It has been a while since we have done our Minor League Player of the Week series and we’ve decided to get it rolling again now that we have settled into the season coverage routine. The way this will work is that a player’s performances will be evaluated from Sunday through Saturday and then the winner will be posted on Sunday. Yes, at some point we will pick someone that you don’t agree with....in that case, rain your hate down on us.
For this past week, there were a few contenders. The closest to taking the crown but coming up just short was Rome’s Riley Delgado who has been raking in low-A. Riley has 10 hits (including three for extra bases) in his last 6 games to go along with an impressive 12 RBIs and that will be good enough to get the nod most weeks. While he is certainly benefiting from guys getting on base at a high clip in front of him, he is getting the job done for the Braves in low-A. If you want to consider him 1-b this week, you won’t get any argument from us.
The winner of this week’s MiLB Player of the Week honors goes to Austin Riley. To beat out Delgado’s pretty insane week, well...it was pretty special. I will avoid the “Austin usually starts slowly” meme here (wait, does that mean that I did it?), but Austin is crushing the ball early this year and this was a particular torrid stretch which saw him collect 13 hits including his third home run of the season and eight extra-base hits overall. That is a lot of extra-base hits. His raw power is a known commodity at this point, but he has made drastic improvements defensively as well as in his approach and timing at the plate and it is paying BIG dividends for him. One of the biggest differences: strikeouts. He struck out a total of six times this week while drawing a pair of walks.
An outstanding week out of Austin brings home the first player of the week honors for 2018. Put your guesses in the comments section for who will take it home next week. Don’t be shy about guessing full lines instead of just names, be bold and if you are really close...we will shout you out in the article next week. We may also shout you out if you are hilariously wrong...we are funny that way.