playing LF on a regular basis due to injuries and the need to keep his bat in the lineup. The position move might help Leone's chances of getting time in a Mariner uniform, as he proves he can play the outfield. With the need for some pop on the roster, the M's brass could come calling sometime this summer.
Pitcher of the Week Finalists
5. Eric O'Flaherty, LHP, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
The T-Rats left-hander has had a solid start to the 2004 season and added another solid outing to hsi resume. The 19-year-old Walla Walla native allowed seven hits and just two runs while striking out six. O'Flaherty is 0-1 with a 3.07 ERA for the year and has been the victim of no run support all season long.
4. Ryan Feierabend, LHP, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
The M's 3rd round pick in last year's draft has already begun to make his mark as one of the better pitching prospects in the organization. Feierabend made two starts this past week, going 1-1 in 14 innings of work. The 18-year-old allowed just 12 hits and three earned runs while striking out five and walking four. The left-hander is 4-2 on the year with a 3.03 ERA and has averaged just under six inning per start.
3. Travis Blackley, LHP, Tacoma Rainiers
The Rainiers left-hander has certainly turned things around after a tough start to the season. Blackley has made four straight solid starts including two strong outings this past week. The 21-year-old picked up his second win of the season to go with a no-decision over 13 innings pitched. Blackley allowed just three earned runs on seven hits while striking out 11 and is now 2-2 on the season with a 3.79 ERA.
2. Bobby Livingston, LHP, Inland Empire 66ers
Inland Empire manager Daren Brown must feel awfully comfortable these days when he inks in his starting pitcher every night. With the arms he has to work with, it sure isn't a mystery as to why the 66ers are atop the California League. Bobby Livingston, the team's indisputable ace, continues to dominate hitters and pick up win after win. The 21-year-old went six strong innings as he picked up his fourth win of the year without a loss. Livingston allowed six hits, one earned run, and did not yield a single base on balls as he struck out six. The southpaw is now 4-0 for the year and is second in the California League with a 1.31 ERA.
InsidethePark.com Pitcher of the Week
1. Bobby Madritsch, LHP, Tacoma Rainiers
It is time that the Mariners get some major credit for the scouting and signing of left-hander Bobby Madritsch. The Rainiers ace has been magnificent all season long and gave InsidethePark.com no choice but to name 28-year-old the Pitcher of the Week for the second consecutive week.
Madritsch was originally the Cincinnati Reds' 6th round pick in the 1998 draft and was a gem of a find for the M's out of the Northern League in September 2002.
The 6-foot, 2-inch, 225 pound Illinois native allowed just one earned run on two hits over seven innings and earned his second win of the year. Madritsch walked one and struck out six while lowering his ERA to 2.86 on the season, ranking him seventh. Madritsch also ranks third in strikeouts (35) and eighth in innings (34.1)
Jason resides in Tacoma, Wash., where the rain doesn't stop just because the sun comes out. Jason continues his hatred for all things Yankee and despises the slider-speed bat. He does, however, ask one question of anyone who might know; Why do players put up with corrupt agents and trainers anyways? Whoa! If anyone knows the answer contact Jason at JasonAChurchill@InsidethePark.com