InsidethePark.com's Position Player of the Week
Adam Jones, SS – Inland Empire
Jones went 16-for-38 over the past two weeks to capture his second straight award. The 19-year-old collected four doubles, his eighth home run and seven RBI in 11 games.
Jones ended the 2-week period hitting .312 with 35 RBI for the year. The right-handed hitting shortstop of the future for the M's has taken his offense to another level and has evened out his waks-to-strikeouts ratio, tallying 17 walks to 15 strikeouts since May 8.
Wladimir Balentien, OF – Inland Empire
Balentien has been streaky all season and the past two weeks were no different. The 20-year-old outfielder had 15 hits in 44 at-bats and hit his 12th and 13th home runs in the same game, collecting seven RBI. The top power hitter in the system has 32 extra-base hits and is second in the system with 43 RBI.
Bryan LaHair, 1B – Inland Empire
LaHair continued his hot streak that started in late April, and remains the organizational leader in RBI with 44. The left-handed hitting first baseman had 14 hits in 43 at-bats over the past two weeks and drove in six more runs. LaHair has been the key to the 66ers offense, hitting between top prospects Jones and Balentien all season long. LaHair has eight homers to go with his RBI lead and is hitting .294 on the year.
Michael Garciaparra, 2B – Inland Empire
Garciaparra raced back from knee surgery to hit .342 over the past 12 days, raising his average to .307 on the year. After going 0-for-4 in his first game off the DL, Garciaparra collected 14 hits in next 37 at-bats to regain the groove he was in before the injury. Garciaparra's on-base percentage of .442 is perhaps the most impressive statistic the 22-year-old is putting up from the leadoff spot.
InsidethePark.com's Pitcher of the Week
Bobby Livingston, LHP – San Antonio
Livingston continues to win despite being in a highly competitive league with what many consider to be average stuff. The southpaws' 84-88 mph fastball and plus change are enough to get outs in Class A but Livingston is still toying with hitters in the Texas League.
The 22-year-old uses a two-seam and four-seam fastball, lots of cutting action and two different change-ups to confuse hitters and baffle their timing. Livingston actually uses a two-seam and four-seam change-up to fool the batter into believing a fastball is coming. In his last three starts, Livingston has allowed three earned runs in 22 innings while yielding just 14 hits. The Mariners' fourth rounder in 2002 struck out 14 and walked just 6 in picking up two wins and a no-decision. Livingston is 5-3 with a sensational 2.99 ERA (10th in TL) in his 12 starts on the season. The Texas League is hitting just .221 off Livingston, who is third in the league with 75.1 innings pitched.
Jeff Heaverlo, RHP - Tacoma
After struggling through a 4-week period in which the right-hander surrendered 23 runs in 17 innings, Heaverlo had the finest stretch of his relief career, going 12.1 innings and allowing just two earned runs. The former first round draft pick struck out 16 and walked just three, picking up a win and bridging the gap between the Rainiers rotation and the closer's spot.
Craig James, RHP - Wisconsin
James finally surrendered a run, two in fact, and now has an ERA. That's the bad news. The good news is, he picked up two more saves and struck out 10 in 10 innings over the past two weeks. James now has six saves as Rattlers' closer and sports a 0.79 ERA.
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