There are weeks when choosing a Scout Hot Sheet Player of the Week is a drawn-out exercise in minutiae. This was not on of those weeks.
Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland led the Major Leagues with 25 total bases and a 1.136 slugging percentage, hitting .455 (10-for-22) with six runs scored, five home runs (including four in a four-game sweep of the reigning World Series champion Kansas City Royals).
Moreland was tied for the American League lead in RBI, second in batting average, second in runs scored, third in extra-base hits (5), and was tied for fourth in the Junior Circuit in hits and seventh in on-base percentage.
Moreland posted a 1.615 OPS and a staggering .417 batting average on balls in play.
Moreland came in to the week struggling mightily, hitting .229 for the season, but since his tear, he's now hitting .249.
The four round-trippers he hit against the Royals were the most by a Rangers player in a four-game series since, well, himself, almost exactly a year ago. Moreland sent four over the wall in a four-game set against the Baltimore Orioles from June 29 to July 2, 2015.
In the opener on Thursday night, Moreland went 2-for-3, slugging two round-trippers, the first on a line drive to lift center off of Yordano Ventura on a 1-0 offering to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Moreland popped his second tater in the bottom of the eighth on a payoff pitch from Ventura to give Texas the eventual winning margin.
After his second multi-home run of the season (and the 10th of his career), he went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs on July 29 in an 8-3 win. On Saturday, Moreland cam up with two outs in the bottom of the ninth against Brooks Pounders, and sent the second offering from the rookie righty over the wall in right for the Rangers' fourth walk-off win of the season, and the third to come on a home run.
The drive -- Moreland's second career walk-off home run, and first since June 21, 2011 -- got the Mississippi State alum the requisite Powerade bath from teammate Rougned Odor, but h wasn't quite done yet. In the series final, Moreland put the Rangers up, 4-1, on his 18th home run of the season, a two-run job that plated Adrian Beltre, as Texas won, 5-3.
Moreland went 8-for-13 (.615) over the series, scoring five runs. Over the previous series against the Oakland Athletics, Moreland went 2-for-9, slugging a two-run home run off of Sonny Gray in the bottom of the fifth in a 6-3 loss.
Moreland's power surge has helped push the Rangers to 62-44, widening their lead in the American League West to 5.5 games over the Houston Astros. Texas is now the winningest team in the American League, and second-winningest team in baseball, behind the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.