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Choo slams way to AL Player of the Week

Choo slams way to AL Player of the Week

Coming into the 2010 season, many considered Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to be one of the more underrated players in baseball. But now that the season is under way, he's getting his due.

Following a monster offensive week in which he notched 11 hits in 19 at-bats -- many of them in clutch moments -- Choo was named American League Player of the Week by Bank of America for the first time in his six-year career.

In six games last week, Choo led the Majors with a .579 batting average, 11 RBIs, a 1.211 slugging percentage and a .680 on-base percentage, while his 23 total bases were tied for a big league best. He also added three home runs, five runs scored and three doubles in a week that saw Cleveland go 4-2.

Many of Choo's biggest hits came in the biggest of moments.

In the eighth inning of Thursday's game against the Rangers, the 27-year-old from South Korea hit a three-run homer that eventually gave his club a 3-2 victory. Two days later, he drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning double that led to an Indians win over the White Sox. In the series finale against Chicago on Sunday, Choo hit his second career grand slam -- and fourth home run of the season -- while driving in five in Cleveland's 7-4 win.

After the game, Indians manager Manny Acta called Choo "a one-man wrecking crew."

The Indians (6-6) have now won four straight, and Choo -- he of a .300 batting average, 20 homers and 86 RBIs in 2009 -- is riding a seven-game hitting streak.

"I feel like I played this way in Spring Training," Choo, batting .350 (14-for-40) this season, said after Sunday's game. "I didn't put pressure on myself [in the spring]. The first three or four games, I put pressure on myself. But I talked to some guys and the hitting coach [Jon Nunnally], and they told me not to worry too much. I'm trying to see the ball and hit the ball."

Other noteworthy performances last week included Orioles infielder Ty Wigginton (an AL-leading four home runs and 10 RBIs), Royals outfielder Scott Podsednik (13 hits), Royals designated hitter Jose Guillen (12 hits and 23 total bases) and Rays right-hander Matt Garza (2-0 with a 0.56 ERA).

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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