It was announced on MLB Network Monday that Rangers third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff has been named the American League Player of the Week for the week ending April 20 by MLB.
In his first full week in #MLB after two years in the minors, Kouzmanoff had 10 H, 8 RBI, 6 R, 4 2B, 20 total bases, .690 slugging pct.— Baseball Texas (@BaseballTX) April 21, 2014
His eight RBI and 20 total bases led the AL, while his six runs and four doubles tied for the league lead. Kouzmanoff recorded a 1.034 OPS over seven games, and did it with an average Leverage Index of 1.15, according to Baseball Reference. That means Kouzmanoff hit in situations with an above-average amount of pressure in his game situations during the week.
Kouzmanoff recorded a hit in each of his first ten games as a Ranger, one shy of the club record set in 1989. Dating back to his final two games with Colorado in 2011, the 32-year-old infielder had hit safely in 12 consecutive major league games spanning 936 days.
That streak came to an end Sunday when Kouzmanoff went 0-for-4 in the series finale with the Chicago White Sox.
It was the first weekly award of Kouzmanoff's career. Rangers right fielder Alex Rios earned the same award in September of 2013 at the conclusion of the week during which he hit for the cycle.
With the scheduled return of Adrian Beltre set for Friday, Kouzmanoff's role in the lineup will become less defined. If he continues to contribute at a consistent rate, he would have to be considered for designated hitter responsibilities. The less likely scenario is that he returns to Round Rock, the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate, where he started the season.
Justin Morneau won the National League Player of the Week honor for the week ending April 20.