Wigginton wins co-Player of Week
Playing out of position, slugger leads Astros' charge
MILWAUKEE -- As best he can remember, Ty Wigginton hasn't received a weekly or monthly award of any kind in about eight years.
He recalled being named player of the month while playing for the Double-A Mets in Binghamton, N.Y., in 2000. Since then, the awards haven't exactly rolled in.
But hitting .571 over the course of seven days will get a ballplayer noticed, as Wigginton found out on Monday when he and Mets starter Johan Santana were named National League co-Players of the Week, presented by Bank of America, the official bank of Major League Baseball.
Wigginton logged 16 hits in 28 at-bats last week, recording a 1.143 slugging percentage, 11 RBIs, 16 hits, 32 total bases. He also tied for the NL lead with four home runs and nine runs scored for the week.
"He's really played well," manager Cecil Cooper said. "I don't think it's just this past week, but it's been an extended period for him. Leading up to the [All-Star] break, I thought he was swinging the bat well, and then he continued. He's been a big part of our resurgence."
Wigginton's on-base percentage of .586 ranked second in the league, and he also recorded two doubles and a triple. And he did it all while playing out of position. The third baseman was originally considered an emergency option in left field when Carlos Lee was deemed done for the year with a finger injury. But the "emergency" tag was lifted after just one game, and since Lee went on the shelf, Wigginton has started every game in left field.
Some players struggle offensively when they're playing a position they're not entirely comfortable with, but for Wigginton, this doesn't appear to be an issue.
"The way I see it, if I get my [at-bats], the numbers are always going to be there," he said. "I was never worried about anything like that. I think I was expecting [to play] a couple games out there against the Giants [during the last homestand.] I don't think I was expecting all four, but it's fine with me. I have no problem. I'll play anywhere on the field."
Looking over at Doug Brocail, Wigginton joked, "Maybe I can move to center, but only when Brocail pitches do I want to play center."
"Play deep," Brocail responded.
Three Houston players were nominated for Player of the Week consideration. Lance Berkman, who slugged .600, hit two homers and drove in 10 runs, also was in the running, as was Roy Oswalt, who was 2-0 with a 1.80 and 14 strikeouts.
Tourneau, the world's largest watch store, will award Wigginton and Santana with luxury Swiss Timepieces, suitably engraved, in recognition of their accomplishments as Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week.
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.