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MLB Team of the Week: Goldschmidt, Hamels, McCutchen, Springer and De Aza Star

Matthew SmithCorrespondent IIIJune 13, 2014

MLB Team of the Week: Goldschmidt, Hamels, McCutchen, Springer and De Aza Star

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    Andrew Mcutchen just put together one of the best weeks of the season.
    Andrew Mcutchen just put together one of the best weeks of the season.Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Last week, all eyes were on the 2014 MLB draft. Now the attention is turning toward the inevitable mayhem that accompanies the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

    Amidst the chaos, there is one constant. Each week, someone will step up and thoroughly dominate at their position, while others will have weeks they would just as soon forget.

    Let’s focus our attention on the best MLB had to offer last week and identify the stars at each position.

    As always, this will be to the point. One player will represent each fielding position and the designated hitter, while one hurler will get the call for the lot of them. The only caveat is that each position player must have appeared in at least four games at the position for which he is being considered.

    Here are the stars across MLB for the week ending Thursday, June 12.

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    2014 Stats: .311/.374/.558, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 49 R, 27 2B, 151 wRC+

     

    Overview

    After two weeks, the reign of Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion has come to an end. Paul Goldschmidt from the Arizona Diamondbacks had the best week at the position.

    In seven games, Goldschmidt had a hit in six contests, stroked four doubles and added two stolen bases. He is a key factor in the relatively improved play of the Diamondbacks.

    After finishing second in the National League MVP voting last season, Goldschmidt has hardly missed a beat. He is by far the best player on the roster and is playing his way into a second straight All-Star appearance.

    It must be noted that the Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo (.296/.387/.667) and Detroit Tigers (.435/.480/.739) superstar Miguel Cabrera put up nice numbers as well, but Goldschmidt had the edge in walk rate, isolated power (ISO) and on-base percentage.

    Last Week’s Stats: .348/.483/.783, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 239 wRC+

Daniel Murphy, 2B, New York Mets

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    2014 Stats: .303/.359/.424, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 41 R, 16 2B, 122 wRC+

     

    Overview

    Since becoming a full-time starter for the New York Mets in 2009, Daniel Murphy has been an above-average second baseman. This past week, he was the best of the bunch.

    His performance during the three games against the San Francisco Giants stands out. For the series, he went 6-for-13 with a home run, a double, two RBI and a .308 ISO. He also stole a base (his first since May 15) and scored three times.

    Seattle's Robinson Cano (.360/.467/.560) and Houston Astros sensation Jose Altuve (.348/.407/.478) each made a case, but Murphy finished in front of both in several key metrics, including ISO and wRC+.

    Last Week’s Stats: .360/.407/.640, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R, 197 wRC+

Brandon Crawford, SS, San Francisco Giants

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    Beck Diefenbach/Associated Press

    2014 Stats: .260/.332/.465, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 27 R, 13 2B, 5 3B, 120 wRC+

     

    Overview

    San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford may not have the highest batting average and on-base percentage among his peers this year, but he is hitting for considerable power and has a .205 ISO to prove it. Over the past seven days, however, he excelled in all three areas.

    A good portion of Crawford’s production came during the series versus the New York Mets when he went 5-for-9 with a double, three runs scored and three RBI. The Mets pitching staff simply had no answer for him.

    That said, he was consistent throughout the week, hitting safely each game. He also had at least two hits in four contests and had an extra-base hit in three out of the four games against the Washington Nationals.

    Washington's Ian Desmond (.345/.367/.690) kept the competition close here, but Crawford’s consistency proved to be the deciding factor. 

    Last Week’s Stats: .458/.481/.708, 6 RBI, 5 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 229 wRC+

Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Cleveland Indians

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    2014 Stats: .393/.438/.619, 7 HR, 32 RBI, 30 R, 17 2B, 200 wRC+

     

    Overview

    Cleveland Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall has been putting up incredible numbers all season, but last week was a special one.

    Most MLB fans are familiar with Chisenhall’s game against the Texas Rangers on Monday. If not, he went 5-for-5 with three home runs, nine RBI and a double. And in case you were wondering, that one game was good for a 1,062 wRC+.

    That was just one game in a week of good ones, though. From Saturday through Wednesday, he had at least two hits and reached base in every game overall. True, his defense leaves a bit to be desired, but with the way he is swinging the bat lately, a lack of range hardly matters.

    Whether the explosive season Chisenhall is having is thanks to a minor adjustment in his stance or if he is finally realizing his true potential is a conversation for another day. What we do know is that he is playing at an incredibly high level and is the best hitter in the lineup.

    Luis Valbuena (.435/.458/.609) from the Chicago Cubs had a nice week as well, but Chisenhall was better in almost every metric.

    Last Week’s Stats: .583/.615/1.167, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 8 R, 404 wRC+

Adam Dunn, DH, Chicago White Sox

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    Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

    2014 Stats: .242/.374/.473, 11 HR, 29 RBI, 23 R 10 2B, 133 wRC+

     

    Overview

    To be sure, Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn is a streaky hitter. Fortunately for manager Robin Ventura, the run he went on this past week was a good one.

