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McBride Named Eastern League Player of the Week

McBride Named Eastern League Player of the Week
July 5, 2010
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Outfielder Matt McBride was honored Monday as the winner of the Eastern League Player of the Week Award for the week ending July 4th. In conjunction with becoming the second Aero all season to win league-wide award, McBride is also the recipient of the third-ever Akron Aeros Player of the Week Award. He earned these two honors after a spectacular week between June 28th and Independence Day, smashing six home runs including a franchise-record tying three during Akron’s win Thursday night.

McBride starred during Akron’s weeklong road trip to Richmond and to Bowie, hitting safely in all seven games while collecting a .370 (10-for-27) batting average. He began his impressive week with a solo home run during Monday’s loss to the Flying Squirrels and followed with a two-hit performance Tuesday. In the rubber match Wednesday, he hit a crucial two-run homer in the fifth inning to help the Aeros take the series.

Thursday night was then the incredible performance of a lifetime for the 25-year-old native of Bethlehem, PA. Playing first base in place of the injured Beau Mills, McBride homered in all three of his plate appearances against Bowie Baysox starter Ryohei Tanaka. All three shots went to the left field bleachers of Prince George’s Stadium and as if he had not accomplished enough, he hit one of Akron’s four home runs in Friday’s win as well.

The Lehigh University product finished the week with four walks, an intentional walk, two doubles, six home runs, seven runs scored and nine RBI. It was an unbelievable performance overall as before the week, the usual right fielder actually had not homered since May 19th at Altoona, a span of 35 games played. In the end, he lifted his OPS for the season from .686 last Sunday to .769 after the Independence Day loss in Bowie.

The Cleveland Indians selected McBride in the second round of the June 2006 Draft as a catcher, and he began his professional career with Class A Mahoning Valley later that season. He then spent 2007 with Class A Lake County, was injured for most of 2008 and was one of the best hitters in baseball last year. He earned the promotion to the Aeros on May 12th and at the time, led the Class A Carolina League with a .405 batting average, 15 doubles and 36 RBI. After playing 98 games in helping Akron win the EL Championship, he finished the season with 99 RBI combined, the most in the Indians system.

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