The Detroit Tigers haven’t had an American League Player of the Week winner since Nick Castellanos in August 2018.
Jeimer Candelario was named AL Player of the Week on Monday for slashing .423/.500/.923 with three homers and nine RBIs from Sept. 7-13.
“I’m recognizing better the pitches right now because I have been controlling my body,” Candelario said Sunday, “so I can be in a good position to recognize the ball and put the barrel on the ball.”
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While the Tigers have lost six of eight during that stretch, Candelario has single-handedly kept them in a few of those games. He had five multi-hit games, including a 3-for-3 performance with one walk in the Tigers’ 6-3 comeback win Thursday in Game 2 of a doubleheader.
And his hot streak hasn’t only been this past week. Since his 0-for-17 stretch in July, he is 50-for-137 (.365) with seven homers, 28 RBIs, 12 walks and 29 strikeouts.
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Candelario is hitting .383 in September.
“That’s what I’ve been working (on) a lot,” Candelario said. “Not moving my body too much, my head, try to be still and see the ball.”
Last season, Candelario hit .203 with eight homers and 32 RBIs in 94 games. He struck out 99 times and drew just 43 walks.
The NL Player of the Week was Chicago Cubs pitcher Alec Mills, who threw six scoreless innings in a 3-0 win over the Reds on Tuesday before tossing a no-hitter Sunday against the Brewers.
Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Detroit Tigers content.