Pelicans’ red-hot Villanueva named CL player of the week

If there was a runner on base this week, Christian Villanueva drove him in.  With 11 RBI in his last seven games, Villanueva was named Carolina League Player of the Week, announced Monday by Minor League Baseball.

Villanueva hit .560 last week, going 14-25 in seven games with two homeruns, two runs scored, 11 RBI, three walks and five hit by pitches.  The outburst helped raise Villanueva’s average into the .280’s.   That’s the highest Villanueva’s average has been since April 17th.  His five RBI against Salem were the second most driven in by a Pelican in a game this season.

The infielder becomes the second Pelican to be named CL Player of the Week in 2012.  He follows Jake Skole, who earned the honor at the end of May.  Ace righty Cody Buckel won Pitcher of the Week three times during his Pelicans tenure before  promotion to Double-A.

Signed as an international free agent in 2008, Villanueva hails from Guadalajara, Mexico.  Playing in his first full season in 2011, Villanueva belted 17 homeruns for Low-A Hickory.  He entered this season rated by Baseball America as the No. 8 prospect in the Texas Rangers system.  MLB.com had Villanueva slotted as the No. 99 prospect in all of the minor leagues preseason as well.

Known not only for his bat but also his defense, Villanueva was recently named by the Rangers as the Minor League Defender of the Month for June.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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