Prince Fielder. (Rick Osentoski/USA Today)
The Detroit Tigers have been an offensive machine over the first two weeks of the season, but while Miguel Cabrera had a nice few days, another Motor City masher was really the cat's meow in Week 2.
Will Venable may only be hitting .265 on the season, but last week, Venable was one of the best offensive players in baseball. He hit .368 with eight RBI, two homers, five runs scored and one stolen base, but from April 8 through 14, his San Diego Padres went 1-5, and, like the MVP award, we here at Scout.com award winners, and the Dads were as far away from being winners as the 1962 Mets.
No, this season’s inaugural Scout.com Player of the Week is a bit more ... royal.
While Miguel Cabrera got most of the attention during the first week of the season for a four-game stretch in which he went 10-for-18 (.555) with six runs, two doubles, one homer and five RBI, it was his somewhat larger teammate Prince Fielder who’s really carried the Tigers’ offense for the past seven days.
From April 8-14, Fielder led the majors in RBI with 11, went 12-for-19 (.632), belted two homers and scored five runs.
Of Fielder’s 12 hits, six have come for extra-bases, and he’s recorded at least one hit and one RBI in each of his past six games, during which his Detroit Tigers have gone 4-2. Fielder’s numbers become more impressive considering that he started the season on a 2-for-12 skid with just one extra-base hit in his first three games.
Over the past week, Fielder has either scored or driven in 35.6% of Detroit’s runs, and currently owns a nine-game hitting streak.
Fielder started his weeklong tear at the expense of Toronto and starter Brandon Morrow, doubling in the bottom of the first to score Cabrera to touch off a 7-3 win over the Blue Jays.
Two days later, Fielder drove in four against Toronto, backing an 11-1 win behind starter Doug Fister, with two of those RBIs coming with two outs.
After a 4-for-5 effort by the Big Vegan in the series opener against Oakland was wasted as part of a 4-3, 12-inning loss, Fielder touched off a four-run top of the fourth against Athletics starter Brett Anderson with a leadoff homer, which led to a 7-3 win for the defending AL champs.
In Sunday’s rubber match, following a two-run single by Cabrera, Fielder doubled to center to bring Detroit’s No. 3 hitter around to score as part of yet another four-run fourth, chasing starter Jarrod Parker, who went 13-8 as a rookie in 2012, with 140 strikeouts.
Here’s the clincher: Fielder has been at his best when the pressure’s on.
Over the past six games, Fielder has left just two runners on base, stranded none in scoring position and is batting .750 with two outs (6-for-8), with two doubles, one homer and five RBI, while also reaching base once on an error, four times via walk and once via HBP.
Ryan Gorcey covers Major League Baseball and publishes CalSportsDigest.com for Scout.com and FOX Sports NEXT. Follow him on twitter at @RGBearTerritory.