Scout Hot Sheet: Mike Napoli

Mike Napoli has turned his early season struggles into a hot streak, as he slugged five homers this past week to wrest the Player of the Week crown away from two-time winner Bryce Harper.

Scout Hot Sheet: May 18-24
Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli has hit safely in four straight games, pounding the Los Angeles Angels with five hits in nine at-bats, but that’s not won him this week’s Player of the Week Award.

Over the past seven days, the 6-foot-1, 225-pound former catcher has gone 9-for-21, with five of those nine hits leaving the yard – a big league best.

Along with his Major League-pacing five home runs over the past week, Napoli is second in the big leagues to Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun with 10 RBIs, and sits atop the American League in that category.

Napoli’s .429 batting average is seventh in the bigs, while his six runs scored are tied for eighth.

Along with his five dingers, Napoli also added one double, giving him baseball’s best slugging percentage over the past seven days, at 1.190 -- .190 ahead of second-place Andrew McCutchen. Napoli also paced all comers with a 1.690 OPS, and 25 total bases.

Before his most recent hot streak, Napoli had a .162 batting average on the season – on pace for by far his worst statistical year as a professional. He got off the schnide first against the Texas Rangers, going 4-for-8 in the first two games of that series at Fenway Park, with one home run and two RBIs.

After the Rangers finally got the best of the 10th-year pro, striking him out three times in four plate appearances, Napoli came back with a 1-for-3 performance against his former team – the Halos – with a solo home run and a walk, though the Angels came out on top 12-5.

Napoli then led the charge in two straight Red Sox wins, going 4-for-6 with three home runs, seven RBIs, two walks and four runs scored.

On Saturday, after Boston fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first, Napoli started the comeback, lining his sixth home run of the year to left off of C.J. Wilson in the bottom of the second.

With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Napoli took Wilson deep to center field for his seventh round-tripper of the year – a two-run job that plated Hanley Ramirez, giving the Red Sox the lead for good.

On Sunday, Napoli belted a two-run shot in the bottom of the second to give Boston the early 2-0 advantage, and after Mike Trout got the Angels on the board in the top of the sixth, Napoli delivered his fourth double of the season, driving in two in the bottom of the eighth, and then riding home on a single by Pablo Sandoval.

Napoli is already off to a rousing start to this week, taking his show on the road to go 2-for-4 with a walk against Minnesota, which downed the Red Sox, 7-2, on Monday.

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