After smacking four home runs and driving in 10 runs, Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia has been named the American League Player of the Week, Major League Baseball announced on Monday.
Arencibia hit .360 (9-for-25) and tied for the AL lead in homers, RBIs and runs scored (seven). He led the league in slugging percentage (.920) and ranked fourth with 23 total bases, and added two doubles and a walk.
Arencibia credited his teammates for getting hot around him, which in turn fueled his performance.
"Even when you're a kid, it seems to go that when a couple of players start hitting, everybody starts hitting," he said. "I don't know what the reasoning is. Sometimes there's something to be said for that."
It is the catcher's first career weekly award, and the first time a Toronto catcher has received the honor.
"I'm a little fish in a big pond in the American League," Arencibia said. "So it's pretty humbling to be honored for what happened this week."
The 26-year-old went 3-for-4 on Wednesday with a home run, double, two RBIs and two runs scored in the Blue Jays' 8-1 win against the Yankees in Toronto. He added another homer the following night to lead the Blue Jays to a two-game sweep of their division rivals.
He kept it up against the Mets in Interleague Play on Friday, going 3-for-5 with two homers and a career-high six RBIs. It was his fourth career multihomer game and marked the first time in his career that he had hit home runs in three consecutive ballgames.
Arencibia, who had a slow start in April, is batting .256 this year with seven home runs, seven doubles and 26 RBIs. Among AL backstops, he ranks second in RBIs and slugging percentage (.504), and is tied for second in home runs and runs (17).
"I hit a lot of balls hard in April," he said. "So it wasn't hard to just keep on going."