Hawpe named NL Player of the Week
Outfielder led NL with eight RBIs and a .571 OBP
After a slow start to the season, Colorado right fielder Brad Hawpe punctuated an impressive month in a big way last week.Hawpe, who led the National League with eight RBIs and a .571 on-base percentage, was named Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week for May 28-June 3. He also recorded a .955 slugging percentage and hit .455 (10-of-22), with three home runs and eight runs scored during the week. Hawpe homered in the first three games of the series against St. Louis from May 28-30, and added four multi-hit performances. "I go through stretches where it's going good and where it's not going good, so when it's going good, I try not to overthink it," Hawpe said. "I try to stay there. I'm trying to look for pitches over the plate and trying to drive them." Hawpe struggled in April, putting up a .256 batting average with one home run and 10 RBIs. The outfielder has turned things around since then, hitting .347 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs. During that time, he leads the club in on-base percentage, slugging and OPS. He is tied with Matt Holliday for the team lead in home runs and RBIs and is second to Willy Taveras in batting average over the stretch. Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said the hot streak has resulted in part from Hawpe toning down his swing. "His leg kick isn't as violent," Hurdle said. "I think he's condensed it to a small degree. Maybe the average fan out there might not recognize it, but I think there has been some adjustments made. He's worked hard at it. "But seeing the ball the way he is, it just comes from a comfort zone that he develops over time. And getting to that point where you say, 'Hey, I've got skills, and I'm not going to hurry this thing.' He's in a real good place offensively right now." Hawpe's hitting helped the Rockies go 4-3 last week, the first two victories as part of a seven-game winning streak. He said a Rockies pitching staff that has been better of late has contributed to his resurgence at the plate. "It helps more when the pitchers are doing so good," Hawpe said. "You may have a tough inning hitting-wise, but you may be back in the dugout in the next eight or nine pitches. We've got pitchers running out there and throwing up some unbelievable innings, getting quick outs and putting a lot of zeros on the board. It sparks the offense. That's the biggest thing that helps us hitting, more than anything." Hawpe beat out an impressive group of performers who had standout weeks, such as Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis (2-0, 1.84 ERA, 9 strikeouts). Other nominees included Edgar Renteria (.423, 5 2B, 6 R) of the Braves; Milwaukee's Prince Fielder (.348, 4 HR, 7 RBI), Francisco Cordero (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4 SV), and Ben Sheets (2-0, 2.25 ERA, 9 SO); Pittsburgh's Jason Bay (.370, 3 HR, 5 RBI); Arizona's Eric Byrnes (.400, 3 HR, 3 RBI) and Doug Davis (2-0, 1.15 ERA, 11 SO); and San Diego's Josh Bard (.455, 1 HR, 6 RBI) and Chris Young (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 SO).
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.