Munro: Guerrero Jr. latest Canuck to win player of week honours
August 7, 2019
By Neil Munro
Canadian Baseball Network
The MLB Player of the Week award is a Major League Baseball award named by each of the American and National Leagues each week of the regular season. The week includes games from Monday through Sunday, and both batters and pitchers are eligible for consideration.
Montreal-born Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was recently named as the A.L. of the week for the week of July 29 to August 4, a week in which his grand slam homer featured among his 11 RBI. This was the second time he received this honour, as he was named the A.L. Player of the Week for the period of May 13 to May 19. The last Blue Jay to win the Player of the Week Award before Vlad was Kendrys Morales for the week of August 20-26, last year. Guerrero joins these other Canadian baseball stalwarts as a multiple winner: Jason Bay (5 times in his career), Larry Walker and Joey Votto (4 times each), Fergie Jenkins, James Paxton and Justin Morneau (3 times each) and Ryan Dempster (twice).
Of course MLB only instituted this award in 1974, so Jenkins was denied an opportunity to accumulate more weekly accolades for many of his very best seasons of work.
The following table outlines the Canadian baseball players who were named Player of the Week and Player of the Month. In the latter category, batters and pitchers receive separate awards.
The Player of the Month Award goes back to the 1958 season, however, from 1958 to 1973, only the National League named their Player of the Month, and pitchers and batters were pitted against one another for recognition each month. From 1975 to 1978, the N.L. named both the Player of the Month and the Pitcher of the Month. Beginning in 1979, both leagues recognized batters and pitchers with separate honours. Between 1974 and 1978, the American League named just one winner (a batter or pitcher) as Player of the Month. As such, the current system for naming both Players and Pitchers of the month in each league was initiated in 1979.
Four different Canadians have been named Pitcher of the Month (Ferguson Jenkins, Erik Bedard, Eric Gagne and James Paxton), while two Canadian batters have received this honour (Larry Walker twice and Justin Morneau). Since Jenkins captured his monthly award in 1971, he had to compete against all N.L. pitchers and batters for his award.
If we consider Freddie Freeman (with dual American-Canadian citizenship) for these awards, then he has added his name to the list below by capturing five Player of the Week Awards and one Player of the Month Award (for September of 2016).
We will watch with interest to see if Guerrero can maintain his hot streak through the entire month of August and possibly add his name to the other Canadian winners as Player of the Month. Hopefully one of his chief rivals for the monthly honour will be Bo Bichette if the sizzling start to his major league career continues.
Canadians Named Major League Player of the Week
Canadians Named Major League Player of the Month (Non-pitchers
Canadians Named Major League Pitcher of the Month