MLB Awards: Week Two

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The second week of the Major League Baseball season gave a little further insight what we can expect in 2018. Sure, its still early, but trends are beginning to become clear. As we will no doubt hear countless times, nothing can be won in April, but you can ruin your season.

The New York Mets got off to a flyer, breaking records all over the shop. The Los Angeles Dodgers struggled in the absence of Justin Turner, and every swing and miss from Giancarlo Stanton is being scoured over by the New York press.

Here are the second edition of our weekly MLB awards, picking out the exciting, great and underwhelming performances of the week.

Defensive Play of the Week

A failed bunt from Gregor Blanco led to one of the plays of the season by San Diego Padres’ catcher, Austin Hedges. The bunt popped high into the air behind Hedges, who made a diving play.

The Giants had sent the runner, Brandon Crawford, from first. While on the floor behind home plate, Hedges unleashed a throw behind Crawford, to complete a remarkable double-play.

Performance of the Week

Ozzie Albies is taking the league by storm already this season. He and Dansby Swanson are showing signs of the middle infield that the Atlanta Braves had hoped they would be. Albies has combined athleticism at second with pop at the plate.

The glove takes precedence again here, but it was the two doubles that were so significant for the fresh-faced Brave, particularly facing Yu Darvish. If he can combine his elite defence with the sort of hitting we’ve seen thus far, Albies will be a superstar.

Nightmare of the Week

Four starts into the season, Tampa Bay’s ace is having a shocker. Chris Archer has a 7.84 ERA, having given up seven earned runs through four frames against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

What should have been an elite pitchers duel with Jake Arrieta was another disaster for Archer. Perhaps the trade talk all winter got to him. As it stands, buyers are in a good negotiating position should the Rays look to flip Archer at the deadline.

Start of the Week

Gerrit Cole couldn’t have dreamt of a better start as an Astro. The former Pirate struck out 14 against the Rangers earlier this week, becoming only the second pitcher in history to strike out at least 11 in his first three starts of a season. The other was a certain Nolan Ryan.

Houston had the best rotation in baseball even if Cole was somewhere near his form of 2017. With the hard-throwing righty pitching like this, the reigning champions look absolutely unstoppable.

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Sam is a widely published freelance writer, covering basketball, baseball and a range of other sports. He's still trying to decide if he prefers a rundown shot block or a smooth double play. Twitter: @SamRCox_