Werth named NL Player of the Week
Outfielder led league with 1.000 slugging percentage, nine RBIs
WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth was named National League Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Majors with a 1.000 slugging percentage and nine RBIs from June 30 to July 6. The veteran's 20 total bases were also tied for the NL lead.
During the six-game span, Werth scored seven runs, hit two homers and recorded a .560 on-base percentage. He also hit five doubles and drew five walks while going 9-for-20 (.450).
Werth's hot start to July came after a quiet June in which we hit .212 and compiled just six extra-base hits. And the sudden improvement was not because of a lack of attention to detail.
Before the Nationals' contest against the Rockies last Tuesday, Werth adjusted his batting stance after spending hours watching film with hitting coach Rick Schu. The outfielder stood taller to make it easier for him to get on top of the baseball when he swung.
The result was a complete turnaround as far as production at the plate, raising his average from .269 to .280 on the season. Werth had four straight multihit games last week, including a 3-for-4 showing in Saturday's 13-0 win against the Cubs. He doubled twice, drove in two and scored two.
Not to mention, he garnered the third weekly honor of his career and his first since signing with the Nationals in December 2010.
"It happens that way. That's baseball. One swing, one jam shot, one gork, one ground ball with eyes or whatever he said in the movie [Bull Durham], that's true," manager Matt Williams said. "It's all true. You can also go a week and scald balls and have everybody catch them. And there's nothing you can do about it. So the adjustment that he made was a veteran guy understanding his swing and what he needs to do to have success. He got away from it a little bit and made that adjustment. And that's good. You learn that over time."
Daniel Popper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. He also can be found on Twitter @danielrpopper. Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.