The final Bank of America Players of the Week both have ties to the Cincinnati Reds, with one honoree currently with the club, preparing for the National League Division Series, and another a former Red finishing the season strong in the American League East.
Current Reds outfielder Jay Bruce was named the NL Player of the Week and not just because of his dramatic walk-off homer on Tuesday that clinched the club's first postseason berth in 15 years.
In six games last week, Bruce hit .444 (8-for-18), good for second in the NL. He also hit four homers and slugged 1.111, the top slugging percentage among all National League hitters. He was fourth in total bases (20) and tied for fourth with a .500 on-base percentage. He also drove in five runs and scored five runs for the week, none more important than the ones stemming from his solo shot in the bottom of the ninth against Houston on Tuesday night, which clinched the NL Central title for Cincinnati. Bruce, 23, set career highs in a host of offensive categories in 2010, including home runs (25), RBIs (70), hits (143), batting average (.281), OBP (.353) and SLG (.493).
Bruce's one-time teammate, Edwin Encarnacion, was chosen as the AL Player of the Week. The Blue Jays third baseman led the AL with five homers, 11 RBIs and a 1.150 slugging, while also finishing at or near the top in total bases, runs scored and batting average. He had consecutive three-hit games during the week and homered in four straight games.
He particularly enjoyed a visit to Minnesota, where the 27-year-old went 8-for-14 (.571) with four homers and 10 RBIs. Encarnacion was acquired by Toronto from the Reds as part of the Scott Rolen trade at the non-waiver Trade Deadline in 2009. This marked the second time Encarnacion has received a Player of the Week nod, the other coming in August 2006.