    Most notable was his showing against the Los Angeles Angels last Friday evening. In the game, Dunn went 3-for-5, hit the 450th home run of his career and drove in three runs. It was an impressive performance.

    That wasn’t the only game in which he excelled, though. Against the Detroit Tigers Wednesday night, he delivered two hits and an RBI during the seven-run sixth inning in what ended up being an 8-2 White Sox victory. For the week, Dunn reached base in every game.

    Detroit's Victor Martinez (.304/.320/.783) had a solid week and Kansas City Royals mainstay Billy Butler (.294/.316/.471) was productive, but Dunn stole the show at designated hitter over the past seven days. 

    Last Week’s Stats: .400/.455/.750, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 228 wRC+

Jonathan Lucroy, C, Milwaukee Brewers

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    2014 Stats: .336/.398/.513, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 29 R, 25 2B, 153 wRC+

     

    Overview

    What’s new, huh? Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy put up a week of stellar statistics, outpacing his competition at the position.

    Sure, he only drove in four runs over the past seven days, but he had at least two hits in three games, scored four times and had two doubles in the same contest twice. He raked all week long for the Brewers. He also belted a two-run home run that put the Brewers in front of the New York Mets in the 13th inning on Thursday.

    Now Russell Martin (.474/.600/.632) from the Pittsburgh Pirates put up solid numbers as well, but Lucroy’s ISO and slugging percentage were superior. He is quickly establishing himself as one of the best catchers in MLB. 

    Last Week’s Stats: .423/.429/.692, HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 206 wRC+

George Springer, RF, Houston Astros

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    BOB LEVEY/Associated Press

    2014 Stats: .259/.355/.497, 12 HR, 36 RBI, 29 R, 7 2B, 139 WRC+

     

    Overview

    Houston Astros right fielder George Springer has been on fire this season. Last week was no different.

    All told, Springer collected a hit in all five games, scored at least one run in three contests and finished with four RBI. Along with Altuve and Dexter Fowler, he has driven the Astros offense the past week. As a matter of fact, he has been at the wheel since his promotion.

    Curtis Granderson (.313/.476/.813) from the New York Mets had a nice week, but Springer’s overall consistency proved to be the difference-maker. 

    Last Week’s Stats: .353/.478/.706, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 221 wRC+

Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    2014 Stats: .321/.435/.550, 10 HR, 37 RBI, 36 R, 21 2B, 8 SB, 177 wRC+

     

    Overview

    Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen was at the top of his game last week.

    Most impressive was his showing in the series against the Chicago Cubs. In it, he had eight hits with three home runs, four doubles and nine RBI. Frankly, he wore out Cubs pitching as the Pirates won three out of four games.

    All told, he had two hits and mashed a home run in the same game four times, compiled a .567 on-base percentage and finished with a .692 ISO for the week. Impressive stuff.

    Daniel Santana (.414/.433/.655) from the Minnesota Twins also had a fantastic week. McCutchen gets the nod based on higher numbers across the board. 

    Last Week’s Stats: .500/.567/1.192, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 7 R, 5 2B, 379 wRC+

Alejandro De Aza, LF, Chicago White Sox

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    2014 Stats: .197/.274/.323, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 23 R, 8 2B, 62 wRC+

     

    Overview

    Chicago White Sox left fielder Alejandro De Aza brought it all week.

    At the plate, he reached base in five games and scored five runs. Of particular note was his performance during the series against the Los Angeles Angels. In it, he went 4-for-8 with three doubles, three runs scored and three RBI.

    De Aza’s effectiveness this past week wasn’t isolated to his production at the plate. He is actually hitting the cutoff man on a regular basis and made a fine play on an Ian Kinsler drive to end a threat Wednesday evening against the Tigers. True, he still has a problem communicating with shortstop Alexei Ramirez at times, but he had a nice week in the field.

    Corey Dickerson (.381/.500/.762) from the Colorado Rockies and Christian Yelich (.435/.480/.696) from the Miami Marlins were in the mix here, but De Aza edged both in multiple categories. 

    Last Week’s Stats: .400/.500/.800, HR, 4 RBI, 5 R, 3 2B, 242 wRC+

Cole Hamels, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    2014 Stats: 2-3, 10 GS, 67.1 IP, 3.07 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 70 K, 22 BB

     

    Overview

    As usual, the call for the star of the week at pitcher was a tough one to make.

    After all, Texas' Yu Darvish and Detroit's Max Scherzer each tossed a complete-game shutout, and Houston's Dallas Keuchel logged 14.0 innings and pitched to the tune of a 0.64 ERA. And there were many other dominant performances over the past seven days.

    For as well as they pitched, however, this week’s honor has to go to Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels.

    All he did was toss 15.2 innings of shutout baseball with 18 strikeouts. Digging a bit deeper, he had a 63.9 percent ground-ball rate and only allowed a .256 BABIP. Any way it’s sliced, Hamels was on point in both of his starts. 

    Last Week’s Stats: 1-0, 2 GS, 15.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.36 FIP, 18 K, 3 BB

     

    Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are courtesy of FanGraphs. Weekly statistics were taken from the "leaders" page at FanGraphs and are for the week ending Thursday, June 12. Transaction, injury and game information are courtesy of MLB.com.

    Follow @MatthewSmithBR

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